Showing posts with label ONLINE TUTORING. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ONLINE TUTORING. Show all posts

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Envisioning creative end of the chapter activities for children through online tutoring

In my blogs; I have always enumerated different ways through which online learning can be made better through creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. This write-up is no different; except that it includes certain points which will help online tutors to create out-of-the-box end of the chapter activities for children.

How many times I have been discussed about the need for creativity in online courses during my blogs. But have I ever spoken about the need for originality in developing end of the chapter activities for children? Teaching a child is the most difficult task, more so; if yours is an online course. But the toughest job is to make a child to homework; which we call as end of the chapter activities in online education. If you have made the child interested in the course; then half of your job is completed as you have already created the curiosity in the child. That also means that a major burden of your shoulder has lighten; but it is not the end of the hurdle. The bigger test is to make the child like the activities after the chapter ends.

It is possible that the child may develop lack of interest in doing the activities which you think will help him gain additional knowledge from the activity. But the difficult part is that you can never be there with the child to make him/her understand the importance of doing these activities earnestly. So what is the possible option left to you? I have already researched a lot and found that majority of e-learning course providers have a quiz at the end of the chapter which gives an assessment to the child about their grasping power. But don’t you think that if you were in their shoes; you would have studied only to get through the quiz in flying colors without worrying about gaining knowledge from the course. If that is the case then what is the big difference between class room education and online education. Since there are many students in a class, teacher cannot concentrate on each and every child hence; children need extra help of joining a tutoring class. Now if an online tutor cannot help the child and provide the requisite knowledge to them; then I cannot possibly understand the need for enrolling in the online course at the first instance.

Now what we need is an innovative solution to this problem which is not easy; but it is possible. The only reason for me to continue writing this blog is to find creative ideas for online tutoring; so that children can enjoy studying online in a fun-filled manner. But the current teaching mechanisms are very far from the benchmark that I have set while envisioning a great online course with creative end of the chapter activities for children. You can always try to include something different something unique; and mix them with the orthodox teaching techniques to make a winning recipe for children. It is all about thinking like a child as discussed in my every blog. That is the secret to making a connection with them. Without that it is impossible to get the desired results from your course. So let me now provide various activities that can make you stand out from your online competitors; and make you instant fans amongst parents and children:

For English: I have already discussed in my previous blog titled “Determining a breakthrough teaching mechanism for English online tutors”; that there should be an innovative way of teaching children. In fact I have already discussed some breakthrough ideas in that blog. Now the major challenge is to go a step further and create end of the chapter activities for children so that they are still interested in the chapters after getting through the chapters. One way of doing that is; by showing couples of minutes of footages of animated story created out of the lessons; and then ask them to write the dialogues for each of the characters without changing the story line. The other alternative is to give them match the following kind of stuff; wherein you show animated images of characters in the lesson and ask them to match the characterization of each individual without browsing through the animated series of the chapter. This way child will love to engage in the activities; and will not feel it as just another way of evaluation. Try to fix a minimum criterion that the child needs to meet before proceeding further. This will give them an opportunity to know whether they have gained expertise in that chapter. Even if they are not able to achieve the minimum criterion there is nothing to worry. They can see the animated series of the lessons once again; and then try to give their best in the activities; so that maximum knowledge can be gained from the activities.

The sole objective of conducting the activities at the end of the lessons is to make sure that the child retains the story-line and gain knowledge from the chapters thereby; getting insights from them. The other way of looking at it is giving something different to the children; so that they can enhance their creativity and showcase their talent. This can be done by asking them to write the synopsis of the animated series in their own words, mentioning the role of central characters in the story and the moral behind the story. This way children would be able to retain the lessons for a longer period of time without much effort. 

