When it comes to tutoring, there are many options available. Do you want to go to a brick and mortar location, have a tutor come to your home, or perhaps get an online tutor? When looking into online tutoring, there are many things you should consider before taking that leap.
PRO: Online Tutoring Is Convenient
One of the greatest benefits of doing online tutoring is that it’s convenient. Online tutoring doesn’t require you to travel to another location or have someone come to you. Because of this, it gives you the most flexibility in how and where you want to meet. You can do tutoring from home, from school, or anywhere else that you have access to a computer and an internet connection. If you need to get in some tutoring last minute or while on a trip, it’s possible to meet with a tutor more easily. Online tutors may also have more availability because they don’t have to worry about scheduling around traffic, and may be willing to meet later as they’re doing a session from home. Likewise, there is no traveling involved on your end. You don’t have to fight through traffic, especially if you live in a metropolitan area where it could take upwards of 20 – 30 minutes to get to a center.
CON: You Need A Good Internet Connection
One of the greatest downsides to online tutoring is that you will need a good and persistent internet connection in order for it to be effective. If your internet is has a choppy signal, and you are constantly experiencing connectivity issues, it’s going to make communicating and learning much harder. Online tutoring is not a great option if you have slow internet speeds or if you are in a situation where you’re using a hotspot or otherwise that might result in a weak signal. At a minimum, you want download speeds of 10 mbps, but you likely want at least 20 mbps to be comfortable. You can see how fast your internet connection should be by looking at your internet plan, or you can test your speed by visiting a site like speedtest.
PRO: Online Tutoring Is Usually Cheaper
Online tutoring is typically cheaper for a lot of reasons. Since a tutoring organization doesn’t have to support the cost of a building and tutors don’t have to travel, the cost you pay for online tutoring might be lower. Many tutoring companies will offer you a lower rate if the tutoring is done online.
CON: Establishing A Connection Can Be More Difficult
It can be harder to establish a personal connection when doing tutoring online. Sometimes that physical presence is great for establishing that relationship of trust and accountability that it takes to help a student really be productive. If a tutor is not experienced in conducting online sessions, it can be more difficult and add some more friction when trying to work through material during sessions.
This doesn’t mean that establishing a connection online is impossible, though. If a tutor takes things slowly, has access to good resources, and takes a little bit more time to be intentional about making a connection, it could be virtually no different than working with a tutor in person.
PRO: Online Tutoring Gives You Access To More Tutors
Online tutoring is a great option if you are looking for skilled tutors, especially if you live in a smaller town where there may not be many options for tutoring. Teachers may be available after school, have office hours, or may tutor themselves, but none of that is a guarantee. Through online tutoring, you have access to experts around the world and have more choices. This gives you the ability to pick from the best of the best for your student(s).
CON: Online Tutoring Requires Discipline
Online tutoring does present some challenges in keeping students accountable. It can sometimes be hard for a student to communicate what they are reviewing in class or what is difficult about a concept. It can also be easy to lose focus when staring at a screen, even if someone else is on the other side of it. A poor internet connection may make it difficult for some words to come across. All of this can be hard for the tutor to understand what exactly is expected of their students in class and what they’re currently learning. It’s for these very reasons that many people might shy away from online tutoring for younger learners who might have difficulties clearly communicating what they’ve reviewed or may have trouble focusing for an extended period of time. The key to working through this challenge is keeping an open line of communication between parents, teachers, and the tutor about the student’s progress and maybe taking a small break every now and then during sessions.
What kind of questions should you ask when you are looking for an online tutor?
Just with any kind of tutoring, you should always be concerned about the caliber of the tutors that work for the company you’re considering. How are the tutors for that company chosen? What kind of credentials must they have? Do they have to go through a background check? Do they go through any sort of training? Do they work on an individual plan for your student, or do they follow a format? Is it group tutoring or is it one-on-one?
How Is The Tutoring Conducted?
What kind of platform do they use? Do they use something like Skype or Google Hangouts or zoom? Does the tutoring company have its own platform? Is there a white board available that makes it easy to share documents and portray concepts or is it just something a lot more basic? Some of these options may be irrelevant depending on the type of subject you need help for, but having some of these options may be especially useful to display concepts for subjects like math.
Scheduling and Fees
What kind of fees are involved and how does scheduling work? Just like any sort of tutoring you should ask how much does online tutoring cost and if it differs than in person rates. Likewise, the way you schedule an online session might be a bit different. Can you meet with an online tutor immediately, can you book a time, or do you have to communicate to find a time that works for both of you?
Your Unique Situation
The advice you should follow will always change depending on your particular situation. Do you have limited availability because of a busy schedule or sports? Does your student have learning challenges that can make it difficult to concentrate or understand information presented in a certain way? Can your student be stubborn and needs lots of accountability? These are all things to take into consideration and things that you should discuss with the tutoring company you’re considering.
At Strive Academics, we like to take a holistic approach to learning, taking into account all the things that make your student and situation unique. We ask about your availability, learning challenges, your strengths and weaknesses, goals, and more to learn how we can best serve you. We match you with a tutor who will be able to work with you based on those needs and will help you achieve those goals, whether it’s catching up in classes or getting ahead and learning new concepts.
Online tutoring is a great option for many people around the world and it provides you with a lot more flexibility in being able to schedule and work with experts. If you are interested in online tutoring, take some time to learn more about our services and request more information about how you can get started with one of our tutors today.