The world of online learning is new to a lot of students and teachers who are still adapting to a modern learning system. Stepping into a virtual classroom for the first time to tutor students using e-learning techniques and tools can be daunting, and you are bound to make a few mistakes in the process. Here, we discuss some common online tutoring mistakes and how to fix them.
1. Ill-equipped for virtual classroom participation
First and foremost, tutors must have quality equipment to conduct online classes. Invest in a good laptop with a built-in camera, a headset with a microphone, and a stable and speedy Internet connection. Always test the equipment and whatever applications you use to conduct an online class to ensure a smooth operation.
2. Distracting background in a virtual classroom
A student’s concentration in online learning can be disrupted by distracting background settings and sounds. Therefore, choose a neutral space in your home to set up the online tutoring session. Ensure your housemates, be it humans or pets, don’t interrupt your tutoring sessions as it will distract students from the learning process.
3. Dressing inappropriately for online classes
Although online classes are conducted in the comfort of your home, you have to dress professionally for the duration of the tutoring session. It’s easy for students to forget decorum and etiquette without proper monitoring in an online class. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to set a professional tone in a virtual classroom setting by dressing appropriately.
4. Going in unprepared for online tutoring sessions
Time management is of the essence in any learning process. Make it a habit to prepare weekly and monthly lesson plans for the subjects you teach much like how you would create a traditional lesson plan for brick-and-mortar classroom learning. Online learning has wiped out the location constraint but not the time constraint. Therefore, planning and preparation for online classes are vital to effectively manage the curriculum.
5. Unlimited tutor talk-time in online learning
Communication is complete only when the listener is allowed to convey feedback about what the speaker has said. Tutors must encourage students to ask questions and give feedback on the day’s classwork. This way, the monotony of hearing the tutor talk for the majority of the class duration is cut down. Keep the tutoring sessions lively by having one-to-one interactions.
6. Students coming unprepared for the class
Tutors should give a preview of what topic will be taught in the next session so that students can come prepared for the forthcoming class. This preparation will save you time and effort in teaching a new topic. It will also help students gain confidence in the subject matter as they develop the habit of self-learning.
7. Lack of communication with parents
Tutors should establish an open communication channel with the students’ parents so that they can coordinate with each other on how to instruct the kids on virtual classroom etiquettes. Parents can help tutors by making sure their kids are well-equipped for online learning. They can unobtrusively monitor their kids to make sure classwork and homework are done on time.
8. Uncoordinated online classes with students in different time zones
Digital learning tools and technologies have broadened the horizon for students from all over the world to take up classes in any school or university regardless of their locations and time zones. Tutors must make a conscious effort to adjust class timetables to accommodate students from different time zones in their online tutoring sessions.
Now that you are aware of the common online tutoring mistakes and their solutions, it will become easier for you to master the process of online learning. Remember, students take cues from the teacher, therefore, it’s up to you to set a good example for them. Once you have learned the ins and outs of online learning, it becomes easier to make the most of the resources given to you and help your students derive the benefits of online learning.