Article by Abdirahman Ismail
Benefits of Online Tuition
Over the last 10 years, online tutoring has emerged as an increasingly popular method of tutoring. It enables tutors to complete more lessons whilst eliminating travel time and cost. It also facilitates for lessons to take place whilst students go away on their well-earned holidays. Entrance examinations are extremely competitive, and many parents decide against going on a summer holiday in the build up to an exam. Online tutoring ensures that progress is maintained regardless of where you are in the world. Many of Ivy Education’s tutors have been successful at tutoring by building up good client relationships in the UK, leading to increased referrals. Online tutoring enables tutors to tap into the ever-increasing international market for tutors that are familiar with UK entrance examinations, GCSEs and A levels.
Recent Online Assignments
Below you will find examples of my online tutoring assignments in the past 7 months, all of which were taught in English.
|Student School Year||Assignment Brief||Country||Outcome|
|11||Sixth Form entrance examination preparation||UK||Received offers at 2 out of 3 schools including the tutees first choice|
|13||Preparation for A Level mocks and university entrance exams||UK||Oxford offer|
|8||Preparation for upcoming entrance exams||France||Ongoing|
|12||Preparation for A Level Chemistry and Maths for UK Medical School applications||UAE||Ongoing|
|4||Preparation for 11+||Jamaica||Exam to be taken later this year|
|Mature Student||Preparation for university exams||Bulgaria||Ongoing|
|Mature Student||MATLAB Assignment assistance||UK||Student excelled in the assignment|
|Mature Student||Preparing for retaking A level examinations||Italy||Offer to study History at King’s College London|
Best subjects to teach
Almost all subjects can be taught online. The main exceptions are when the lesson requires a practical component e.g. music lessons. I am a specialist Maths and Science tutor and have taught these subjects to more than 20 students over the past year. Most of my lessons are conducted online and all of the parents (and students!) have been satisfied by the quality of the lessons.
Suitable Age for Online tuition
Students in secondary school and above are suitable for online tutoring because they can navigate between emails, Skype and lesson resources easily. The suitability of primary school students depends on how comfortable they are with using Skype independently. I would recommend that for primary school students, tutors send lesson documents to parents’ email addresses so that they can print off the resources before the lesson and assist with starting/ending the skype call. Last summer, I took on an 11+ assignment to be conducted face to face initially, and then online when the family went away for summer holiday. I initially trialled online lessons in their house, with me in another room to the student. This enabled me to show the student how to overcome any technical issues.
Platform and equipment
I would strongly recommend using Skype and screensharing the entire lesson to direct the student to the relevant questions and resources. In addition, I would recommend the use of the link below to handwrite your solutions to exam questions live during the lesson.
Figure 1: Virtual Whiteboard on AWWAPP
You will need to purchase a writing tablet to enable you to write legibly on the website. Click the picture below to access the model I recommend.
Figure 2: Writing Tablet
Top tips for the perfect online lesson
- Make sure you’re in a silent room
- Make sure you dress appropriately
- If you have never completed an online lesson, do familiarise yourself with the Skype platform and AWWAPP website
- Ask the parent/student to send you a topic list at least 36 hours in advance
- Send lesson resources before the lesson starts by email to the tutee/parent
- Make sure you check to see if the client’s time zone differs from your own. If so, calculate what time the lesson will be in your time zone
- Allow students to take screenshots of your workings to save them time writing the solutions during the lessons
- Make sure you spend the last 10% of the lesson reviewing the lesson objectives
- Offer small breaks to students undertaking a long lesson e.g. 2hours
Ivy Education recommends
We have seen the use of our online tuition services grow exponentially over the last few years. Having watched our tutors successfully teach tutees on a selection of platforms depending on the respective location, subject and level of tutees, we have chosen our top recommended platforms below:
- Bramble – is a paid for platform starting at £10 per month. It’s easy to use and allows tutors to write and share live documents as well as save unlimited recordings and playbacks of sessions so that the tutee & parent can revise topics together in their own time. Due to its live ‘drag and drop’ feature, Bramble is perfect for the younger years as its very user friendly and aesthetically pleasing!
- Zoom – is a free service that offers the ability to easily share documents and images. This is perfect for international students where skype is not allowed, ensuring that all of our tutees gain equal access to the best tutors available. As it is specifically built to work on mobiles & tablets, this is perfect for ‘on the go’ tuition where time differences might make regular, hourly tuition slightly more difficult.
- Whiteboard Fox – is a free platform which allows tutors to annotate documents in real time, making it easy for them to clarify material during sessions. Reflected in the platform’s name, each session starts with a blank page allowing tutors and tutees to collaborate in their workings. There is also a ‘grid’ feature which is perfect for the Maths & Sciences.