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Online Tutoring: Tips for Effective Learning

By Jon, published on 05/03/2018 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Students > Online Tutoring: Where to Start

According to a report published in The Daily Telegraph, a whopping 72% of students in the UK have had private tutoring in preparation for their Common Entrance Exam.

A survey done for the Sutton Trust discloses that 24% of all students in Britain have benefited from one on one tutoring at some point during their academic career. That figure jumps to 40% in London.

With the proliferation of Internet-based teaching materials and tools such as virtual whiteboard, online tutoring has seen a 500% growth rate over the past year.

More and more tutoring centers are riding this wave by helping students improve their study skills online.

A few mouse clicks can uncover a certified teacher of practically any discipline from science, math and English to niche skills, offering tutelage online.

Let us now discover how we can get help from online tutors.

Hint: there is a lot more out there than academia!

Foreign languages can be learned with a tutor online Learn to speak French with your online language tutor. Source: Pixabay Credit: Skeeze

What Can Be Practiced Online?

Online study covers a broader range of subjects than you might think

A Second Language

Students enrolled in UK public schools are compelled to study a foreign language for at least 3 years.

Why stop there?

Scientists agree that people who are bilingual are better multi-taskers and have increased attention spans. Furthermore, the younger a learner engages in a language besides his native tongue, the greater his cognitive abilities.

To be competitive academically, who wouldn’t want their child to receive supplemental instruction in a second language?

Hiring a French tutor or a Spanish tutor is a great way to rise above average expectations put on students.

Technology and Software Applications

Website Talentegg says that a resume listing only basic computer skills is not enough to warrant interviewing that candidate. These days, hiring managers are looking for specific skills sets, such as Python or database management.

Cultivating your digital skills with a tutor online is an excellent way to ensure your viability in the job market.

It can also improve your college graduate’s chances of securing a promising career.

Using a video conferencing application such as Skype, your tutor can provide individualized instruction on every facet of any computer science you are learning, and even tutor you in computer programming!

During the first part of the lesson, you would be taught software capabilities using interactive whiteboard. The second half of your online tutoring session would be spent in screen share mode, when you demonstrate your newly acquired skills under the guidance of your mentor.

Screen share is one of the greatest tools of online learning!

Physical Fitness

With the fitness craze currently sweeping Britain, everybody wants a good workout.

Not everyone wants to put themselves on display, sweating it out in the gym. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a personal trainer at home?

Thanks to online tutoring, you can!

For no more than the cost of any academic lesson (average £20), you could take fitness classes with an online coach. Some of the sports that can be mastered are:

  • Pilates

  • Yoga

  • Tai Chi

  • Fitness and Stretching

  • Strength training

  • Endurance training

More vigorous sports, such as martial arts and dancing can also be learned online.

While you’re busy getting fit, don’t forget nutrition: you can find a dietary coach online, too!

Learn the guitar, piano or brass instruments online You can learn to play a musical instrument online. Source: Pixabay Credit: Stux

Become a Music Maestro

Have you long wished to play the guitar? Do you envision your fingers tinkling the ivories for enraptured friends?

Learning music online offers a distinct advantage over traditional music lessons because you can record your tutor’s instructions for later playback, should you need reinforcement until your next scheduled lesson.

Also, you can ask your tutor to recommend videos to watch online that complement your session.

Instead of lugging that guitar or clarinet across town, you/your child can learn everything from chords and fingering to writing music from the online teacher of your choice.

Studies have proven that learning to play music can result in improved academic skills. Besides your love of music, isn’t that a great reason to take lessons online?

Gaining Academic Skills Online

It goes without saying that online tutoring is most suitable for sharpening academic skills.

Youths spend the majority of their free time in the digital world: chatting with friends on social media, watching videos and playing games.

Online learning is a logical extension of youths’ digital existence.

Students who work with tutors online are comfortable and at ease in part because they are acclimatised to the environment so closely associated with their social lives.

