How To Be An Excellent Online Tutor

Technology has made it easier than ever for students and tutors to connect with one another through the Internet. In order to be effective, however, online tutors need to take specific steps to communicate effectively with the students that they are tutoring. When used correctly, modern technology can make it feel as if the tutor is sitting in the same room as the student. If you are providing online tutoring session, use these five tips to make the experience as valuable as possible for your students:

Even though today's technology is extremely advanced, it is not without its faults. A variety of technology-related problems can crop up during your tutoring sessions. Make a list of all of the problems that occur and come up with an action plan for how to deal with each one. Share this list with your student so that they know what to do if you are disconnected, if the audio cuts out, or if other problems occur.

No matter how prepared you are, it is impossible to avoid all problems when working with technology. From strange audio problems to slow-loading videos, a variety of different issues can come up, disrupting your tutoring sessions. Using the list that you put together in the first step, you should be able to get back on track relatively quickly, continuing your session right away. After you get everything back up and running, jump right back into the material rather than spending a lot of time telling the student how sorry you are for the problem. The goal is to keep the tutoring session moving ahead.

Tutoring through the Internet creates a bit of a disconnect between you and your students. When compared to sitting in the same room with one another, it is often harder for students to make a real connection with you. You can help keep them engaged by being as enthusiastic as possible. Focus on making eye contact with your students. Speak clearly and try to portray to your students how excited you are about the information you are teaching them.

When conducting tutoring sessions, you need to be able to clearly hear your students. Set up your computer and an area that is completely quiet so that you aren't distracted by background noises. Additionally, check to see what the room looks like behind you to make sure that there isn't anything distracting that will show up on the screen. Finally, talk to anyone else who is in the building with you to let them know that you are going to be conducting a tutoring session. That way, they won't accidentally walk into the room or disrupt you. 

As you conduct your session, pay attention to your student. Do they seem distracted? If so, they may be fiddling around on social media instead of paying attention to their lesson. If you suspect that they have gotten off track, don't hesitate to ask them about it. You can also encourage them to pay attention by having them turn off their cell phone and close any unnecessary tabs or programs on their computer. You should encourage students to engage with you by having them repeat some of the information they are learning back to you or having them work on problems on an online whiteboard. 

As long as you focus on providing your students with the best possible experience, you should do extremely well as some who does online tutoring. Remember - technology is just a tool. It shouldn't dominate your tutoring sessions. Ideally, it should fade away into the background, making the student feel as if you are in the room with them.