Niches in Online Tutoring


As online courses and tutorials have penetrated into more countries, distance learning (also referred to as e-learning) is no longer a new phrase to hear. Nonetheless, the industry is still at its starting point, and many of us do not really see the full opportunities in online tutoring.

The first niche to mention is the contents and subjects of online courses. People tend to believe that online courses are nothing more than supplements to academic subjects at school, and those who take courses online either want a degree or have difficulties with their school work. What they may not know is that many online learners are simply learning for their own interests or fun. There are quite a few of people who do not have a specific aim for earning degrees, but are only curious about something they are not familiar with and want to know more about it. Believe it or not, you can learn almost any subject, any topic or anything that you can think of, online. Another myth is that certain programmes need real-world practice, so they cannot be learned online. In fact, there is no proof for this. People are already taking courses of cryptography, translation, and even music composition on the Internet.

If you are a student looking for an online course, it's time to try something new and fresh besides common routine subjects such as algebra, English or history. For instance, click on "Learn" at and then select "Skills" to view the courses under this category. You will find enough tutors teaching guitar, piano, fitness, running, and Ableton. If you are a tutor (or you are an "expert" in a certain field), just post a course that is different from others, which you are good at and have confidence in teaching well. The Guardian used to report a woman who took an online course about death and dying. At Acadsoc, I've seen one of our tutors teaching a course named "Sub-conscious mind control"!

As everyone perceives the biggest beneficiaries of distance learning as those who do not have time to attend full-time school or who are not admitted to a nearby university, the types of prospective students are not so limited. For people who are physically challenged, get an access to education at home cannot be more comforting. And for bored salary men who would think of switching their career path, learning new skills online helps a lot before starting a brand new job.

There is one more factor that is often ignored by online learners themselves: socialization. At school you have abundant time and chances to make friends with various peers and keep in close touch with your teachers, which is actually a crucial section indispensable for you to achieve final success, since social networking is part of everybody's life. You need to practice this while studying online as well. Online tutoring does not suggest tutors and students tapping on their own keyboards and never have any further connection after the class is over. Richard Reece, associate vice-president at the University of Manchester points out that it really benefits the learners if they leave a sense of community rather than feeling like an isolated person behind a computer. You are encouraged to make use of online forums and social networks to meet other students and ask for help, said the Guardian on Nov. 13. It is particularly important to make connections on your course if you study a business course, it said.

Online tutoring is such a sunrise industry that it is implicit in numerous potential. Either a student or a tutor as you are, you should not restrict yourself to stereotype thinking of distance learning, since it is up to you to dig out each and every benefit hiding behind the promising industry.

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