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Everything about Online Tutoring

Updated on July 4, 2012
nkrohini profile image

Kavitha Rajeevkumar was a lecturer of Management. She is a chocolatier and Home baker now. Also takes cookery classes.

What is Online Tutoring?

Online tutoring is the use of the Internet for tutoring activities. It is the process by which a student learns via the Internet with the help of a subject matter expert or a tutor. This type of tutoring can make use of several web-based programs to achieve its goals. Some of these programs or applications are email, an instant messaging, online whiteboards, etc. Online tutoring is most effective when voice, video, graphics, and text can all be used at the same time. Through these programs or applications a tutor can send quizzes, receive accomplished exams, send quiz results and recommendations, teach concepts, help/clarify with confusing part of a topic/text, solve problems, help or advice on assignments or homework, assist in applying concepts, etc. Moreover, with online tutoring, students can learn at their own pace and from the comfort of their homes.

Online tutoring can be applied to students of all levels that is from 1st grade to college and further. Parents/students register with a tutoring company and choose one of the several packages on offer. Students can thereafter schedule their classes entirely as per their convenience. The sessions can be held 24/7 basis. There are monthly payments and hourly payment work options. In case, the student is not satisfied with your session, some tutoring companies promises to return the money what you have charged from them.

Requirements for Online Tutoring

For online tutoring, a broadband connection with a minimum speed of 128 kilobytes per second is prescribed. This will ensure that the tutoring process will be smooth. A headset containing a microphone and a speaker to be used in conjunction with voice chat applications is also required. An online whiteboard or a shared screen where the lesson will be posted and discussed and a web camera for videos are also necessary.

Being a tutor requires special knowledge and skills in the subject of your interest. Tutors' are typically post-graduates/ doctorates/ graduates with tutoring experience. All prospective tutors are tested for subject knowledge, IQ and EQ. One need to be sensitive to the intellectual and emotional needs of your student(s). Excellent oral and interpersonal communications, adhering to the time schedule, performing duties in a professional and responsible manner, good English, are other requirements most of the tutoring companies look for.

Some companies offer rigorous training and certification process to become certified tutors. All teachers also undergo extensive third party background checks before being recruited. Tutors get rating from their students and those with lower ratings get self-selected out from the system.

Online tutoring subjects

Tutors to cover from pre-school to beyond University. Online tutoring opportunities exist at age 4 and upwards across all primary, SATS, 11+, GCSE, Scottish Standard Grade, AS-A-levels, Highers, Special Needs and all school or college levels, HNC, HND, TEC, Degree, Professional Exams, PhD, Adult learners - all ages and levels. Families, individuals, groups, and Corporate training - business subjects and content individually-tailored for the most exacting commercial clients.

Over 200 different subjects are available for teaching online like Mathematics, geography, geology, history, general studies, philosophy, sciences, languages, music, arts, humanities, economics, and English. Commercial and vocational subjects such as Engineering, Medicine, Business, Law and Commerce. All modern and classical languages, voice coaching and music lessons, hobby classes, etc. English at all levels from basic to beyond university including business letter-writing, creative writing and statistics, elocution, study skills, public speaking, presentation skills, accent removal, etc. Typing, word processing, Accountancy, book-keeping, taxation, etc. All sciences - physics, chemistry, biology plus human biology, zoology, pharmacy, pharmacology, astronomy, etc. Computer languages such as C (and variants), PASCAL, VB, JSP, JAVA, HTML, ASP, SQL, ,IT skills like use of PC's, windows, office programs, spreadsheets, databases, graphic design, computer animation, web-design, etc. All musical instruments from beginners to professional standard, music theory and music as an academic subject, singing and voice production.

The list is comprehensive.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees vary according to factors like Level being tutored - eg GCSE, Degree etc, Number of students being tutored, Location (some agencies charge different fees for different parts of the country), Subject, Method of delivery, Sitting of lessons, - ie whether the tutor must travel or not and Contractual structure - it can be a bit dearer to go via an agency but there should be more back-up and less administrative work for the client this way.

Pros and Cons

For the tutor, the pros are many:

Online tutors can work from any location equipped with an Internet connection, and at any time of the day or night.

Online tutoring means adding another string to your bow as a teacher -as the Internet becomes increasingly omnipresent, and the demand for online study grows, so will the demand for trained and experienced online tutors.

And of course, for any teacher, learning new skills and developing oneself professionally is usually a hugely rewarding experience.

As for cons, the few negatives:

One is the amount of time that online tutoring takes up, not only in providing constant learner support and feedback, but in designing new materials for online delivery if you do not already have these ready.

Another negative is that institutions who implement e-learning often see it as the economical alternative to face to face teaching, and underestimate the amount of hours that an online tutor will need to put in to run a successful online course and underpay them.

Tips for online tutors

Get some qualifications: There are a few organisations offering online tutor training courses, and experiencing an online course yourself can really help you become a good online tutor.

Get more IT training: You will need to be able to answer technical questions and general Internet questions, as well as course-related queries. Be prepared for this.

Never assume anything: First-time online participants will need plenty of support, encouragement and motivational input. Drop out rates for online courses tend to be quite high.

Create the right environment: Spend time on socialisation and group dynamic. An online course will wither and die without it.

Deal with problems overtly: Encourage open discussion of ongoing problems and issues in your online group - be proactive. Set a few simple rules, establish terms/ times of your availability during the course.

Develop participant skills: Work with your learners to explore how knowledge is constructed, assimilated and dealt with online. Help them to gain the skills they need to get the most out of the course.

Reflect and revise: Each course you run will flag up problems, issues and potential for improvement. Listen to your participant feedback and be open to incorporating the best of it into future versions of your courses.

Some online Tutoring sites are kidspan, smartthinking, tutorvista, growingstars, buddyschool, etc.


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    • bdizzle99 profile image


      6 years ago from Bethesda, MD

      Great tips in this article, very thorough, thanks! It is important that tutors stay up-to-date with technology, as a lot of tutoring is really shifting online as it drives down cost because of the increased competition versus hiring a local tutor.

    • EducationIndia profile image


      7 years ago

      I agree with Piyush that websites are indeed good for practicing. Another good website for Math practice is

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I found websites useful when it comes to practice. For Maths practice, I use website for my son.

    • wdoutjah profile image


      7 years ago from Cebu City, Philippines

      I know another great online tutoring site too. its an australian based online tutor, learning is based on letterbox. check them out at .great site.

    • sminut13 profile image


      8 years ago from singapore

      this is really really helpful. i have been giving tutions to students about 6 max in a group but i've felt that i need to upgrade myself more, learn more ways to teach. this is great, although IT requirements and good computer with webcam and videos are a must so for now, i'm out until i buy a new computer and webcam hehe. but a great hub with lots of information and links. love it.

    • nkrohini profile imageAUTHOR

      Kavitha Rajeev Kumar 

      8 years ago from India

      True Ab Kr!

    • profile image

      Ab Kr 

      8 years ago

      Online Tutoring is gaining popularity because of its flexibility, affordability and customability.


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