What Makes a Great Online Tutor

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Nowadays, more and more tutors deliver their services with the help of software and Internet technologies. The transition from traditional to online learning is caused by numerous reasons, particularly by increasing demand for remote education. With the development of new technologies, tools and platforms, tutors that operate online should adapt to the everchanging remote learning trends. It is crucial to be on top of all industry news and trends, be familiar with new platforms in order to implement them in one’s tutoring practice and deliver the best possible online tutoring experience.
However, it is not all about the technologies used. Some of the main qualities that online tutors should possess include patience, attention to detail, personal approach, professionalism. Regardless of the experience level, some of the main tasks for an online tutor are to establish connection with their students and ensure the quality of instruction. This requires not only experience and professional skills but also some personal qualities. Here are some of the recommendations that will help online tutors achieve these goals and be great online tutors.


Online tutors have unlimited resources that can be utilized for teaching students: online dictionaries, professional blogs, mobile apps, online platforms, videos, pictures, etc. When it may be hard to explain something virtually, showing videos or photos can easily help instruct tutees. When using virtual classrooms or whiteboards, familiarize yourself with the platform to avoid technical problems. If they do happen, react to them calmly and have a troubleshooting plan in place. Don’t spend too much time apologizing or dwelling on what went wrong. Technical mistakes happen, move forward and get back to tutoring. It might be a good idea to share the protocol with your student at the beginning of the session, put some troubleshooting tips on an organized, simple Word or PDF file, and go through them with the student before you start instructing.
Be open to new possibilities the Internet world has to offer, have your software always up to date and do not be afraid to experiment with new technologies and tools available on the market. It will help make your sessions more interactive and engaging.

Knowledge of Content

Prepare the content for each studying session in advance and practice it. Preparation will help you a lot while teaching the students in a virtual classroom. It is also a good idea to time your session; make sure you leave enough time for interaction with your tutee and answering questions. Never forget that students and their parents have a purpose and certain academic goals when they hire a tutor, and it’s your responsibility to help them achieve those goals with the help of your educational content and the quality of the studying session.


Even though you teach online from your own home, it does not make sense that you wear pajamas or shorts. Online tutors should maintain a professional appearance while instructing students. Your environment must be professional during the class too. Eliminate background noises, consider using a headset and microphone to maximize your ability to hear the student. If you have a roommate or family members, make sure they are aware of your schedule so they don’t disrupt the tutoring session. Make sure that what’s behind you isn’t distracting. Start and end your class in a timely manner.


It may be hard to get and maintain the tutee’s attention when you are not physically in the same room. Your responsibility as a tutor is to make sure the student is tuned in and not messing around on Facebook or Instagram. If you suspect something is distracting him or her, ask about it. It is a good practice to communicate the rules of conduct with the student in advance, like put his or her cell phone away and close all unnecessary tabs, windows, or anything else that might interfere with the learning process. Engage your student throughout the session by asking open questions, requesting that they do some writing on the whiteboard, or asking them to repeat key points after you. Make sure that the material instructed by you is understood by the tutee; encourage them to ask questions so you can clarify when need be.


It may be a bit of a challenge to bring energy and enthusiasm to a studying session when you’re not sitting right next to your tutee. You should be confident to be able to teach and motivate students, so they can perform better in their academics. So take your charisma up a notch, project your voice a bit more, make eye contact, use open body language, be as lively and engaging as possible.
In the end, these tips will only get you so far. The practice is the key. If you’re a great teacher in person, then be that fantastic tutor when you’re working with a student online.

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