For Math: Now this is a very sticky situation because it is very difficult to design engaging activities for children especially if we talk about Math as a subject in online tutoring. But since I have already discussed about innovative activities that can be done for English it is only natural to showcase different innovative ways through which Math education can also be made fun-based for children. Now as far as activities are concerned they would go in the line as discussed in my previous blog titled “Challenging task of making math a fun-loving activity for students”. Since I have already discussed innovative methods of making Math an interesting subject to teach in online tutoring. Let me go a step further to evaluate different activities that can add a new feather to Math education; as far as end of the chapter activities for children are concerned. So let me start off with the activities.

Remember when you were 10-15 years old you were fond of various super-heroes. So we will use the same concept in our activities. For example; if we are talking about division problems. Then the activities would be something like this: 

Batman is fighting a supreme battle in the Gotham City against Bane, a ruthless monster who wants to take down the Gotham City with a nuclear bomb. Now if Bane has planted 4 different nuclear bombs in different locations of Gotham City and Batman has only 2 occasions to find out the exact location before the bombs diffuse; how many tries does he have in total to save Gotham City from the nemesis from happening?

This can be a very interesting division problem; and but it cannot be that simple for a 10 year old to solve but it will keep them engaged in the problem and get the solution. I will give you another example of fraction to showcase that these kinds of activities can not only be creative; but also enriching for the critical thinking of the child as discussed in my previous blog on Math titled ““Challenging task of making math a fun-loving activity for students”. 

Captain Jack Sparrow is joined by Angelica to search for fountain of youth. But the only glitch is that once they are there they will have to encounter a fatal encounter with a “one-legged man”. Now there are also mermaids in the story which are quite vicious. The trick to get to the fountain of youth; and get eternal youth is to get tears of sorrow from one of the mermaids and put it in a cup and drink it. Now this is not an easy thing because they are vicious and attack individuals like predators. So if there are six people including Jack, Angelica, Mermaid, One-legged man, Phillip Swift (who falls in love with the mermaid) and BlackBeard, who practices voodoo magic and yields a magical sword to control the ship. Who amongst these six will be able to get eternal youth? The only problem is there can only be one person that can gain eternal youth. Find out who amongst these six individuals would be that lucky person?

The answer is quite simple; 1/6. But for a 10 year old the most fascinating part would be to imagine being in the adventure with Captain Jack Sparrow; and trying to figure out the eventual winner who gets eternal youth out of the six participants.

Although the examples that I have given are based on movies you can create your own fictional characters. But bear in mind that children should be fond of the characters. These characters should have some sort of connection with children like Batman and Captain Jack Sparrow. This can lead to further enhancement of knowledge in children in a very creative and interesting way. Similarly different examples can be given for solving problems and puzzles by giving interesting characterization to children.

In the end I would conclude this blog by saying a very famous quote by Vincent van Gogh,

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? 

So always think big and try to go out of the way and follow your dreams; because they are not just visions or hallucinations but they are your pathway to future success.

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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Evolutionary convergence of online tutoring business with social media

I have written about different aspects of online tutoring business in my blogs. In this blog; I have tried to integrate various aspects of social media which change the equation of online tutoring business completely.

I never touched the subject of social media emergence in my blogs. The reason is quite simple. I wanted my blogs to be specifically for online tutoring dealing with various problems faced by online tutors in designing and depicting the course curriculum to the children. Now, I know that parents are the key decision makers for enrollment of children in particular online course. But you cannot deny the fact that if a child likes something in a glance it is very difficult for the parents to ignore that and push the child for another alternative. Hence; the situation is quite tricky because now you have two different sets of target audience to please. This can be very taxing because the needs of both the concerned parties are completely different. To avoid this and make things clearer the social medium is used as a means to achieve the desired goals; and draw the target audience in a subtle way.

