Online tutoring has established itself as an efficient, affordable and effective method for students to achieve academic support in subjects taught in the classroom. Beyond convenience, the best online tutoring firms use technology that further enhances the effectiveness of instruction and it can often costs significantly less than in-person tutoring at the library of coffee shop.
Tutoring online is private, which can be vital for a student who is reluctant to receive academic support from a tutor, especially if it will take place at school or a public location or at school where their peers can see them. With online tutoring, students can receive live, professional instruction from the comfort of their home or computer lab.
While the benefits of using an online tutoring service may outshine using an in-person tutor, several considerations should be made when selecting a provider. The following list will help determine if a tutoring company is a good fit for your school’s children:
1. Tutoring Firm Reputation
It only takes a few moments for parents and schools to check if an online tutoring company has a positive reputation of providing quality educational services. A good place to start is the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org), Yelp (www.yelp.com) and review sites like Top Ten Reviews (http://www.toptenreviews.com/services/education/best-online-tutoring-services/) ,
2. Tutor / Teacher Credentials
How experienced is a firm’s tutors? The credentials of a tutor are one of the most important criteria to consider when choosing a service. Review the firm’s policies for engaging tutors to ensure that they require a minimum amount of experience and education. You should also review specific tutor profiles to determine their experience, training, education, and if a background check was performed (a reputable firm will always run a background check). When you are ready to make a decision, always ask questions! Email the firm or tutor and ask for additional information on their experience.
The tutor should either be a certified teacher or have extensive knowledge in the subjects being taught, in addition to having experience teaching the appropriate age range. The most effective tutors will have a minimum of two years’ experience as a teacher or tutor. Students with learning disabilities should be paired with tutors who are trained in this area to ensure the correct learning techniques are being used.
3. Check Tutor Availability
Ideally, tutoring should take place at a time when the student is going to be the most receptive. Will the tutors be available to accommodate your students’ schedules?
Dr. Sahil Mehta, founder of MedSchoolCoach, a company that helps students with their journey to medical school, states: “I think in evaluating an online tutoring company one really has to consider the fit of the tutor to the student and the flexibility of the company in assigning another tutor, if things don’t work out.” Ask what the protocol is if a tutor and student are not forming a good relationship.
4. Does the Firm Offer Innovative Teaching Methods
Learning technology is now being utilized by leading online tutoring firms to provide a comprehensive and effective tutoring package. In addition to standard audio and video streaming, today’s online classrooms should offer a complete whiteboard system for sharing work, files and video as well as quiz modules for real-time learning analysis, math and science notation tools and class recording for future review.
Prior to and during a live session, tutors should have access to learning materials that they can use to demonstrate concepts to a student. Additionally, information on the student’s past work, goals and learning styles should be available for the tutors review during a session.
5. Check a Tutoring Firm’s References
The company should have a good reputation and record of successful outcomes, but before committing, ask for references and check to see if the site offers testimonials from actual users. Contact the firm and ask for references and testimonials from students that have similar needs to yours.
6. Cost of Tutoring
Cost is, of course, a consideration when choosing a tutoring service. It is important to find one that fits your needs, but also fits your budget. A reputable online tutoring firm will provide clear pricing options and often will offer discounts for monthly commitments. Again, be sure to check the Better Business Bureau to ensure that the firm doesn’t have any outstanding complaints regarding payments.
An Online Tutoring Option
Achieving an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (August 31, 2016), TutaPoint’s sole focus is to help students achieve academic success. TutaPoint gives school districts and parents innovative tools to help improve student performance both in the classroom and on standardized tests.