Online Tutoring Skills

From the characterisation of academic learning and OLS above, it is clear that, althought similar in many respects to more traditional approaches and even to face-to-face delivery, constructivist online tutoring is distinct in a number of ways. Numerous authors, such as Gerrard and McPherson and Nunes, assess the online environment in caparison to f2f, as follows:

  • Places greater emphasis on written skills;
  • Produces a more formal tone;
  • does not follow a linear conversation but instead promotes multiple conversations;
  • does not confine tutoring to specific times;
  • places greater emphasis on student-student learning;
  • requires tutors to develop new ways of encouraging participation;
  • requires tutors to access the worth of online contributions.

Therefore, even for the more experienced f2f tutors, there is much knowldege to be acquired about the skills required for online tutoring. However, in addition to the subject matter expertise and traditional pedagogical training, the online tutor must be able to demonstrate additional skills necessary to be successful in a constructivist REAL, such as the ability to;

  • Plan and organise delivery by clearly specifying learning objective and outcomes;
  • set learning agendas and provide leadership and scaffolding in learning activities;
  • welcome and embrace diversity of learning outcomes, attitudes and styles;
  • adapt supporting styles to the needs of individual participants;
  • provide advice on different levels of access to learning materials according to the needs of individual participants;
  • Create an atmosphere of collaborative learning of which the e-tutor him/ herself is often an integral part;
  • Be able to cope with and resolve online conferencing conflicts and difficult behaviours;
  • encourage active construction of knowledge by being actively involved in discussions, activities and debates;
  • develop and implement methods for learner feedback and reinforcement;
  • present advance organisers into the content materials and advise on learning pace so as to avoid cognitive overload and information anxiety.

These constructivist online tutoring skills, necessary to support academic learning, pose particular challenges, since very often the tutors have not themselves undergone a constructivist tutoring experience.

Online Tutoring Strategies

Online Tutoring delivery strategies must address issues relating to: online learner skills; online learning facilitation, tutoring and support; the effective and appropriate use of online learning materials; the use of computer-mediated communication tools to enable both peer-to-tutor and peer-to-peer interaction; as well as tutor strategies, skills and training. Often, online learning makes use of virtual learning environments, which then imply an extra level of complexity for the learner and additional problems of maintenance, communication and support for tutors.

In order to address some of these issues, Salmon proposed a model developed through action research. This five-step model provides a ‘set of constructs’ that can be used as a guide to online tutoring: providing Access and motivation for and of learners; engaging in Online socialisation with learners in order to enable participants to gain familiarity with the online environment; enabling and facilitating Information Exchange; facilitating and encouraging knowledge Construction through the designed environment; and finally providing scaffolding for Development of online skills and behaviours that enable learners to pursue their learning objectives.


Like advising, tutoring services are often overlooked with web-based students. Many colleges and universities provide some type of campus-based tutoring services. These may be supplied via a teaching and learning center, through the library, or through special university services. Often tutors are advanced students or graduate students being paid as campus resources. If you provide tutoring services to your campus-based students, you must also provide those same services to your distance students. Again, these services are best provided via the web.

In addition to e-mail message boards for questions and answers, tutoring services may also use all the tools afforded professors and instructors. It is possible that tutors or departments would build entire “courses” for tutoring. For example, you might use your CMS system and have an open login for all pre-algebra math courses. Within this tutoring course, several tutors may be available -each with individual links, examples of problem sets, and e-mail contacts. Alternatively, individual tutors may wish to create their own Web presence that fits their specific tutoring needs.

Because tutoring can be so individualized, it is important to allow tutors to have use of all the tools of a CMS system – e-mail, message board, web pages, white board, chat rooms, and shared student work spaces. Of particular use to the tutoring sitting next to  a student with a piece of paper and being able to draw diagrams, work problems, and circle important elements of an assignment.

As with advising services, it is important for the tutor not only to provide one-to-one asynchronous services, such as e-mail, but also to offer real-time services via chat office hours or whiteboard problem-solving sessions. Also, it is important to train tutors in the same communication skills regarding writing and misinterpretation. Both language and cultural differences, in addition to the already stressful environment of tutoring, can play a significant role in these written communications. Therefore, it is wise to provide some anticipatory training prior to implementing any full-scale tutoring program.

Virtual learning in K-12 Education

Online learning has been on a rise with around 47% increase in the year 2008 as compared to the preceding years. Sloan Consortium, an independent organization which monitors the online education in K-12 & lower schools in the US puts the number of students taking the online education to be around 1,030,000.

That’s a big jump, by any standards, but hardly surprising. The internet has become a place to do many things but above all it remains the place where people turn for information. With ever-faster broadband available to more and more people and innovations in web technologies marching on, it’s not longer just about looking up that information, as you would with a book. Static pages are old hat. With the interactive possibilities of Web 2.0 the possibilities for using the internet in innovative ways in education are multiplying exponentially. Today tutors use videos, online presentations & webinars to teach students.

