Being an online tutor can provide many benefits. This endeavor allows you to work from home, experience flexibility with your schedule, and easily manage other responsibilities. As an online tutor, you can earn money from teaching students, all while still having the time to be a parent, homeowner, or employee.
Working as an online tutor is rewarding, but being one isn’t a piece of cake. For you to become an effective online tutor, you need to implement strategies that can keep your students engaged. If you’re an online psychology tutor, for example, you need to make sure that your students stay glued throughout your sessions so they can grasp more information.
To help you out, listed below are ways on how you can keep your students engaged:
- Make All Of Your Sessions Interactive
One of the biggest mistakes online tutors commit is spending an entire session talking. As an online tutor, you’re responsible for providing knowledge to your students, but this doesn’t mean you should be the only person talking during sessions. How can your students engage with you if you don’t let them voice out their ideas?
You can keep your students engaged by making all of your sessions interactive. Here’s how you can do it:
- Integrate real-time interaction: Although it can be tempting to video yourself discussing lessons and just send the clips to your students, make sure that you don’t do it. This is a one-sided communication that will prevent your students from connecting with you and the lessons. How can they stay engaged if you’re not present to answer their questions? Do you think they’ll have the motivation to continue learning with you if this is their learning environment?
You can keep your students engaged by integrating real-time interactions. All of your lessons should be done in real-time, and should never end without letting your students ask questions or talk.
- Maximize engagement with non-task interactions: Your students paid for your tutoring services because they want to learn from you. However, this doesn’t mean that all of your sessions with them should only be spent on discussing lessons and asking questions about these topics.
Another way to keep your students engaged throughout the entire course is to make conversations that don’t concern their studies. You can ask them how their day went, or if their family is planning a vacation any time soon. These small talks can provide them with a sense of community, making it very easy for your students to open up with you regardless of what their concerns are.
- Use multiple communication tools: The Internet has made it very easy for anyone to communicate with other people. As long as you have a stable Internet connection, you can easily talk to other people regardless of their location.
To keep your students engaged at all times, maximize different communication tools throughout their course. Make it convenient for students to reach you through email or social media. The more communication tools you use when teaching students, the easier it’ll be for them to talk to you.
- Tell Your Students Their Progress
As an online tutor, it’s essential that you continuously track each of your student’s progress and discuss this information with them. Regardless if your students are doing good or bad in their classes, you should always maintain transparency and give them honest feedback.
Telling students about their progress is important because this shows how you value their performance. Students will be motivated to regularly ask questions and improve on their weak areas if they know that their online tutor is truly concerned about their progress. For example, if you’re transparent and sincere enough to tell a student that they need to brush up on their math skills, chances are they’ll regularly ask tips from you or request for longer sessions so they can have a better understanding of the topics. Without any feedback from your end, on the other hand, students will show up in your online classes just for the sake of it, and might even interact with you less.
There are many ways you can inform your students about their academic performance. If you’re handling one student at a time, you can schedule individual sessions with them where you can provide your honest critique. Make sure that you point out their strengths before discussing their weaknesses.
If you’re handling several students in one session, avoid giving feedback to a student while their peers are watching or listening. This can have adverse effects on the student’s morale as they might feel embarrassed. When this happens, the student might lose the motivation to continue learning or work with you.
- Celebrate And Reward Your Student’s Success
Human beings love to be appreciated. If an employee is congratulated by their boss, for example, they’ll continue to strive because they know that their efforts are appreciated in the workplace.
Making your students feel appreciated is another way to keep them engaged. Make sure that you celebrate and reward their academic successes. Depending on your preferences, you can give out praises during class or reward them with gift certificates.
Regularly showing appreciation to your students will enable you to create healthy relationships with them, and encourage them to continue performing their best.
- Let Students Feel That They Can Succeed
It’ll be challenging for an online student to stay engaged with your lessons if they doubt their capabilities. Often, this would lead them to overthink, making it difficult for them to focus during sessions.
Another way to help your students stay engaged is to let them feel that they can succeed. After providing feedback on their performance, motivate your students to do better moving forward. If their grades have failed to show any improvement even after several sessions, uplift their spirits by sharing how you also faced difficulties in the past, but succeeded eventually through patience and hard work.
It’s important to make your students feel that they have a friend in you. They’ll stay engaged with your lessons if they’re comfortable with the learning environment you’ve set up for them.
Your Efforts Count
Keeping your students engaged can be challenging at first, but if you’re truly passionate about tutoring, this task will eventually come easy. Just remember to try out different strategies so you can easily determine which among these methods work best for your students.