Getting the most out of an Online Tutoring Session

As online tutoring has become the norm for many students, I've written a short list of advice to get the most out of these online meetings. These suggestions are not requirements, and I will not be upset if they are not followed. This list is only advice to get the most out of our scheduled time.

Before our Tutoring Session

Before our session starts, please log in to your school website and load any online assignments or textbooks needed during our tutoring session.

Even if your assignment will be submitted online, have access to paper and pencil (or a tablet and stylus) during your tutoring session (or really, anytime you are working on math homework!) Even though you may type your final answer into a website, it is often impractical to reach this answer mentally. You will frequently need to work it out by hand before typing in your response.

When we schedule a start time for an appointment, check with me to see if we can find a time that will allow you to do these preparation steps before your session starts.

During our Tutoring Session

If possible, set your devices to "Do not Disturb" mode so that you can focus on your tutoring session as much as possible. Additionally, try to let other people in your house know when your tutoring session is so that you can work undisturbed. I understand that this will not always be possible.

Try to work at a table or desk, or at least in a configuration where you can write comfortably. Tutoring sessions seem are not as impactful if you can only watch what I am doing and respond verbally to questions. As much as you can, actively participate in the tutoring session. I will do my best to encourage this process throughout our sessions as well. For example, I may ask you to work something out on paper and show me through the camera or dictate what you wrote.

Technology Suggestion (very optional!)

If the student is receiving regular online tutoring sessions, I would consider using a tablet computer to allow the student to also write on the whiteboard. I could see directly what the student was writing, just like an in-person session.

If your family already has access to something like a Microsoft Surface or an iPad with Apple Pencil, this would work well. You can log into the zoom session using that tablet computer and write on the Zoom Whiteboard or your online assignment directly while sharing your screen. If you do not have access to a tablet computer, a more affordable option would be a Wacom tablet. (A Wacom tablet is a USB or Bluetooth peripheral device that lets a person use a stylus to write text that appears on a monitor instead of a mouse). If you do not already have access to these kinds of computers or peripherals and cannot or are not interested in owning such a device, this is 100% fine. I do not expect a student to have this kind of computer setup, and I have much experience doing sessions without these devices. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about using these kinds of devices during a tutoring session.