Many people shy away from online tutoring, feeling that there is no substitute for in-person help. It’s true that the two are different, but I’d argue that each has its own advantages. Here’s a brief overview of why I think online tutoring can be great!
- You have access to experts in specific subject areas that may not be addressed in your immediate community. Sometimes you need help in upper-level biochemistry, fluid mechanics, or equine physiology. Odds are, you won’t find someone who knows the subject well enough to help you and is close enough to come to your home or meet you somewhere nearby. By considering online tutoring, you expand the pool of possible tutors to people all over the world! In fact, I am tutoring two students online, one of whom is foreign, both of whom choose me as their tutor because of my astronomy degrees.
- Tutoring online allows for more flexible scheduling. Many tutors are willing to start earlier and/or end later when tutoring online, since they do not have to factor in travel time. This goes for you as well! Maybe you’re a college student and only have an hour between two classes in the same building. You wouldn’t have time to get to the library, have a full hour-long session, and get back to your next class on time. However, if you can find a quiet place, you do have time for an online tutoring session!
- It is more likely that you can book a last-minute session if it’s online. Sometimes you need help within the next hour or two in order to complete an assignment. It’s hard for tutors to commit to last-minute, in-person sessions, but if they are already home, all they have to do is turn on their computer to join an online session. This makes it more likely that they can be available to tutor last-minute.
- Some people feel more secure meeting virtually. For some, especially if they are choosing a tutor for their young child, it can be anxiety-inducing to think about inviting a stranger into their home. Though the vast majority of the time, tutors are exactly who they say they are, I understand this apprehension. Online tutoring still allows for plenty of interaction between student and tutor while maintaining privacy.
- Online tutoring platforms include many tools to facilitate interaction and collaboration. You might be surprised at how well these online platforms simulate face-to-face interactions. Most have an interactive virtual whiteboard which allows students and tutors to jointly work on math problems and jot down notes and equations. There are code editors and text editors for essay editing. Students and tutors can communicate by audio, video, and text chat, and share documents, instructional videos, and other files.
I hope I’ve changed your mind about the uses of online tutoring, or at least given you something to think about! If you want more information about how online tutoring with me works, check out my explanation here.