Online tutoring services as we know them today are relatively new, although some forms of it have existed for decades. Thus, online tutoring services are experiencing a learning curve as they try out our platform.
The experience of online tutoring may still seem daunting to you if you haven’t mastered it yet. Here are four common mistakes online tutors make and how to prevent them so that you can provide the best possible tutoring experience for your students.
Mistake #1: Excessive talking
It’s natural for some tutors to talk a lot, and they believe the more they talk, the better the lesson will be. The online teaching industry makes this mistake a lot. At starting, online tutoring services can make you nervous and you might fill gaps in conversation with talk. Over talking or talking too fast does not allow your students to absorb the materials.
To learn something, students must have time to think about it. It is important to give them time to plan questions, and then for them to have an opportunity to ask them. Talking too much can be corrected by altering the pace of your speech. Pace your speech and pause occasionally.
Ideally, you will be able to tell if a student is understanding or acting frustrated once you get to know him or her better. Thus, you can either move forward or slow down and go over the instruction again.
During the lesson, you should also allow time for questions and student participation. Make sure students take part in the discussion. The engagement of students is an essential aspect of learning, so don’t rush it.
Students can be asked questions if they are following along. You can ask the students if they have any questions after they have pondered the lesson for a few minutes. Some awkward silences may occur, but you don’t have to worry about them. A moment of silence could be just what is needed to help your student process a concept.
Mistake #2: Distracting environment During Online Tutoring Services
Tutoring sessions should always be conducted in a quiet, private, and well-lit area. Before you begin tutoring, you should make sure that your tutoring environment is distraction-free.
This is a more professional approach, and your students will be more likely to pay attention to what you say.
Why should you avoid distractions?
- Phones: While tutoring, put your phone on silent. If you can, store it somewhere you won’t be tempted to look at it.
- Noisy people: When possible, you should work in a private environment where background noise can be controlled. It is best to tutor from a place where you are not expecting anyone else to pass by, but if they do, please inform them beforehand that the tutoring session is about to commence, and ask that they remain quiet and off-camera.
- Food: After a tutoring session, eat a snack or meal. During lessons, eating can distract students and their performance may suffer.
- Clutter: Messy desks and rooms are distracting. Before tutoring, tidy your area.
- Wind and traffic: Nothing is worse than having to yell over the wind or traffic going by on the road to be heard. Tutoring sessions should be conducted indoors, so you can speak at a normal voice level without being distracted by background noise.
What does an ideal tutoring environment look like?
Your ideal place to tutor should be a place you are comfortable in. It should be well-lit and quiet. It could be your home office, a private room in the library, or a quiet corner of your living room.
Remember to check out the view behind you. The screen of your student shouldn’t show anything unprofessional or inappropriate.
Mistake #3: Unsuitable tutoring setup
The technical aspect of the setup is another mistake some online tutors make. The internet connection may be patchy, the camera may not be positioned correctly, or the microphone may be too far from your mouth.
Before your next tutoring session, it’s a good idea to follow these setup tips: Instead of using the built-in webcam on your laptop, use a USB webcam that you can adjust.
Set your webcam a few inches above or in line with your eyes. Most people place it on top of their computer and tilt it downward. Alternatively, you can use a stack of books or a tripod if the camera doesn’t balance on your computer.
Look behind you to make sure you don’t have a bright light shining on you. Instead, use a lamp with a lampshade so that a diffused light is placed behind the computer.
The resolution of some webcams can be adjusted. Make sure yours is set to 720p or higher and that your frame rate is at 30 frames per second or higher. Clear and crisp images come from a camera that is set to 720p or higher.
Make sure your student can hear you clearly before you begin your lesson. In that case, move your mic closer to your mouth. More tips for setting up a virtual classroom can be found in this article from Blue Microphones.
Mistake #4: Consider your online tutoring session as if it were an in-person session
When you provide online tutoring services, it may tempt you to treat it the same way as in-person tutoring. It is a mistake, as online tutoring platforms offer benefits you cannot provide during in-person sessions.
An online tutoring platform provides tutors and students with advanced, collaborative learning tools. Make the most of these tools!
With our interactive Lesson Space, you can provide your students with an engaging learning experience by utilizing virtual whiteboards, screen sharing, Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets integration, and more.
By using live audio and video chat, you can still engage your students in face-to-face learning, plus you can also use learning aids like text editors and code editors to see and experience the lesson in a more immersive way.
Please feel free to make use of all the interactive tools available in the Lesson Space to customize the learning experience for each student. To work through a problem on the virtual whiteboard, a visual learner may find it useful to use the Lesson Space’s drawing tools.
Taking your online tutoring to the next level
Don’t beat yourself up if you know you’ve made some of the mistakes tutors make. Focus on improving your online tutoring services.
During one session, set yourself the goal of talking less. Consider moving to a quieter environment if your environment has too many distractions. Enlist a tech-savvy friend to help you with your computer and camera setup if they aren’t working right.
It is your privilege to help your students learn and achieve more by sharing your knowledge and talent. It’s all about helping students succeed in their studies that drive everything you do and who you are.