What is an online tutoring service?
Online tutoring has become one of the more popular options for students around the world to get the one-on-one help they need to succeed in all their academic studies. In addition to the traditional learning in the classroom online tutoring services provide supplemental resources, tools, and support which is individualized to the students needs. The primary goal of online tutoring is to offer the professional services of an educated and expert tutor through the use of technology at the student’s convenience. This enables a student to learn from a tutor on a personalized basis with concentration on the areas where a student needs help; facilitating their success in all areas of academics.
This type of assistance enables tutors to work with a student at his or her own pace, working through their weaknesses or problems by a step by step process until they have mastered their difficulties in a subject or subjects. In utilizing technology, such as webcams, web chat, recorded videos tutors are able to administer ‘real-time’ sessions at the student’s convenience.
One of the benefits of receiving tutoring help online is that unlike traditional tutoring it allows a student the opportunity to learn without the stress or expense of traveling or attending an alternative class to get the help they need. Additionally, a ‘real time’ teaching experience online gives students the opportunity to use resources and tools that are not present in the traditional classroom setting. This not only enhances their learning experience, but helps a student build confidence as they conquer their academic difficulties through independent and one-one-one individualized tutorial sessions.
Matching your needs with an online tutoring service
There are undeniably many considerations which will need to be addressed when a student is seeking tutoring assistance from an online service. Meeting the individual needs of a student will be paramount when choosing the ‘right’ online service. The resources, tools, materials available, as well as the level of learning and subjects offered will be key elements in choosing an online tutoring service that will meet a student’s specific needs. The following list outlines the essential elements and key features you should consider when choosing an online tutoring service so a student can fully take advantage of all the benefits an online tutoring service has to offer.
1. Subject Coverage
Generally, online tutoring services offer the standard common core subjects such as Math, Language, Science, English, and Social Studies. However, there are online tutoring services which offer a broad and more diverse range of subjects. It will be important to consider your own personal needs when choosing an online tutoring service that is a right fit for your immediate needs, as well as those you will require in the future. Often, these services will limit themselves to the common core subjects so they can fully concentrate on the resources and tools available for the required educational subjects. Additionally, there are online tutoring services that provide services specific to an academic level. Many offer extensive coverage up until the college level and beyond while others focus on the educational coverage of levels from elementary through high school.
2. Age Range/ Coverage Level
Another consideration in addition to the proper subject coverage will have to be the required grade level for your tutoring help. Some tutoring services solely focus on kindergarten through grade twelve, whereas others will concentrate on the higher levels of college and graduate school. It is imperative to choose the right level specific to your needs especially when your requirements pertain to preparing for state and college exams. Choosing a tutoring service which focuses on your specific academic level and needs will undeniably enable you to optimize your learning experience that is offered by an online tutoring service.
3. Tutor Qualifications
One of the most critical aspects you will need to consider when choosing an online tutoring service will be the competency, experience, and expertise of your personal online tutor. A service which provides retired educators, teachers, or professionals who are academically, intellectually, and emotionally capable of tutoring will ultimately be key factors in making your decision. Services which offer tutors who are dedicated to helping students achieve their academic goals by providing them with the support, resources, and tools that are essential for success, will be paramount to the student’s learning potential. Learning about a particular tutoring services’ recruitment process will enable you to gain a greater insight to the qualifications and experience of their tutors possess.
A student’s learning experience, as well as their successes and achievements will invariably depend on the technology utilized by the service. The most successful and effective online tutoring services will use diverse methods, tools, and a variety of resources to encourage one-on-one communication and interaction between the teacher and student during every tutorial lesson. Services which offer web chat, video messaging, and interactive learning tools such as a visual whiteboards will optimize the learning process because of the informal and personalized nature. They will also instill confidence in a student, as well as enable the student to fully enjoy the experience while using state of the art tools to accomplish their goals.
5. Flexibility and convenience
One of the greatest advantages to using any online tutoring service is their flexibility in scheduling tutoring time at the student’s convenience- not the other way around. A tutoring service which offers 24/7 support, as well as one which allows students the ability to learn at their own pace can structure lessons to meet a student’s individualized needs. This will encourage students to become confident in their ability to learn and will ultimately achieve the greatest results.
6. Pricing, discount packages, and subscriptions
In reviewing the numerous online tutoring services, many have pricing structures that are both comparable to each other, yet, distinctive to the individual companies and the services they provide. Many charge by the hour or minute for the actual time you spend with a professional tutor, a flat hourly rate is typically $30.00 per hour. Many include resources and the time you spend with your tutor in the hourly rate, while others may charge a fee for each resource you choose to use. Another pricing option for users of these online tutoring services is by paying a monthly subscription (which varies between services). This option allows the user to have unlimited access to the resources offered at a specific site. Many online tutoring sites also offer money saving discount packages if you have more than one child participating in the service, as well as for those users who take whole classes on a continuing basis. Bottom line is to do a bit of investigating prior to committing to a service so you can find the best prices, discounts, and packages to suit your needs and budget.
As with any online service that you purchase feeling confident you have made the ‘right’ choice will be paramount to your success. Investing in a service that cannot adequately provide you with the services and coverage of subjects you require will simply be a waste of your time and money. It will be necessary to research and investigate what specific services a company offers, as well as the proficiency, diversity, and experience of its tutors. If your goal is to master a subject, tackle a difficult problem, improve your grades, or prepare for an exam, the quality of service a company offers will be a critical factor in your choice. While you might pay a bit more for a service that has the best tutors, tools, and resources the achievement of your success will undeniably be worth it.