Advanced Guide to Find the Best Online Tutor

3/28/2014

Online education assistance, in a nutshell, involves the process of tutoring via an online format on the Internet. Unlike traditional tutoring, with the online format the tutor and the student are separated physically, usually across a significant distance, and connect to each other virtually. The tool and method are being used in an increasing frequency as people realize the power of the Internet to provide assistance with maximum time and scheduling flexibility. However, online education assistance isn’t a simple matter of trading emails or instant messaging about a topic or math problem. Instead, the format follows specific methodologies with some working better than others.

 

online tutoring


The Advantages of Online Tutoring

 

Clearly, time scheduling and flexibility are the first big benefit with online tutoring. Because of the ease many of the tutoring models provided, a student can often obtain the help she or he needs when it works for them, day or night. The time spent with a tutor is often maximized with an online format. This is because the session is not compromised by the tutor’s time taken to arrive physically. The session starts when the lesson begins. So a one hour session can literally provide 60 full minutes of teaching versus time lost in a physical meeting. Finally, cost-wise, an online tutor can often maximize funding spend on learning, allowing a student to gain more teaching for each dollar spent. Competition-wise, online tutors are often less expensive than traditional providers. Online providers usually have more accounts, so they can provide their services at a lower cost than a single tutor. 

 

Different Types of Tutoring Online Services

 

Tutoring via a virtual classroom follows two main models: asynchronous and synchronous. The first type is provided when a student asks questions or responds to problems at a certain point, and the tutor responds back with answers or guidance at a later time. Synchronous tutoring online, the second type, uses an interface that both the tutor and the student are working with at the same time. This can also be used when a tutor is teaching multiple students simultaneously as well. In most cases, the synchronous approach has to use some kind of Internet connection and software integrated with an Internet browser to run the system. Between the two categories, there are also different styles and approaches of delivering material to students. For example:


types of online tutoring


* Tactical tutoring – The tactical approach is specific and focused on becoming involved at key points where the tutor either delivers his expertise on a topic to the student, or the student is showing an obvious mistake that needs correcting.


*Strategic tutoring – The strategic tutor is far more scheduled in approach, with quite a bit of pre-planning performed before the lessons and tutoring actually begin. They also tend to favor small group teaching, using the dynamic of a group setting to help students learn from each other.


* Automated tutoring – Under this model the tutor is not a person at all. Instead, it’s a computer program or script that feeds out instructions and responses after specific input is provided by a student.

 

Online Tutoring Costs and Pricing

 

A Private online tutor can be just as expensive as real-time versions, and they often utilize rudimentary Internet tools such as Skype connections. For the price paid, students often get charged a premium for what’s delivered, ranging from $15/hour for a high school student tutor to as much as $75/hour for a certified adult online tutor.

 

Tutoring agencies work like networks, assigning affiliated tutors to student clients who call in and sign up for a service. The rates are far less than a standalone approach, usually in the range of $25/hour for basic instruction. More complicated fields can be higher, however.

 

Tutoring centers provide a variety of subjects that a student can be helped in as well as rate schedule. These resources are often accessed on a subscription basis, which can range from a low of $50/month to as much as $150/week. The difference again depends on which topic and the frequency of tutoring desired. These resources often tend to be designed with the most professional approach, providing a good balance between cost and quality of tutoring delivered. They also tend to have very clear payment return policies if a subscriber wants to end services early.


price model tutoring

 

Finally, there are free online tutoring sites, but the level of help provided is very limited. They can help with basic problem understanding and grade school challenges, which can be useful for children with a parent involved providing the instruction. However, most are automated, and even the assisted free online tutoring platforms are very restricted in how much live help is provided.


 

Reviews of  Online Tutoring Sites

 

Eduboard is a premium service that delivers a wide variety of topics for training as well as one-on-one assistance. The service scores very well among raters and parents because of the large amount of resources available for the fees paid. Eduboard does not charge a monthly service fee; instead, the company offers multiple tutors at set fees charged by the minute. This can become costly for students needing lots of assistance. On the other hand, the service offers a good way for a student to get one-time assistance very quickly. The service is primarily delivering help on challenges the student has. It does not provide generic videos, templates, worksheets or thinking games to reinforce general lessons. So the level of help depends significantly on the student's communication and scope of problems that he needs assistance on.


Acadsoc.com offers students tutors with a varied background, a large range of classes to take, and a flexible time schedule. The client software sets up on a regular computer within a few seconds, so a student can get started very quickly, even receiving help with a free membership account. For those who don’t feel they are getting what they need, the company offers a money back guarantee as well. Finally, the site is completely secure, so there’s no worry about private information or payment processes being compromised. Acadsoc.com provides all the essential tutoring services compared to other services, and because its a society of tutors versus just a company or job board, the assistance needed by a student can easily be custom-tailored as well. This works very well for clients with specific challenges, unique and non-standard learning issues, and one-off issues that aren't commonly taught.


acadsoc online tutoring

 

Sylan Learning is a long-known name in tutoring, and the company provides an online service as well. The service rated well but not quite as high as others, likely because its focus is on K through 8th grade and math and reading primarily. The company vets out and screens its tutors to ensure they properly match customer demands correctly, and it also requires parents to be involved in monitoring the progress of a student signed up for assistance on a regular basis. Parents are also expected to help their kids with assignments and homework. This reduces confusion and questions about service delivery if the tutoring doesn't necessarily work out once engaged, but it also raises questions in some customers what they are paying for if the parent seems to be doing the assistance work.


free tutoring

 

Smartthinking offers tutoring for high school and college students on a 24/7 basis. However, its target audience is for older students, and the program is not designed for grade school needs. For whom it does serve, the company provides a solid delivery model scoring in the middle of the pack compared to other providers. Pricing usually hits near $35/hour for assistance provided, and tutoring can either be on a one-on-one basis or through a question-and-answer communication process, i.e. messaging or email. The service does not provide any static resources, however, for students to find answers on their own. All assistance comes from the tutors involved versus any templates, thinking games, or information reference.

 

In Summary

 

Obtaining the services of a tutor online has come a long way in 2014 from where education assistance was years ago. Fortunately, the Internet has made the process a lot easier, with far more resources, and far lower costs. As a result, most are able to find the tutoring they need on their schedule and their budget.

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