Keystone has been a pioneer in online tutoring, successfully conducting thousands of hours of online tutoring sessions over a number of years. In this post, experienced online tutor, Daniel Glorioso answers frequently asked questions about online tutoring. Keystone has also put together a video on online tutoring in which you can see lessons in action. Please let us know if you have any other questions not covered here.
What is online tutoring?
Online tutoring is the practice that emulates what can be done in in-person tutorials, adding flexibility in location and scheduling. Online lessons make use of video conferencing software (Skype) as well as an interactive online whiteboard to create engaging and enriching sessions.
How effective an online tutoring system can be?
Most students new to online tutoring immediately feel enthusiastic and engaged through media which are familiar to them. Working on a whiteboard shared in real time with the tutor encourages students to focus and work hard whilst enjoying what they do, and hence develop an excellent attitude towards learning. There is certainly no compromise in online lessons vs in-person lessons.
Are students distracted by the use of electronic media in an online lesson?
In the vast majority of cases, quite the contrary. The use of an interactive whiteboard in real time on a computer screen enhances the quality of the tutoring/learning experience, whilst increasing the student’s attention on the content of the lesson. Even with students who have otherwise shown reluctance, online learning takes students deeper into academic subjects more quickly.
How can parents monitor an online session?
Parents can be present in the same room with their child, can be connected to the whiteboard and Skype from another location, or can view a whiteboard recording afterwards. They can also maintain frequent e-mail or phone contact with the tutor.
What are the minimum system requirements?
Broadband speed of 1Mbps+ is enough for running the whiteboard and Skype. Any modern computer will have the minimum requirements in terms of operating system (e.g. from Windows XP, Mac OS X, Explorer 6, Firefox 2, etc.).
Are headphones with microphone and pen tablets necessary?
The use of headphones with a microphone greatly improves the audio communication.
Handwriting should be encouraged given that school work and exams are predominantly on paper. Handwriting on the whiteboard is made much easier through the use of a pen tablet (e.g. Wacom) or through a touch screen laptop.
How can tutors benefit from online tutoring?
A whiteboard provides tutors with a platform for planning and preparing lessons with pre-uploaded material in the tutor’s own library. Having their material in electronic form makes it much easier to record what's happened in each lesson and share this with the student.
What can go wrong in an online session?
Problems with online tutoring sessions have become increasingly rare as internet connections have improved. For those occasional instances when the internet connection does drop it is advisable to have another way of communicating so that student and tutor could agree to continue the lesson at another time, or just wait for the connection to be restored.
If you have any further questions or would like to setup an online tutoring session then do get in touch.
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