Using an Online Tutor

Instructor: Andrea Losa
Reaching students through a variety of methods, such as video conferencing or instant messaging, online tutoring services enable you to receive quick assistance with homework or other learning issues. Learn about how to find and use online tutoring resources to ensure you receive the best possible assistance.

Finding the Right Resource

Identifying the best online tutoring services starts with a little research. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  • Consider the type and level of help you need. Some tutoring services may provide specialized assistance with particular subject areas, so be sure to search out the services that offer help in the area or areas in which you are interested.
  • Check your tools. Verify that you have all the available technology in place to access the service in which you are interested, such as having a webcam to utilize video tutoring.
  • Do your homework. Before deciding, read reviews or get feedback from others who have used the service, and look into the company and the qualifications of its tutors.
  • Try it out first. If possible, take advantage of any free offers that a tutoring service provides to determine if this is the best service for you and your needs.
  • Get permission. If you are younger than 18, you will need to get parental approval before signing up for any online tutoring service.

Preparing for Your Tutoring Session

Once you have decided on the right service for you, you're ready to prepare for your first tutoring session. Since online tutoring services can be quite expensive, you'll want to make the most of your time by having your question or questions prepared in advance of your session. The following are some guidelines to keep in mind before logging on to access a tutor.

Break Down Your Issue

Try to start your homework assignment before logging on so that you can complete as much of a problem as you can before you seek the tutor's help. You might put your problem and the work you have completed on it on the virtual whiteboard to let the tutor know exactly what your assignment is and where you are stuck on the problem. Then your tutor can break the problem down step-by-step with you and help you identify the tools to solve the problem.

Understand Your Question

If you find that the problem is not the homework itself but that you can't understand what the assignment is asking you to do, you can have a tutor help you figure it out and get you started on the assignment. When you use a tutor for this purpose, just be sure to start out by sharing your complete assignment, and letting the tutor know right away what your issue is.

Help with Essay Writing

If you are working on an essay and seeking help with a variety of writing issues, try to limit the scope of your session by focusing on one issue at a time. For general proofreading and editing help, send your tutor, via a document sharing service, one page of your essay at a time. Have a copy of the essay in front of you while you and your tutor discuss it, and highlight and make note of any issues your tutor brings up.

Stay Engaged During Your Session

Whether going over a problem or asking a tutor to provide feedback on a writing assignment, you'll want to always stay actively involved in each tutoring session to ensure your understanding. Remember that your tutor is there to help you develop your own skills, not to correct your work. Make sure that you are grasping the concepts that the tutor is covering with you, and be sure to ask questions when you are confused about your tutor's explanations.

Ending a Session

Sometimes, a quick explanation can help you grasp an entire concept while other times, you find that you need more help in a particular subject area than a single session can provide since many concepts require practice to master. In ending a session, the main goal is to understand the task at hand, and to, along with your tutor, identify areas in which you still need work going forward. In many services, you might be able to work with the same tutor so that you can continue to get assistance with the particular concepts that give you difficulty.

Online Homework Help

Like a good tutoring service, has the resources to help you with a variety of subjects in all grade levels. Review our easy-to-understand video courses, chapters, and lessons, and take our practice quizzes and exams to continue to build your skills and prepare for your tutoring sessions. Links to just a few of our courses are listed below:

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