Now since we are talking about social media let me tell you some staggering facts that deal with social media. According to an article titled “Social Media; I’ve heard the term, but what does it mean to me, or my business? according to the 2012 stats:
  • 66 percent of online adults are connected to one or more social media platforms 
  • 50 percent of social media users say they check in to their favorite networks first thing in the morning 
  • 45% of social media users are at least ‘somewhat’ comfortable providing credit card details through social media channels 
  • By 2015; brands will be generating 50% of their web sales through social media and mobile platforms with a projection of $30 Billion
You can read the entire article by copying and pasting the url mentioned below to a separate browser:

The fact is that you cannot ignore the impact of social media on online tutoring. In reality; there are so many things that can be achieved in online tutoring by integrating social media that it is very difficult to ignore it in the scheme of things:

  • A key feature for marketing: In this age of digital commercialization, do you think online tutoring can survive without viral marketing? If you are probably saying that I know that it is not possible to imagine online tutoring without viral marketing. That would be an utter nonsense. Because with the advent of social media things have changed quite drastically. Normally we would not have seen the comments posted by eminent personalities; but now with the help of social media platform the world has become a smaller place. You can view comments and post statuses on Facebook in an instant thereby promoting you as a brand. So what are the odds of marketing an online tutoring business through this new social buzz? You can bet the results. It can be tremendous.In addition to this, you can even spread awareness by participating through different social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace etc. The beauty of each of these networks is that their outlook is completely different with different sets of target audiences using these networks. So for example; you can spread awareness of your blogs on online tutoring through Facebook by posting the subject of the blog and providing a brief outline of the subject along with the link. The readers can then read the blog and post their comments on it. Thereby; increasing the visibility of your brand. You can also post interesting anecdotes, quotes, ask questions and give suggestions on different topics related to your domain. Hence; there is a tremendous marketing potential through Facebook. Similarly for Twitter, there is a separate target audience that uses hash tags (#) with limited characters to depict the idea. Hence, the concept is based on the principle of depicting more through less content. Highlight the subject of your blog in a creative manner, and the response rate grow enormously. You can also comment on different topics relevant to your interests. For LinkedIn; you can build professional contacts by adding them to your profile and highlighting your academic qualification and professional experience in a creative manner. You can even promote your blogs, post comments, ask questions and get feedback from fellow members.

  • Use it as a medium to hold conference between fellow tutors: We all know that the entire globe is a very small place especially if you decide to share your experiences and knowledge with tutors from different nationalities. This can be a very enriching experience since, there is no dearth of knowledge amongst tutors and the more you share, the more you learn from them. In addition to this; when you hold such conferences there is going to be a discussion and debate which can enlighten you to different online teaching practices which are normally quite difficult to find. It is also quite necessary to learn about different tutoring styles taught in different countries. This can open up new avenues of growth for online tutoring domain and can enhance the knowledge of the participants.

  • Creative ways to share notes with students: With the help of various social networking sites; it is possible to upload notes which can be quite useful for students at large. Not only does it free them from waiting for clarification; but it also encourages them to ask relevant questions or provide comments through various social networking sites like, Google docs instantly. This is a boon for students, as they can now get the required notes instantly and clarify their doubts quickly. Being online is not option. But it is the selection of freedom from constrained education. Hence, it is perfect match for online tutoring.

  • An inventive method to keep a check on student behavior: There are times when students take out their frustration on different social networking sites about their online tutors or about the course design. It is a perfect opportunity for online tutors to research on student’s behavior about a particular course curriculum or particular method of teaching. It can not only enlighten the tutors about the need of the hour but also about the different needs of the students of today’s generation. Hence, social media is an excellent tool to research on studentsbehavior.
Thomas Edison once quoted, 

Opportunity is missed by most people; because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Hence, I would conclude this blog by reiterating the point that the social media networks have given a tremendous opportunity to online tutors to showcase their talent; that should not be wasted.

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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Developing interactive-based learning through online tutoring

Interaction plays a key role in any form of education; more so in online education. Hence, in this blog, I have tried to discuss about different techniques through which online tutors can develop interactive-based learning through novel practice.

I have always wondered how video game developers create such fantastic animations with an in-built commentary that makes it even more interesting for children to play these wonderful games. Now imagine the same creativity in e-learning mechanism. This can be a path-breaking evolution of some kind wherein we understand the limitless opportunities that lie ahead of us in terms of innovation and novelty. I have always been a fan of originality and wanted to do something which was never thought before and can lead to tremendous reaction from critics and observers. It seems that finally the breakthrough is on its way and I am giving you a rough idea of what I presume will be a huge bonus for online tutoring business. So let me cut the suspense and come straight to the point.

