What Exactly is Online Tutoring?

With the explosion of computer usage worldwide, it is not surprising that online tutoring would gain popularity with students. Online tutoring works much the same way that traditional at-home tutoring does. You log on to your computer, and through online “classrooms” or instant messaging, you actually will get the help you need on the subjects that you are having difficulty in.

Thanks to the internet, your computer will allow you to have access to qualified professionals practically around the clock.

Is Everything Offered Through Schools “Online Tutoring”?

That is a big no. To be true online tutoring, you need to have a feeling of a classroom or face-to-face learning session. There is a back and forth component to online tutoring that the following examples don’t provide:

  1. You download several text documents for a nominal fee – whether it is for a computer science course or a biology course. You study the files and probably take some sort of online test…this is not online tutoring.
  2. You download a computer software program or receive a CD-ROM for a nominal fee. This program provides you with some instruction and a few practice exercises…this is not online tutoring.

When students are engaged in true online tutoring, they will feel like they are interacting with the professional teaching them. In many cases, online tutoring sessions will occur in “real time”, meaning questions of the students are answered immediately by the professional. It will not be like the online bookstore in example number one or the self-study course in example number two. It will be hard work!

Are All Online Tutoring Providers The Same?

Again, that is a no. Some online tutoring providers focus on helping elementary-aged children, while others focus on SAT/ACT study or college coursework. To find the right one for your needs will take some time and a little research.

You will also want to look for an individual or company with a good reputation. When working in the cyber-world, you cannot see a diploma hanging on the wall behind your tutor. Make sure to ask for references, accreditation, and years experience when you go with an individual. When you work with a company, check them out with the Better Business Bureau and look for licensing information.