When you're tutoring online, it is imperative that you have the session run as smooth as possible, without delays or mistakes. Whether you are coaching a student as a personal trainer over a webcam, or explaining theoretical concepts, here's 3 tips for your online session.
Tips for online sessions
1) Files at the ready!
Always ensure that you have any files that you're sharing, or will be using with your students, ready before the session begins. This extra bit of preparation means that you are easily able to adapt during the session, if your student is ahead, you have additional work, as well as having them to hand means less time is wasted where you are looking for the appropriate work to give to them.
2) Keep them in the loop
While you are reviewing and checking work, it is important that due to the lack of in-person presence, when you're reviewing the student's work, they are unaware what you are doing in the moments of pause. To help counteract this, find ways to ensure the student knows what you're doing. This could be as simple as speaking out loud phrases like 'just reading your work', 'I'm halfway through your answers' or 'good work on question...' to keep the student aware that you are working on seeing their work is good. This can also lead to recurring feedback, where the student can see your real time reactions to their work, mimicking the in-person feel of a lesson.
3) Don't lose your head
If you do at some point in your session have technical difficulties, it is critical that you do not lose patience with the student, or your technology, as easy as it may be in the moment. Reacting in the moment will only spread the feeling of frustration, and that spreading while in a session is not good for anyone. If you stay calm and navigate the technical difficulties with no sense of burden spreading to your students, it will be as if they never happened, once the issue is resolved.
Of course, not all issues can be resolved, so if the technical or connection issues do take up a considerable amount of time in the session, it is important you remain flexible about how to go about catching up or even making up the session in extreme cases. The key thing is not to show your frustration, as this only adds more fuel to the fire of frustration to your students.
Keeping these in mind, your online session will run more efficiently, and so even with hiccups, you have mediating tactics on how to maintain a student's engagement, and that they are aware of what you are doing, with little to no time wasted on non-issues like looking for files.
Happy tutoring and remember to stay on top of your classes by using ClassCaptain