In my childhood days I used to play cricket through video games. Not that I was not good at playing it on the field but playing it on video game was a different experience all together. And with the commentary of Barry Richards the playing experience increased by two-folds. That is what I have been trying to understand. If video game developers can use their creativity and understand that without an interactive game it is not possible to get complete attention of their target audience. Then obviously being in a teaching profession, it becomes even more imperative for us to understand that we are talking about children who love playing interactive games and so if we provide them what they crave for then there would be no question of ambiguity. In this case, if we can create courses which are lot more interactive then we find today it would be of great help to the entire online tutoring domain. What I mean to say is that providing online assistance to children is one thing but being there with them at each and every stage of learning has become even more important nowadays. Because now children have become starter they can study at their own pace. They can even opt for multiple courses according to their wish. Hence, it becomes very important to have a constant dialogue with them.

You might be wondering creating a commentary for a cricket video game can be easy because you know the different scenarios that can arise during the game but in real life case, it becomes very difficult to gauge the needs of the children; and provide instant support to them. Now the major question that arises is how to incorporate the changes in the e-learning courses in such a manner that children do not find them monotonous. The answer is quite difficult and many research analysts have tried to find out resolution for this situation but they have not found a concentrate answer for it. The reason being every child is different with a different grasping power hence; it becomes very difficult to understand their psychology and plan the questions with the answers beforehand. Let me give you a blunt example. This will make things clear in your mind: Suppose a 15 year old child has enrolled an online course; and I am the online tutor providing assistance to him. Imagine he sees a math problem with a solution but does not know how did we arrive at the solution? This situation is very bad because the child now knows the answer but is not aware of the method. Maybe he will try to cram the answer for the time being but in tests he will not be able to remember the method. In this situation, we need human commentary of the online tutor to explain each and every step of the resolution to the child so that he understands the method and then try to solve similar problem on his own. Alternatively; I have already discussed that each child is unique with different abilities. So it is possible that he does not understand the method that has been provided in the course. Hence, there should always be a back-up plan available with the tutor; so that they can showcase multiple methods for resolving the same problem.

So the source of the problem that we are currently facing in online tutoring is due to the advancement of technology. The reason for that quite simple; in the past we never had any trouble with teacher-student interaction as education used to take place in a classroom atmosphere; where there was every possibility of one-on-one interaction. But now since technology has grown tremendously, we are seeing children studying independently with minimal interaction with tutors through online medium. That has resulted in lack of interest and poor performance in tests. So what is the solution for this problem? Should we neglect the technology aspect and teach children the traditional way of classroom education? Or should be go for private tutoring? In either of these cases, it would be a backward step; if we opt for it. So the only possible solution is to look forward; and try to create new opportunities by laying innovative strategies for making education an interactive medium for children.

Now let me show you some of the ways through which tutors can build interactivity with the students through online tutoring:

  • Scenario-based learning: When you try to create a course design try to see at different alternatives through which learning can be derived from the subject. For example; if it is English Grammar there are multiple ways of framing a grammatically correct statement. Moreover, there is nothing right or wrong in grammar. It is all about the understanding. Hence, online tutors need to provide multiple scenarios to children so that they can have variety of options to get the right solution for the problem. Similarly if we are talking about a math problem; if a child is facing problem with a particular question try to solve the question using different methods so that the child can have options to learn the easiest of the solutions provided. Also try to include commentary of various steps that you took to resolve the question. This will build interaction with the child and they will have better understanding of the resolution.

·         Teaching through animations: I have already discussed about this in my previous blog titled “Determining a breakthrough teaching mechanism for English online tutors” about the different ways through which online tutors can teach children through animations. You can go through this article by copying and pasting this link on a separate browser:



I would like to conclude this blog by telling a very famous quote from vivliorasis, “Every interaction creates re-interaction." Hence, it is essential for today’s tutors to have healthy interaction with children so that the online education domain can survive the latent affects of boredom and negligence from children!

