5 considerations for choosing an online tutor

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Online tutors can be a great source of help for students, providing one-on-one support to help them work through specific issues as they arise.

When a student connects with the right tutor at the right time, the progress they can make is truly exceptional. 

A study from the Education Endowment Foundation in the UK found that underperforming students who had one hour of math tutoring per week for 12 weeks made exceptional progress.

Moving tutoring sessions online can also have huge benefits, building in extra convenience and flexibility for students all around the world. 

On-demand tutoring is a rapidly growing industry that is predicted to skyrocket in the coming decade, meaning more tutors and more platforms to choose from. 

So, if you’re wondering how to choose an online tutor and what makes for a distinguished tutor, you’ve come to the right place. 

Looking beyond the obvious factor of budget, there are a few different criteria that can help you make the right decision. 

Here are five considerations to be mindful of when searching for a tutor: 

  1. What kind of tutor will help students reach their goals?
  2. What kind of experience does the tutor have?
  3. What kind of availability does the tutor have?
  4. How will the tutor work with your students?
  5. What kind of online tools is the tutor using?

1. What kind of online tutor will help students reach their goals?

One of the benefits of having so much choice when looking for an online tutor is that you can seek out specialists who can help students with specific goals.

Whether you need a subject matter expert (like an algebra tutor) or a skills-based expert (like a reading or writing tutor) you stand a good chance of finding exactly who you need online. 

Your first step should be to reflect on what your students need to get out of the tutoring experience and what kind of tutor can help them achieve these goals. 

2. What kind of experience does the tutor have?

Once you have an idea of the kind of tutor you are looking for, and have started browsing the amazing online tutor profiles, you will find that you have a lot of options.

Next, it’s time to think about the quality of tutoring that they will be able to provide. 

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of knowledge that tutors need: subject matter expertise and teaching experience.

To be sure that your tutor has both, it’s worth seeking out tutors who are licensed teachers that hold a BA or MA. This way, you can rest assured that they will know their subject matter inside out and are experienced in planning targeted lessons, transferring knowledge and motivating students.

Seeking out a platform (such as Skooli!) that vets tutors to make sure they have the right experience can help with this process. 

3. What kind of availability does the tutor have?

Getting the right help at the right time is crucial, and you probably already have an idea of the amount of support your students need and how tutoring sessions might best fit into their schedules. 

The convenience of working with an online tutor can be a huge benefit as they are more likely to work flexibly and find times that fit in with your students’ needs. 

Another important factor to look out for is tutors that are responsive. For example, you might want a tutor who is available to answer one-off questions from students or who can provide homework support at short notice.

If you are working with a tutor one-on-one this is something you will need to negotiate with them. 

If your students need a broader range of availability, it could be worthwhile to work with a tutoring platform that has a large network of tutors who can provide round-the-clock support. 

4. How will the tutor work with your students? 

Another benefit of using an online tutor is that you have access to a range of information about them, helping you get a better understanding of their background. 

Online profiles are a great way to find out more information about tutors, as they offer written insight, or even videos, about themselves. Remember to also check out reviews to see what others have to say about their lessons.

As students normally work with tutors one-on-one or in small groups, it’s highly important to take time and find someone with the right kind of people skills to match your students’ needs.

5. What kind of online tools is the tutor using?

Lastly, as your tutor is going to be working online, you’ll want to know what kind of tools they are using for their lessons.

Fundamentally, when it comes to the tech, you want to know that you or your students will have an easy way to contact the tutor and that the lessons will be easy to navigate. Essentially, you want everything to run smoothly.

If you have extra criteria such as access to immediate or last-minute support, make sure you work with a tutor or a tutoring platform that has clear methods in place for dealing with these requests. 

You may also want to find out more details about the tools students can use during lessons so they can share work with the tutor. Will the students have access to interactive software, if needed?

Making sure your tutors have the right tech in place will mean that your students can feel the full benefits of how time-efficient and flexible online tutoring can be.

Time to give online tutoring a try!

Finding the right tutor for your students is important, and doing so can take time.

One way to make the process easier and faster is by working with a trusted provider like Skooli.

Skooli vets tutors in advance to make sure they are highly qualified and HR-approved. 

On the Skooli site, you can browse through tutor profiles to find a good match for your students and find clear and easy information about how to organize sessions or get in touch for last minute support.

Sign up here for more information about using Skooli at your school.

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