Since the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the learning has turned its back onto the traditional mode and has switched to online tutoring. Online tutoring is a way of teaching where the tutor conveys the message to the student or the learner using a distant-learning format.
The outbreak of the pandemic has had adverse effects on the students as well as the teachers. Students almost lost their relation to the books and the aura of the traditional classrooms due to the same reason. Well, tutors or the educational institutions had to find a way out, and thus, with the advancements in technology and the e-era, the educational institutes started using the technology at its best, and thus they came up with the idea of online tutoring. Before choosing online tutoring or an online tutor, one should not overlook certain points in an online tutor.
Skills that an online tutor must have:
- Communication skills
Before finalizing a tutor, ensure that the tutor you are looking for is great at communication. Communication plays a vital role in teaching. Communication skills are needed by all tutors so that the message that they are trying to convey is delivered to the audience that is the students. This skill is needed for using graphics, videos, and digital audio files for communication.
Conversations with parents and students rely heavily on communication via texting, emails, and voice messaging. Online teachers are often seen using webcams for virtual meetings either with the students or the parents rather than meeting in person.
- Time management skills
Time management is an important aspect that should not be neglected or overlooked while looking for an online tutor. Time management has become a critical issue in online learning programs than the traditional learning programs and classrooms. In online teaching mode, the teachers have to evaluate and update the course work. It is important to keep the students and the parents posted about the course work and thus it becomes mandatory for the teachers to maintain time management. Time management in general plays a vital role in life and for a teacher to hold this ethic is the most important thing because teachers act as the gurus and mentors for the students and most students are seen grasping the habits and styles of a teacher.
- Technical knowledge
This knowledge is specifically needed by the tutors to perform specific tasks. The tasks can be classified into practical tasks, related to mechanical and information technology. Since online tutoring takes place over e- media via the internet, a teacher is expected to have good knowledge of using the system properly. For instance, without basic technical knowledge, a teacher might not be able to share the screen of the system and thus the students might not be able to grasp certain concepts. Not only is technical knowledge needed to operate a system but also is needed for basic calculations and scientific tasks. This knowledge depicts one’s hold on a specific subject or a procedure. Therefore, online tutors are expected to have an appropriate level of technical expertise so that they can help their students master advanced subjects.
A teacher is expected to identify the problem and also provide the solution to the specific problem. A good teacher is considered to be the one who can tackle all the problems of the students and provide them with the best examples and illustrations to make the students understand the concept in-depth. In online tutoring sometimes it becomes hard for a tutor to convey the message to the students but a teacher should be smart enough to use the technology and deliver the solutions and make the students understand the concept by making the best use of the technology. A good teacher will make the best use of the technology by creating several presentations including illustrations and examples so that the student has a clarity of the concepts and can score better grades in the subject. This can only be possible if the teacher himself has a complete understanding of the concept.
A teacher should be actively listening to the conversations happening in the virtual classroom. The culture of virtual classrooms is so much different from traditional classrooms. A teacher has much power in traditional classrooms as the students are physically present in front of the teacher and a teacher can differentiate between the nuisance and the general discussions. In the former, the teacher needs to be a little more active and pay more attention towards the students and the classroom as it is hard to distinguish the collective voices in the virtual classrooms. Also, tutors, in general, should display active listening when a student displays a query or a question. This will make the student feel that they are heard and valued.
To sum up, these are the skills that an online tutor must have to add to the growth of a student or a learner. No matter, online tutors are often seen juggling between a heavy workload and the skills that they should possess and take care of while delivering online lectures. Also when it comes to online teaching, it demands a complex mix of different skills that should be constantly refined. So being an online tutor makes sure that you polish and refine your skills every day.