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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Determining a breakthrough teaching mechanism for English online tutors

You might have observed that in all my blogs I have always given priority to innovation in education methods. The simple reason for that is we are moving into a revolutionary phase where things will become outdated quite quickly. Hence, there is always a need for something new and exciting to make students interested in the subjects. More so; in case of theory subjects like English where students do not find it interesting to read the whole bunch of chapters to get the story. The tedious job of an online tutor is not only to depict the information in the English chapters through interesting means but also deliver knowledge to the students in such a manner that they want to study the chapters again and again. Now this is a challenge especially for young children in Std. I to VIII. As the age of a child increases the curiosity factor decreases. Hence, this is the period when children want to learn something different. So the tried and tested methods of teaching will never work for these children.

I know if you are a tutor yourself, you are wondering and saying to yourself I have been a teacher all my life and now you come up with your own thesis claiming the online teaching mechanism has flaws? You are right my friend. Although you have been teaching since a long time things change and people change. The same teaching mechanism cannot be used for the current generation as they are quite smart and know everything about the new technology. They like to experiment a bit since early childhood and learn through their own experiences. From what I have learned so far I can say very bluntly that we have never learned the art of understanding the minds of a child. The only thing we are interested is in making our future generation a bunch of crammers who go to college get their degrees but at the end of the day when you ask them basic questions that are relevant in the practical world they are clueless. We do not want our future generation to be book-wormers we want them to learn through practical experiences. More so by making them experience the same things that they learn in theory.

One way of doing that is through animation-based e-learning. Now I know this idea looks ridiculous but believe me if you are a child aged 8 years of age you will love to see the Tom and Jerry series on cartoon network or Duck tales series which used to telecast earlier. Now the only reason I am giving these examples is because every story in English language in primary education has a moral behind it. If we try to depict it in an interesting manner in similar lines to these cartoon series it will make students see the animations again and again. This way; online tutors do not have to spend much time on making students understand the topics. Moreover, students can revise the chapters by going through the animated series of chapters again and again thereby reducing the burden on parents. Students will study without any force and will literary ask for more and more chapters in the digitalized/animated format. The quizzes can then be taken after a specific interval to gauge the success of this concept. I feel that this can work and will prove to be a major hit in future. Children as it is are not happy with books.

Practically speaking, I see so many toddlers carrying loads of books in their schoolbags. It is so ridiculous but their own weight is far less than the weights of the books. Isn’t it our duty to see that the children are not overburdened with studies? This is the age which we as mature adults remember now and share our experiences with our peers and friends saying those were the happy days without any pressure. Now, if your own child is burdened with the kind of education which is being provided will you be happy with it? Moreover, I have also seen parents sending their children to private tutors which increase the burden on children tremendously. Because now they have do over-time by completing the class work, homework and the tuition work. Is n’t it a sin to burden a child with so much of pressure? Can’t we creatively think about an education system which is free from books and provides practical exposure to children so that they can become future managers, leaders and so on?

Story-boards are also interesting concepts wherein you make children learn about the subjects through stories in the form of sequential animated images. But if we make it even better by providing them with animated cartoon characters to depict the chapters it will be a great hit amongst children. Even the parents would love it. Online tutoring will improve because now you will have to increase the creativity quotient and think out-of-the-box to resolve the concerns of the children differently than the traditional ways of communication. But that is something which I will be discussing in my next blog. For now I will sign off with a statement which has made me think about this concept quite seriously:


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Friday, 3 August 2012

Different Perspectives on Quality of Online Tutoring

Online tutoring has become an integral part of education in the 21st century. In this article; we have discussed about different perspectives on quality of online tutoring.

I have read a lot of things written about online tutoring. Interestingly, I found that quality is one of the most important components of online tutoring. It is very important for the designers to formulate the course pattern in such a manner that the learning objective of the student is met. Let me first discuss about the definition of quality in perspective of online tutoring.

