Being effective as an online tutor

Being effective as an online tutor

Many experienced tutors, even those who have tutored for a long time, struggled when they did their first online session. This is because they are used to the dynamic that occurs in a face-to-face session. Online is similar, but there are some key differences to take into account. Below are a few tips for you as you tutor online, whether it is a class of one or more.

Simple Questions

Before giving your tutees a specific task to do after you have completed your talk on theory or the activity, ask your tutee the simple question of what they are now expected to do. This practice will ensure that the tutee has the opportunity to admit they stopped listening, which is easy to do in an online setting, allows them to ask any questions before they begin the task and reassures you that they know what they are going to do as part of the session.


Asking a tutee to follow a physical material in front of them in a one-on-one physical tutoring session is hard enough, getting them to engage with the material on their screens is an entirely different endeavour. You can get around this by utilising materials that can be accessed easily via email/chats, can be shared on your screen during the session or the tutee can open them during the session and share screen with you. The materials should engage the tutee and allow them to quickly become aware and familiar with the subject matter. This may eat into your preparation time, but the results are worth it.

Recording and extras

Once the session begins, you could give your tutee the benefit of being able to review the session again by asking them if you’re fine to record the session. This means that once the session is over, the tutee can review the recording instead of contacting you to clarify anything. As well as this, you can always leave links to resources/additional information/homework easily accessible in the chat function, this means that the tutee can access these links as well if they require any clarification.

Sign up at to discover how to grow your own tutoring business and follow us on Twitter for tips on how to be a better tutor