Although COVID-19 has popularized online learning, one-on-one virtual tutoring has been around for years. For students, online platforms allow distance learning and flexibility in their schedule, eliminating any need to commute.
At the same time, there’s more to virtual learning than convenience and practicality. The rapport, accelerated learning and ease of use of one-on-one virtual tutoring can promote familiarity and stress release. As a camp or class program manager, parents trust and rely on you to build a bond with their students, trusting you to advance their child’s educational enrichment outside of the traditional classroom. Plus, offering personalized tutoring during this time is a great way to bring in revenue while in-person programs are canceled.
Here are a few tips to smooth the transition for all types of students:
Ease the Student Into Learning
- Pre-evaluation - What are the student’s capabilities? A pre-evaluation is crucial since you don’t want to overestimate their abilities, which can result in lower confidence. That said, you also want to continue to challenge the student, so a pre-evaluation is essential. One tip would be to ask your students some basic questions on the core of a topic. For example, if you’re working on an art project, ask your student a question about the differences in primary colors versus secondary colors.
- Guided Inquiry - Using prompts and leading questions, encourage a student to form steps and processes in their head to improve their learning. If a student asks you a specific question, have them recall the steps they would take to get to a certain point, such as where they got stuck. This will help you understand their thought process before attempting to challenge them a little further.
Coordinate Your Tutoring Sessions
1. Compliance - Make sure your virtual sessions are complying with consistent guidelines and standards.
- Have the lesson planned out beforehand.
- Have everybody on board, with expectations set—time, platform, and syllabus.
- Expect some technical difficulties in the first session.
- Have a PDF troubleshooting handout ready. Advise a student to keep the reference open in a computer tab, prepared to read in case of technical difficulties.
- Make sure all students in your program know how to access and find supporting resources to utilize their online tutoring.
2. Engagement - Keep your students motivated and inspired.
- Have a game plan in place that fosters active engagement and learning, along with collaboration and building rapport.
- Encourage open-ended questions. Ongoing dialogue provides an opportunity to talk about learning resources and activities.
- Vary different resources such as video and audio capabilities, live feedback on document work or whiteboard capability to replicate face-to-face communication.
3. Technology - Know, demonstrate and explain platform basics.
- Troubleshooting communication: describe and demonstrate active listening, paraphrasing and establishing rapport
- The platform features: know, show and explain the use of system or platform properties (e.g., whiteboard, chat, screen sharing, or writing/drawing).
Marketing Your Virtual Tutoring
Taking the right approach in marketing your virtual tutoring services is critical. Consider utilizing the ACTIVEWorks Camp & Class Manager's Virtual Programs Toolkit that includes email tools, landing pages, merchandise and supplies, donations and Virtual Classroom Support.
Some other things to consider are:
- Offering a Free Trial Class - In many cases, younger children want to try something, but they don’t know where to begin. An example would be a music conservatory offering a free class, an ideal situation as younger children don’t always know the differences between instruments.
- Packaging Discount - Make it an attractive offer, perhaps something such as four 30-minute private lessons for only $99.
- Offering a Time-Sensitive Tuition Discount - An example would be a 25% off tuition if they register before a specific date.
- Tapping Into the Local Schools - Make sure your marketing includes the age group you are targeting. Families want to know what is available for children of different ages.
- Targeting New Movers - New families moving into your area are a great source of potential new students.
- Optimizing Your Google Listing - It’s easy to make sure your Google listing is up-to-date. Google My Business is an outstanding resource to be current.
- Getting to Know Your Competition - Become friendly with other virtual teachers and exchange tips.
Ready to get set up? Learn how to create virtual programs in ACTIVEWorks Camp & Class Manager, a robust, powerful tool with a variety of business management capabilities to drive success for any program offered—whether it’s in-person, online, or both.