Online tutoring is apt for individual based learning aptitude, personality and pace of the learning while imparting knowledge, skills and application. So quality of an online course can be measured in terms of knowledge gained by the students and how they can apply problem solving techniques to it.”


Quality of online tutoring cannot be evaluated on the basis of information grasped by the students as each and every student has their own grasping power. Hence, there are different factors which determine the quality of online tutoring:
  • Quality of the tutor: The role of tutor has a very crucial role by making the content personalized in such a manner that the students do not miss one-on-one teaching. The other criteria which makes the quality aspect an unsurpassable component of online tutoring is the ability of the tutor to engage the children by introducing novelty in the course pattern and provide exciting opportunities to the students to study their favorite subjects. The tutor should have a firm grip on the subject that they are teaching along with proper training of accents so that they can teach students from around the globe.
The major implications for the quality aspect of the tutor include:
  • Online course providers should recruit only those tutors who are academically strong in the subject knowledge and teaching skills
  • Provide systematic training to the tutors to an alien audience to build their online tutoring skills
  • Process control: Online tutoring is a person-to-person service. In order to develop proper synchronization between tutors and students a robust quality monitoring mechanism needs to be developed ensuring quality. Real-time monitoring helps in ensuring quality. Having a centralized teaching facility and tutors helps in building and maintaining quality tutoring.      
  • Quality of the content: Content covers up lots of things like teaching material, books, notes and exercises. Since the focus of online tutoring is on personalization different approaches need to be implemented for different students. It is always to take a pre-enrollment test before the student enrolls for the course. This will make the online tutors the strong and weak points of the students and they can then design customized course according to the intelligence quotient of the student.
  • Technology and infrastructure: Technology and infrastructure have a key role in designing the course design. If the technology and infrastructure is not apt then it is impossible to design the online course. The voice conferencing software, whiteboard etc. should be reliable and should not lead to wastage of time so that there is smooth functioning of sessions.
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Three Guiding Principles for Effective Online Tutoring

Online tutoring has reached a new pinnacle. We are already seeing lot of online courses being developed. But no one has stressed on the need for effective online tutoring. In this article; we have discussed about different principles that are useful for effective online tutoring.

Traditional methods of teaching follow set patterns for educating students. Whereas; online tutoring requires lots of fresh perspective and various challenges to get the right results. We are all aware that each and every child has a different grasping power. Hence, it becomes very difficult in schools for all the children to grasp everything in one go. Some children are not able to cope with the speed of the teaching, and lag behind which results in low self-esteem and ultimately affect their performance in exams. Online tutoring can help in such cases. One of the major advantages of online tutoring is that students can study at their own pace and test their knowledge by taking online quizzes. But the question that keeps on coming in my mind is: What are the different steps that can be taken to improve the teaching pattern of the tutors? How to enhance the interaction between tutor and the student? One thing I observed that if you are in the tutoring business and are working as an online tutor, there are three principles which will help you in providing quality education to the students. I have discussed these three principles in length below:
  • Always be accessible to the students: Interaction with the student in a regular manner is very difficult for the tutors, especially; if you are working as an online tutor. Course material can easily be communicated, but it becomes very difficult to give personal touch to students in online tutoring. This limitation can be eradicated by dedicating couple of hours in a week with the students through online video chat or live online chat, for resolving the queries of the children. It can also be used as a feedback mechanism to motivate the student to work hard or praise them for good performance in the quizzes undertaken in that week. This will make online tutoring a more interactive medium for learning.
  • Give timely response to the queries of the students: Imagine a scenario where students are stuck with a math problem and are finding it very difficult to solve it. During such times, they need guidance from the online tutor. They send the query to the online tutor through email. But the response of the question does not arrive immediately and takes couple of days. This kind of delay hampers the progress of the student. Hence, care should be taken by online tutors to be prompt while replying to queries sent by students. Always send an intimation email to the student confirming that you have received their concern, and then specify the time duration it will take for you to resolve their concern. This will encourage students to have healthy discussion with online tutors, and will improve interactivity between them.
  • Communicate frequently with the students: Always have regular interactions with the students by giving them appropriate feedback on assignments or deadline reminders. Do not miss any chance to have a healthy discussion with the students. Encourage participation of students amongst each other. Always send the summary of your class activities and avoid any misinterpretation by keeping the messages short and precise.
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3 Key Criteria for Selecting the Right Online Tutoring Service

Parents are always in a fix while determining the right online tutoring service for their child. In this article, we look at different criteria which help parents in deciding the right online tutoring service for their child.