That’s great news for students everywhere. It’s also great news for anyone with the knowledge to pass on their skills, by becoming an online tutor. Online tutor jobs are an ideal solution for educators of all kinds to help others and make a living (or supplement their existing income) in financially challenging times. As long as people want and need to learn, jobs for tutors will always be available.

If you’re considering applying for online tutor jobs, the main requirements are excellent knowledge of your subject and the ability to communicate that knowledge effectively. But there’s a bit more to it. Just because there are plenty of tutor jobs available doesn’t mean you can just set up shop. Anyone considering applying for online tutoring jobs needs to get a grip on the medium and its potentials.

Online learning is obviously not quite the same as traditional teaching, even though tutors can interact with students in real time, perhaps using video. The first years of online education were based on replicating traditional, instructor-led teaching practices. Often learning was based on modules or educational packages that learners worked through in their own time, before hooking up with instructors for assessment, feedback and guidance.

With Web 2.0, e-learning is all about making the most of the interactive possibilities available. Its about learners using the possibilities that computers offer for simulating environments that permit practical learning. Online learning communities stimulate learning through participation, through webinars, forums and sharing of experiences. Computers offer ways of making learning engaging and fun. Some educational institutions have even set up virtual classrooms on Second Life!

If you are planning to get yourself online tutoring jobs, it’s worth noting that the best tutors are those who understand how online learning works and how the internet has the capacity to enhance the educational experience. An online tutoring job isn’t only about teaching others. For most online tutors it will be a learning process in itself, as technology changes teaching strategies and we learn more about how online learning can outstrip traditional pedagogical methods. One thing is for certain. Those who master the medium will tell you that online tutoring is a rewarding one.

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Benefits of online learning

There are many reasons due to which students are getting more attracted towards online learning. Although, most of the students are taught at schools and even parents teach them many a times but they are not able to keep a hold on the subject. The main reason could be that teachers are not able to give private attention to all of their students due to the large number of students in the classes that they wander for private coaching & learning.

Sometimes, students are not at all able to concentrate on elementary education for they are more inclined towards other disciplines such as theatre, sports, music, etc. and they go for personalized tuitions & learning. Some of the benefits that the students get out of online learning are:

  1. Attention: Students get personalized attention from the tutors, like they can ask a question any number of times and clear their doubts, if any. Also, the tutor can refer books, tutorials, online material, etc. to the student if he finds an interest in the student to learn more about the topic.
  2. Time: Students may not be able to give time to classes, etc. at daytime due to their commitment/ inclination towards disciplines like music, sports, theatre, etc. and may find time at the night when classes don’t happen.

Online tutoring tools

Online tutoring has become one of the highest paying jobs available on the internet. One can teach in their part-time or full-time to maximize earnings. Websites provide tools which can be used to teach students residing across the oceans. Some of the tools that are frequently used to teach online are:

  1. AOL Instant Messenger
    Available for Linux, Mac & Win X, AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM, has some unique features which make it suitable for online tutoring. The buddy list of AIM provides updates from friends & their social networks as well. You can watch videos right from the buddy list which make it suitable for voice, video & online chat. Also, you can send/ receive IMs directly from your cellphone.
  2. Google Talk
    Google Talk is the most famous tool today to chat in voice or in video for it provides video chat facility right within the chat in Gmail. Also, you can use Gtalk to interact with students or teachers.
  3. MSN Messenger
    MSN Web Messenger allows you to voice, video & chat online with students & teachers using your mobile phone or from within your Windows Live Hotmail if you are away from your home PC. It has general features of all of the messengers making it suitable for tutoring online.
  4. Skype
    Skype is the most important tool for tutoring online as it doesn’t require the other person to have a PC for interaction with you. Within minimal fees you can call students or teachers on their mobile phones or lanlines. Also, you can chat with them with voice & video features to maximize the potential of skype.
  5. Yahoo Messenger
    Yahoo Messenger also has inbuilt chat within Yahoo Mail which you can use to interact with tutors & students. And its famous messenger can be used to chat with voice & video and clear doubts.

Hello world!

Hello & welcome to the world of Online Tutoring. We are here to provide you access to the resources such as:

  • Online Tutoring Companies
  • Jobs
  • Services
  • Softwares
  • Videos
  • College Tutoring & more…

As the world is getting smaller day by day with the advent of internet in all areas of study & education, the means of online learning & tutoring are gaining popularity. Books had already been converted into online libraries and today a student from Washington can get an advice of a tutor from India with tools such as Skype, AIM, Yahoo Chat, Gmail Chat & MSN Messenger. Tutoring industry is being defined as the next big thing and we are here to help you in your endeavour to learn or earn.