top of page

How to make the most of your online tutoring lesson

With schools closed many students have turned to online tutoring. It’s an opportunity to ask questions on topics you don’t understand, get direct feedback on passed practice papers and get tailored teaching in your chosen subjects in a 60-minute session.

Many students may only be receiving one hour of face-to-face teaching on a weekly basis; therefore, we want to ensure you get the most out of your lessons. We’ve put together some useful tips, with the help of our tutors.

1. Be prepared

You may only have one hour of contact time per week with your tutor, so it’s important you make the most of it. Ideally, plan a week in advance. Ask your tutor what topic you will be covering the following week, and dig out your study notes. Briefly recap the topic, and pinpoint any particular troublesome areas.

If you are really organised, send your tutor an email ahead of class with bullet points of the specific questions you have. This will enable your tutor to adapt their lesson plan and prepare their teaching material to your needs. Remember, the point of a tutoring lesson is to enhance your knowledge. Don’t waste time in the lesson recapping the easy stuff!

2. Don’t be afraid

Online tutors may not have the benefit of a physical classroom, but they still read their students’ body language through the webcam. By being able to see the student through the video camera, they can identify if a student is struggling to understand an explanation of a theme or topic.

This then allows the tutor to deliver the information in an alternative way that the student understands, and will be reassured by the student’s nod of the head or positive emotion. More importantly, it’s an opportunity to build a friendly rapport with your tutor so you both feel at ease.

3. Outline your goals for the lesson

At the start of every lesson, ensure your tutor has outlined and made you aware of your lesson objectives. By setting goals, you will have a focus and direction to your lesson. You will have plenty of topics to cover, with limited time in which to do so. Therefore, being able to assess whether you have completed the lesson objectives at the end of the session, will allow you and your tutor to adapt homework and the following week’s lesson plan accordingly.

4. Identify your learning style

Different tutors have different teaching styles. Some prefer to take you through presentations, with colourful diagrams and interactive quizzes, whereas some tutors prefer to work off worksheets and encourage more discussion. You will have your own preference, depending on how you receive and absorb information. Most online platforms are equipped for tutors to use whiteboard functions and screen sharing platforms as they choose. If you’re unsure which teaching style works for you, ask your prospective tutor for a trial lesson.