In this age of fierce competition, parents are always looking for an online tutoring service that can provide optimal results for their children in a very convenient manner. Normally we find that children who are slow learners benefit the most out of online tutoring service. Now with so many online courses available in the market it becomes very hard to select a good tutoring company because one bad experience can break the confidence of the parents about online courses in general. Let us look at some of the criteria for selecting the right online tutoring service:
  • Package: Tutoring companies always ask the parents to choose a package plan for online tutoring. Always look carefully at the services offered by the tutoring company and then take a decision after evaluating the pros and cons of the course. It is also recommended to opt for unlimited features while opting for the online tutoring service for the first time. The major benefit of opting for unlimited feature is to give enough scope for your child to get regular feedback and solve queries from online tutors. After your child has shown considerable progress you can opt for the limited version. The major advantage of this strategy is that you can gauge the services of the online tutoring company in the first go. If they are not able to give proper services with all the features it means that their highest bar is not good enough. It also signals that their course is quite bad and their support is pathetic. The other advantage of adopting this strategy is your child will get immediate attention from online tutors which will help them make quick progress in studies.
  • Great Content and compatible tools:  We all know that content is considered to be the king of online market. Hence, good content will always be a winner for a reputed online tutoring company. A good online tutoring company will give tests, notes, sample papers and mock tests to the students. Always ask beforehand to the online tutoring company to provide the entire curriculum and flow of teaching pattern. Usually an online tutoring company will give vague answers when you ask for exact course curriculum and the list of events planned. If that happens do not opt for that company.
    Always check if the online tutoring company is providing live classes using virtual classrooms. Also ask about the technology used and the process you need to follow in order to get started with the course. It is always better to ask whether there is a need for a software download or purchase something additional for running the course. A reputed online tutoring company will always see to it that they have latest software technology and an interactive virtual classroom which providing the course.
  • Evaluation techniques:  Lot of time online tutoring companies promise lot of things but they fail to achieve the targets specified earlier in terms of feedback mechanism and evaluation techniques. Good online tutoring companies always provide a proper evaluation technique that measures the progress of the child and sends periodic reports to the parents. In case the child is not able to score the desired marks, they should provide the facility of extra classes or extra help from online tutors so that the basic purpose of the course is achieved.
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Tutoring – to be or not to be

It is always fun to have a healthy discussion on a hot topic because it brings about the best information on the subject matter. So, I read lots of articles on the subject “What is the relevance of tutoring in the 21st Century Education? Does it really serve the purpose of providing quality assistance to students?” The research showed that day-by-day the number of class sizes in schools are increasing which makes it tougher for the students to get personalized attendance from the teachers. Although technology has made things easier for us, students have become the ultimate sufferers because of the trend. I have seen students hooked on to computers for a long period of time to do their homework, to access chat rooms, instant messengers, games and more. With that the admissions in schools and colleges have become competitive. Students now have to get specialized knowledge in addition to regular studies to stay competitive and keep maintaining their grades. Moreover, parents have also become busier. We are already seeing both parents of children working to maintain the house. This adds up to the pressure and shows how the current generations of students are facing problems to cope up with the students.

