5 tips for choosing your school’s online tutoring platform

young student smiling in front of laptop

There are many reasons why you might want to invest in an online tutoring platform for your school. 

Perhaps you have students who would benefit from the extra support that an established tutoring service can provide? 

Plus, 1:1 tuition that’s easy to access and user-friendly is often ideal for learners who might be struggling to keep up in class, or who are perhaps disadvantaged through no fault of their own. 

Although it’s only natural for schools to prioritize online support for those in most obvious need, it’s also important to understand that a diverse range of students can take advantage of 1:1 virtual programs

Online learning is empowering because it enables independent learners to take ownership of their education. 

Virtual platforms also allow users to browse tutor profiles and make decisions on their academic needs without relying on a third party. 

This is a great way for students to gain more self-confidence and improve both interpersonal and online skills.   

The spread of COVID-19 has resulted in more schools investing in online tutoring platforms because social distancing guidelines do not restrict them. 

But how do you know which service will work best for you?

A great place to start is right here with our detailed guide on what to do before committing to 1:1 online tuition. Here are the top 5 considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Research your 1:1 tutoring options.
  2. Use a tutoring platform that is safe and secure.
  3. Find a platform that has a user-friendly interface.
  4. Choose a 1:1 platform that tutors love.
  5. Invest in a service that can fulfil your specific needs. 

1. Research your 1:1 tutoring options. 

Sure, it might be tempting to base your decision on a quick Google search for the best online tutoring platforms, but this would be a mistake. 

Not all e-learning companies offer the same services. Some will be more suitable than others. 

Before you start browsing different websites, it’s a good idea to brainstorm a few questions to help you make the right decision. 

Here are a few factors worth considering: 

  • Can you view detailed profiles of all the tutors on the platform? 
  • Are tutors fully licensed and vetted during registration?
  • Does the website offer great support? Double-check there’s a 24/7 live chat function on the site. 
  • Are payments quick and easy to make? 
  • Are lessons live, and does the platform use a secure virtual classroom? More on that later.
  • Is it affordable? And does it allow for flexible payment options?

You should also consider how experienced the platform is in providing quality online education before you sign up. 

Skooli offers all of the above and is also an established industry leader

2. Use a tutoring platform that is safe and secure. 

Some 1:1 online tutoring providers use integrated video conferencing apps like Zoom or Skype to conduct their lessons. 

The problem with these web-based platforms is that they are not secure and because they are multi-purpose they can’t provide the immersive learning experience you can only get from custom-built software, like Skooli. 

It’s always a good idea to research what type of video conferring app each platform you’re considering uses. 

If they favor custom-made software, this will usually be made clear on their website. 

You need to make sure your students are getting good value for your investment, and a virtual learning platform can only be effective if it’s using technology that’s purposefully built. 

One of the benefits of virtual learning is that it encourages independent thinking.  

young student wearing headphones raises hand in front of laptop for online tutoring

But you still need to prioritize the safety of your students, especially if you’re helping vulnerable learners sign up and navigate 1:1 online tuition spaces. 

Make sure you understand how seriously each platform takes its security. One way you can do this is by visiting a website’s tutor page, or its equivalent. 

You should also learn more about what credentials are needed to register as a teacher on a particular platform. 

If the steps are unclear or successful registration looks like it’s guaranteed, you might want to look elsewhere. 

Unlike Skooli, many e-learning providers do not carry out comprehensive criminal background checks on tutors and don’t always require candidates to be fully licensed to teach. 

3. Find a platform that has a user-friendly interface.

Why would you want to waste time on a platform that is clunky and awkward to navigate? 

If the information you need is neither organized nor logical, what does that say about the overall package? 

Almost by definition, virtual learning should be seamless, easy to access and interactive.

If you have students who will need extra support in using the software, the last thing you want to expose them to is a platform that you have difficulty managing. 

Before you commit to any 1:1 tutoring services, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the platform and consider how it looks from your students’ perspective. 

young woman in front of laptop taking notes during an online learning session

Questions to ask yourself are:

  • Will they all find it easy to navigate? 
  • Is it likely to be stimulating and fun to use? 
  • Are tutor profiles straightforward and easy to read?
  • Can it be accessed across multiple devices, including phones and tablets?
  • Does it have great support that’s always available?

Technology-based solutions are what online tutoring platforms specialize in, so it’s important to choose one that simplifies the user experience. 

At Skooli, we understand that 1:1 online tuition often works best for schools looking to support students with their homework. 

instant help request

That’s why we created instant homework help requests

We want to help your learners get quick and easy access to quality support at a time convenient for them.  

4. Choose a 1:1 platform that tutors love. 

Sounds obvious, right? 

If a tutoring service is populated with a lot of qualified teachers, then it’s definitely worth exploring in more detail. 

Word gets around, and educators are likely to gravitate toward online platforms with a proven track record. 

How does this benefit schools, you ask?

More teachers will usually lead to greater diversity in the range of subjects that can be offered.

This is vital for schools looking to support learners in core subjects connected to the SAT like Math, Science, English, and Foreign Languages. 

This is one more reason why it’s a good idea to spend time browsing tutor profiles. 

It’s important to gauge both the general level of teaching experience across a platform and whether or not there is ample support in the subjects your students need the most help with. 

Skooli, for example, is home to thousands of licensed teachers who support more than 400 000 students across the K-12 curriculum. 

5.  Invest in a service that can fulfill your specific needs. 

Perhaps you just need some additional homework support for your students on an ad-hoc basis?

Or maybe you want something more comprehensive that you can integrate alongside your school’s virtual in-class lessons?  

An effective e-learning platform will be versatile and able to cater to all your students’ needs. 

Is your school signed up to a Federal TRIO program like Upward Bound or Upward Bound Math-Science

If so, you might be interested to know that 1:1 online tuition can be of lasting benefit to disadvantaged and disabled high school students. 

Many learners struggle with Math, but it can be particularly problematic for students who find it difficult to concentrate, who lack self-confidence and are afraid of making mistakes in front of their peers.

An online tutoring service can help reinforce a lot of the basic principles you’re trying to teach in a way that is pressure-free, fully customizable and values the privacy of your learners.   

Know which 1:1 online platform will work best for your school. 

Finding the right tutoring service for your school goes beyond a simple Google search. 

At least it does if you want to get it right the first time! 

You need to consider several factors before settling on a virtual platform that will play an important role in your students’ education. 

Safety, accessibility, subject availability and the quality of tutors using the platform are all crucial elements that can impact the 1:1 online learning experience. 

Learn more about how our advanced digital classroom and expertise in online tutoring can help learners at your school reach their full potential. 

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