Another reason students enjoy online lessons is because online tutors tend to be closer in age to their tutees.

Rapport is key to successful learning; tutors who instruct online are more likely to connect with their tutees because of the minimal age difference, and the medium and methods they use to teach.

A webcam permits your tutor to see you during lessons A quality webcam is essential for online learning. Source: Pixabay Credit: Vitamin

What Do You Need to Take Courses Online?

Before you dash out to buy a top of the line computer, let us reassure you: if the machine you are currently reading this on is Windows 8 or 10, or a MacOS Sierra, you do not need another system in order to learn with your tutor online.

Your connexion speed really matters. For online learning sessions, you need at least a broadband link to insure against screen freezes and delays in transmission. Fiberoptic would be even better!

WiFi works too, but with a caveat: low speed or weak signals might interrupt you while working on assignments with your tutor.

Two accessories you should invest in are:

  • A webcam. Most laptop machines come with a camera built-in but only the newest desktop screens are so equipped. If your computer monitor is a bit older, you will need a camera so your tutor can see you.

  • A headset with telescopic microphone. Most laptops include both microphone and speakers but they tend to be of inferior quality, and desktop machines require an external microphone.

After investing in private lessons online, why risk misunderstanding your tutor, or him/her not hearing you correctly?

Neither of these accessories are terribly expensive and their functionality make them well-worth the cost.

The Software/App Question

No need to fret over buying a license for specialized applications for online learning. Your tutor will most likely suggest the software you will use to take lessons; one you probably already know about.

Of the millions of apps floating around cyberspace – more than two hundred thousand of them dedicated academic study, most likely you will only need Skype.

You might already be familiar with this video chat platform. It is the most commonly used application for online instruction because it has a screen share function that allows your tutor to see what you are doing while you’re doing it.

After a vocabulary session during your Spanish lesson, your tutor announces a short dictation exercise. You would engage ‘screen share’ so that s/he can see what you are typing as you type it.

Isn’t that convenient?

All of the choices for online tutoring can be confusing Don’t let the myriad of choices for online tutoring boggle your mind. Source: Pixabay Credit: Pezibear

Where to Turn for Private Lessons?

A survey done for the Sutton Trust discloses that 24% of all students in Britain have benefited from one to one tutoring at some point during their academic career. The figure for private tutoring jumps to 40% in London.

Where is everyone finding these private lessons from?

Tutoring Agencies that offer Private Lessons Online

Keystone Tutors has a London-based office that provides home tutoring in the city and online tutoring all over the UK. As well as college entrance and national exam preparation, these tutors provide academic support and homework help from KS1 to GCSE.

In addition to videos and instruction via webcam, Keystone tutors use whiteboard and digital pens to ensure an interactive experience with their tutees.

These dedicated tutors include caregivers in the learning process by providing parents a monthly report that details:

  • the focus of that month’s tutoring

  • the form of assessment used

  • the student’s achievements and areas for further work
  • the focus for the coming month

Simply Learning Tuition – or SLT is a London-based agency that offers online tutoring across the UK. They also provide in home tutoring and lessons for home schooled students.

This organization functions as an academic consulting agency, performing an initial assessment exam and a family interview, after which they select the tutors most suited to your child’s temperament and scholastic needs.

SLT embraces standard academic tutoring subjects that reflect national curriculum demands, as well as SAT, GCSE and A Levels test preparation. Their mentorship extends to tutoring at college level and for International Baccalaureate prep.

Websites that Provide Tutoring Online

TLC Live is a tutoring website based in East Anglia and staffed by certified teachers, for students from KS1 to GCSE.

Since their inception in 2003, they have worked closely with schools to develop a bespoke curriculum  of supplemental instruction that ties in with national education requirements. Because of their close association with formal learning, they tutor using the most up-to-date classroom textbooks and exam criteria.

