Monday, 30 March 2015

6 simple ways to make online tutoring a more effective learning environment

With advancements in technology and the conveniences of working from home or learning from home, online tutoring offers a great teaching/learning experience. Advantages of online tutoring being learning from the comforts of your own home, one on one interaction with the tutor, saving on travel time to and from coaching centers, learning at your convenient time, the ability of technology to break geographical barriers so that the best teachers can be available on your screen and last but not the least, parental involvement . Regular involvement and feedback of parents is also a vital part of online learning.

Live online classes or online tutoring is not very different from face to face learning. There are many collaborative tools and virtual classrooms that can be used to make it an audio-visual experience.

Popular platforms or tools used are skype as an audio-vido aid with a plug in for white board. Alternatively several virtual classrooms are available such as wiziq, vyew or Webex which can accommodate several students at a time in an online tutoring session.

As discussed earlier, Online learning is not completely different from face to face learning or other forms of learning. In fact it could be more effective. To make an online experience endowed and enriched in knowledge sharing, following approaches could be adopted:

Create a plan Be Proactive. Create a plan and share it accordingly in order to study in tandem.

Share the curriculum and other resources To make the learning experience more effective, it is indispensable to share the curriculum such as CBSE, IGCSE, ICSE, IB , K-12 or Australian and also other resources between the student and the teacher.

Develop a rapport The onus is on both the teachers and the students to develop a rapport. For the teachers, A warm-up activity (Jokes, games, discussion on their favorite topic etc.) based on the interests of the students. For the students it could be responding well to the teacher’s activities. Once the ice is broken, an online tutoring session can be loads of laughs along with good learning

Stay motivated Aptly said by Carol Burnett, “Only I can change my life. No one else can do it for me”. That’s why we recommend Motivation to be key part of all of our sessions. Motivation is a great to tool to achieve extraordinary results. In an online environment, establishment of rapport is key to motivation. Without direct physical contact and interaction with other learners or an instructor, online students might lose their interest or motivation mid-way through their course or program. There are several motivation al tools one can follow such as keeping an eye on the prize, meaning working hard to be successful. Also staying motivated is a very personal thing, talking to a counsellor or taking a counselling session can greatly help set personal goals to stay motivated.

Communicate Good communication is the key to success in online learning. It is important to communicate the instruction techniques that work. It is also important to communicate when reinforcement of concepts or practice is necessary. Communication also includes asking the right questions to bridge gaps in learning.

Take notes Taking notes is indispensible to any learning experience. Note taking could be through the age-old pen-paper technique or making use of the digital concepts available. Animations, videos or other modes available on the GUI of the software being used to teach could also be used. Online recording facilities are available with some collaboration tools.

These simple but effective techniques can greatly enhance the online tutoring/learning experience and help students succeed in their goals.