Online tutoring is not just a professional occupation. It is more like a lifestyle. The effective online tutor rarely works regular hours, and, as a specialist in their field, often discovers new teaching methods in the virtual classroom. Because online instruction is relatively new, the best decision a tutor can make is to test a variety of approaches that will suit their specific audience.
Common principles of effective online tutoring
There are many teaching methods in online education. That’s why the results in the virtual classroom are based on personal teaching experience. However, there are a few tips and recommendations to follow while trying to come up with your own teaching style.
Remember, you are the online teacher
Therefore, don’t expect the audience to become educated on their own. Additionally, online students need your guidance and mentoring in order to learn new material.
Be proactive and strictly plan your online training
It’s all about strategy and dynamics. Mind your audience and create appropriate modules. In addition, plan all of your activities and divide the content into small pieces of information.
Establish rules and follow them
A specific online environment can provide flexibility. It is a good practice to set rules so as to avoid distractions. Create your own pace of teaching and always be there for your students at a specified time and place. Online tutoring is a two-way process so make sure that communication flows easily and pay attention to the different educational needs of all of your students.
The virtual classroom has different types of assessments. Whether you prefer homework or team projects, invest some time into creating strategies that track student progress. This info can be both satisfying as well as motivating for you and your students.
It’s your responsibility to create a safe environment for your online training. Follow the good manners rule. In addition, clearly communicate what is expected from the students and from you as an online tutor.
What online learners need
When teaching a subject it is natural that students will expect to gain certain knowledge. To get them thinking, try to ask questions in different ways. Let them wonder why their expected answer may not be correct. By challenging conventions you will get a more active and motivated virtual classroom.
Teach with familiar concepts. You will be amazed how quickly a student can learn about physics or chemistry with the help of everyday objects. Connect the subject matter to real life and explore different ways to show a variety of terms and relations. The more personal a subject is the greater the chance for a student to cooperate and show significant progress.
Your online audience wants to stay connected to the world. Therefore, give them the chance to solve a real problem by providing them with a current situation. Then start a discussion that will lead to the main conclusion planned for the session.
To stimulate your online students, connect relevant social, political, religious, scientific, or other issues to the training content. Give them an opportunity to freely express themselves and to understand other points of view. Additionally, as motivation is related to taking action, engage your students and expect them to be proactive. Always try to inspire them throughout the entire training.
Don’t just stick with popular, widely held beliefs. Play with different ideas and teach your students to think out-of-the-box. Alternative views will broaden their knowledge. Find activities that engage the audience. For example, role-playing is a great way to find new perspectives; you could also create “a day without wrong answers” or “an hour as a different student.”
Additional tips from successful online tutors
- Make sure students clearly understand each task
- Ask simple questions to find where the audience has made a mistake
- Combine theory with practice as often as possible
- Use a lot of imagery
- Use attractive materials
- Add extra links that students can follow after class
- Make every lesson a solution to a problem
- Let your students lead a discussion or even a part of the lesson
- Learn more about the goals of your students
- Use different tools and apps to ease the learning process
- Plan the communication channel beforehand – find the best way to send homework, projects, and additional information via mail, chat, or something else
- Bring in outside people who are relevant to the topic so as to make the lesson more interesting for the students