Online Tutoring with Superprof

Superprof has:

  • Math tutors – KS1-5, SAT, GCSE and A Levels test prep
  • Science tutors – biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences
  • English tutors – vocabulary, grammar, spelling, ESOL
  • Foreign languages – French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, German, Italian
  • Computers and digital technology
  • Engineering tutors – civil, electrical, mechanical
  • Music – piano, guitar, drums, singing
  • Economics – macro and microeconomics, econometrics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • History tutors
  • Art tutors – sculpting, drawing, acting
  • College level tutoring in all subjects

You can even learn how to cook, sew and swim while face to face with a Superprof tutor!

With more than a million active tutors registered to the site, Superprof has a tutor for every student, anywhere in the UK.

Superprof certifies that every tutor is properly qualified to teach in his/her field. You can further judge a Superprof tutor’s abilities by testimonials from other students.

Finding Your Online Tutor Through Adverts

Every UK city has their own Freeads. You can conduct a search for tutors of subjects you are interested in, from reading and writing to Algebra and Trigonometry. And then, you only need to read through your search results in order to decide who would best suit your learning needs.

At Gumtree you can conduct a search by typing in what you need help with – academic, sports or music, and what city you live in. The adverts are listed in no particular order, so it might take a while to find the best tutor.

What About Your Local Newspaper?

Even in these digital times, you can still find one to one tutoring services listed in the classified ads section of your local or regional paper. With a bit of time, you may well find a good match to your educational needs.

As you can see, online tutoring services are not difficult to find. But what does all that searching boil down to?

Save money by learning online Online lessons will not squeeze your wallet! Source: Pixabay Credit: stevepb

Top Benefits of Online Tutoring

The benefits of private tutoring online are numerous.

Lower Cost; Less Time!

Before enlisting the help of a tutor for academic success, perhaps you could benefit from free tutoring

Taking lessons or seeking homework help online is cost-effective and time-saving, especially because online tutors are particularly adept at delivering quality instruction via webcam.

Besides your study materials, you shouldn’t need any more than a computer with Internet connexion, a webcam and a headset.

Conferencing software allows for several people to be on the same ‘call’. The tutor might suggest group learning with his/her other students, who are all studying the same topic and are at approximately the same level as you are.

Peer tutoring is a great way to build confidence while helping others learn.

Doing so will save you even more money. Online tutoring in general and Superprof tutors especially are great at giving lower rates to students who participate in group studies.


According to a study conducted in 2014, average commuting time throughout the UK clocked at 54 minutes per trip. That is nearly a full hour that you could be increasing your competencies. Nearly a full hour tutors to spend traveling rather than instructing.

With tutoring live online, the only traffic is what you and you teacher send back and forth… and that’s nearly instantaneous!

Through online tutoring, geographical restrictions are eliminated.

You could join study groups in Scotland or Wales – or any other (English speaking) country with no worries about where to meet or paying extra for your teacher to come to your home.

Furthermore, because of the wealth of tutors advertising their services online, you can easily find a tutor you would like to work with.

If you live in a remote area or want to learn a niche skill, you are much more likely to find the best tutor over the web than a home tutor in your corner of the world.

Learning in Comfort

Studies show that learning is best done in an orderly environment. If you have joined a learning center online, that orderly space should include the desk you are sitting at and the room it is situated in.

However, nothing says you can’t benefit from E-tutoring in your pyjamas or other such comfortable garb.

Breaking from Traditional Learning Model

New studies in cognitive behavior indicate that changing instruction delivery methods can improve how much pupils retain. By engaging in online learning, you eschew the traditional image of teacher-before-student, effectively exposing yourself/your child to the very change that top psychologists recommend.

By learning from a tutor online, you are embracing the very latest educational theories for success.

The latest data conclusively prove that students involved in online learning tend to outperform their peers in scholastic aptitude tests. Aren’t you eager to drop in on your tutor?

If I’m searching for tutors near me, I always use Superprof. With over 1000 subjects and 10,000 tutors, you can learn anything you want.


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