As e-learning is gaining momentum, online tutors are increasingly becoming sought after. Most online tutors out there have a firm grip over their course material. They are in a good shape to conduct lessons. However, it is important to understand that all online tutors might be good, but not all might be great. There is a thin line that divides the good from the great. Very minute differences like the teaching methodology, use of aids, etc are what turn the good ones to greatness. If you are wondering what exactly is the difference between a good and a great online tutor, and where do you fall in this spectrum, consider the following-
Monologue vs Dialogue
A good tutor engages in monologue, transferring knowledge to the students via different online platforms and video conferencing services. A great tutor on the other hand, engages in continuous dialogue to encourage the students to participate in the discussion. Explore how you conduct your class. Do you simply switch on the screen and deliver the lecture and take questions? Or do you motivate active participation of your students by continuously conversing with them? Or do you just blurting out your script. Well, if you are doing the latter, you have taken the first step towards being a great tutor.
Curriculum vs Feedback
A good tutor will always stick to the curriculum at hand and not digress from it much. His/ her aim is to deliver the academic requisites to help students get good grades in their exams. Whereas, a great tutor will build their lecture on the conversations they have and integrate student feedback into their prepared curriculum. Question yourself if you limit yourself just to teaching the chapters that students have asked for? Or do you seek feedback from them to understand what part they would like to explore in depth and indulge in it? If you are on the road to latter, pat yourself on the back as you are not just preparing students for the exams, but actually adding value to their knowledge.
Ratings vs Recommendations
A good tutor will focus on ratings, a great tutor on recommendations. Ratings are primarily quantitative in nature and thus, judge how well the online tutor has been able to help a particular student come closer to better grades. Recommendations, on the other hand, are more qualitative and focus on the journey of the student. They uncover how well the student has been able to learn, in addition to what he/she has learnt. Recommendations are descriptive in nature. Therefore, if you more than just a four or five star for your virtual students and they take an effort to actually write something about you, you deserve a round of applause.
Theory vs Practical Knowledge
The journey of a good to a great tutor also depends upon the teaching methodology. A good online tutor will focus on assisting the students with getting conceptual clarity on the theoretical aspects of the subjects. A great tutor will not only equip them with theory, but will also supplement it with practical reasoning. A good tutor will explain to the what of anything, a great one will emphasize the why as well. So, if you don’t restrict yourself to teaching only definitions and take a broader road of uncovering the reasons behind them too, you already are a great tutor.
Immediate Response vs Patience
A good tutor will immediately respond to the questions that students have with correct answers to help you get clarity. A great tutor, on the other hand, will shoot more questions at them to help them answer their original question themselves. The objective is to help them reflect upon their knowledge and learning to come up with answers on their own. If you despise serving students answers on a platter, and would rather make an effort to help them answer their own questions, you are their north star.
To summarize, good online tutors are all around us who can help students get better grades. It is the great ones that are difficult to find, who can actually add value to a student’s life.