Even if a student is struggling to get the right grades in schools and colleges, it is not their fault. Tutoring is not meant to replace classrooms but it is an augmented facility which helps the students to get proper guidance which is now missing in classroom education. A classroom is the basic foundation on which the house i.e., student’s career stands. But if you do not have a good structure i.e., proper guidance, come winter it would show up cracks. Hence; it is very important to have a good structure so that all the cracks in the foundation are filled. I found some interesting facts which provide enough evidence to showcase the real need for tutoring in the 21st century education:
  • Provides personalized, one-on-one attention
  • Gives a chance to students to clarify doubts and ask relevant questions
  • Builds confidence and develops study skills in students
  • Provides growth opportunities to students

I also researched a lot to understand the key characteristics that define a good tutor. Let us look at these characteristics:
  • Enjoys working with children and build good rapport with the child
  • Should be kind, understanding, patient and fair
  • Should be able to teach alternative methods for better learning of the children
  • Should be able to initiate customized plan for each child so that there is personal growth in each child
  • Should have a workman kind of spirit i.e., They should be punctual, dependable and steady

The next step was to understand the role of tutors in the lives of students. An interesting quote from Helen Keller came across while I was researching on the topic. It read “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”  This quote is absolutely true. Without proper guidance and instruction, children will lose focus and concentration. The most astonishing detail that I found while researching on the importance of tutors in the lives of students was that even in the most comprehensive schools in USA (even government schools) the teaching quality was poor. The teachers would spend the entire first term on complex numbers, the next two terms on the next four topics leaving the last three topics to be rushed in the last few weeks of the exams. One of the prime reasons for this is low expectation from teachers for the students. The most depressing thing is that teachers were going through the motion and completing the course for the sake of it without imparting proper guidance to the students.

You can get relevant details on the topic by copying and pasting this URL on a separate browser:

Let us shift our focus to tutors and understand how they can play a significant role in the lives of students:
  • Understanding the expectations of the student from the course deliverable
  • Determining the type of content relevant for good preparation for exams and using it in the best possible manner for the student
  • Providing proper feedback to the students after assessing their results
  • The need for closely following the curriculum followed at schools including examination patterns
  • Providing alternate methods to students in case they do not understand the orthodox method of teaching
  • Discussing the progress of the student with the teachers and parents

So, we can say that a tutor is someone who has a central part in the education of the students. They are the ones who stand as a pillar between teachers and parents and intervene with either of them to get the best results for the students.  But tutors also have their own share of problems. They need to deal with a predicament of providing assistance to students or doing the work for them. Normally we find that tutors have also been teachers hence; it becomes very difficult for them to change their attitude. When you are working as a tutor you have to develop the perception that students are not reading on their own. They find it difficult to grasp the subjects in classroom atmosphere. The accountability factor also is higher in comparison to teachers. While teachers do not directly share the burden of each and every student, tutors have to not only help the students in their day-to-day assignments but also solve the concerns of the students personally through a step-by-step process. This way student can get the desired attendance from the tutors and are able to excel in their studies.

I suppose now you have a clear idea of the importance of tutors in the lives of students in 21st century education. You can also go through the following URLs to get more information on this subject:

The next topic of discussion was the role of parents in enhancing the education of the students. Parents are role-models for the students. Students adopt the characteristics of parents sub-consciously. Hence; it is the moral responsibility of the parents to take care of the tutoring business of their children. In an interesting article on “Better tutors vs. better parents: recent PISA study”, OECD conducted several exams as a part of their Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) testing the knowledge of 15 years old students on the basis of science and math problem-solving techniques. The results found that parents who are more focused on their child’s education play a key role in the student’s achievement. There were two findings of the studies which included:
  • 15-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores in PISA tests than students whose parents read with them infrequently or none at all.
  • The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socio-economic background; and parents’ engagement with their 15-year-old kids is strongly associated with better performance in PISA tests.

This goes to show that good parental actions towards child’s learning at home can boost their confidence. It also helps them in taking tutoring lessons seriously. To learn more about the role of parents in their child’s academic achievements copy and paste the URL on a separate browser:

So, in short we can say that both parents and tutors have an equal importance in helping the students excel in their studies with flying colors.

In the next blog, I will discuss about private tutoring and how it is affecting the performance of students.
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