How Do Students Choose Their Online Tutors

Nowadays, technology is an integrated part of education. Everyone can access information online, making knowledge just a few clicks away. Online students not only can learn, but they can also choose their online tutors. Find out how do students choose their online tutors.

Questions online students ask when choosing an online tutor

Overall, it’s great to be an online tutor. What could be better than being an acknowledged online tutor? Generally, it takes time to find your own place in the universe of online tutors. However, knowing what online students want is the first and most important step to distinguish yourself. Choosing an online tutor is an important task. So there are some mandatory questions that you should answer in order to be selected by your audience.

What is your expertise and are you familiar enough with technology?

Online tutors, do you know the technology?
Online tutors, do you know the technology?

Online students want to be know what to expect from you. They will be more motivated to choose you if you are more familiar with technology than the other online tutors they are considering. What you can do is inform your future online students about your expertise and point out some of your accomplishments, which the students can also find by doing a Google search. Yes, accept it. Your online students will google you once in a while.

Furthermore, discuss the hardware or software that will be utilized during the course. It’s vital for online tutors to be up-to-date with all software systems. The more software packages you know, the better instructor you’re going to be. Additionally, think about your own professional development and try to learn new technology updates by attending different training forums and online learning conferences.

Are you available enough for your students?

Before a student can commit to your course, it’s crucial for you to state your personal preferences on being available. This means to clarify the quantity and quality of your presence outside of the training sessions. It’s important for online tutors to be online and check their emails as often as possible. Online learning is a continuous process. Furthermore, most online students attend the virtual classroom after standard working hours. Therefore, you should be there for them. There are a variety of ways to keep in touch with your students and to continue mentoring them: Skype, email, and by phone. Just choose your medium and use it. Additionally, online students will highly appreciate a shorter response time.

Online teachers, are you available enough for your students?
Online teachers, are you available enough for your students?

What more can you offer?

Online students have lots of information at their fingertips. Therefore, they will often compare you with other online tutors. Communicating your deliverables is the key. If you are a keen community builder, let your future online students know about it. They are learning together but also learning from each other. Depending on the specifics of your audience, you can select the appropriate channel to build that community: a closed Facebook group, mailing list, or live chat. Students appreciate being part of a group and being able to get a question answered immediately.

Also, be flexible regarding the different types of online students. Try focusing on different age groups, for example. The timing, pace, and content for older students will be quite different from those for undergraduate students. Keep this in mind so that no group or student ever feels left out during your classes.

What do online students want from an online tutor?

Searching for the perfect online tutor can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. No matter what your students’ requirements may be, there are a few basic elements that make up the perfect online tutor’s profile.

Educational qualifications

Your specific qualifications and experience are the primary things that you should communicate to your students. Introduce yourself properly and try to fill in every detail of your path as an online tutor. Since no one is perfect, try to turn negatives into positives. The key is to be honest. Also, upload info about your professional experience and include personal details like interests, hobbies, etc. This will bring yourself closer to your audience.

What do online students want from an online tutor - Educational qualifications
What do online students want from an online tutor – Educational qualifications

Availability

Online students need to know that you are able to help them at anytime. It’s good to clearly state your hours and availability in order to avoid confusion, misunderstandings, and disappointment. The availability of online tutors is a key factor and has a large impact on learning. Usually, availability depends on the specific format of the online training. Whatever the format and the time may be, let your students know before they begin your course.

Communication

To keep things in the virtual classroom going smoothly, you have to share a common language and values with your online students. This concerns both your tone of voice and your teaching style, as well as any possible language barriers that some of your online students may experience. The virtual classroom has the possibility to gather people from all around the world. So make sure to group them accordingly. Focus on your main goal: transferring knowledge through active communication.

Referrals

Online students, choose a tutor is by doing thorough research.
Online students, choose a tutor is by doing thorough research.

One way that online students choose a tutor is by doing thorough research. To help them find all that they may want, make sure you have evaluations from your previous students. Ask for feedback as often as possible. Additionally, you can present yourself in different sites or forums. Try to maintain positive and active relationships with people who you can later use as a reference. Moreover, try managing possible negative comments or feelings that may occur as soon as they appear. Your timely response will pay off.

Teaching style

There are different styles of teaching. Whichever you prefer, talk about your strategy clearly. The students should be prepared for your training and for the way that it will be conducted. In addition to your teaching style, make sure you have a strategy for conducting evaluations. Communicate whether or not you will provide a certificate, and go into more detail about the entire organization of the course. Set the tone together with the training’s structure.

Reasonable pricing

Yes, money is a very important factor. Your interesting course subject or personal charisma may be convincing enough for some people, but the price will determine their final decision.

  • First, decide on your price. You can research or join an online school team that will figure out the best offer for you. Select an appropriate metric as the basis of your price – hourly, fixed, or subscription based.
  • Second, don’t make your future online students wonder if they can afford your training. Additionally, clearly explain your pricing. If you have a policy on discounts or a special price for returning students, this is the time that you have to put your cards on the table. The more flexible your pricing policy is, the more chances you will have to teach highly motivated students.

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Tanya Ilieva has strong experience in journalism, advertising, creative copywriting and digital marketing. She has a PhD in Graphic design from Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Some of her creative works in advertising has been rewarded both in Bulgaria and abroad. Her fields of interest include: philosophy of language, semiotics, visual metaphors, linguistic.
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