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Online Tutoring 

Why use online tutoring?

The benefits of online tutoring go beyond increasing access to tutors. Not only do the students who were not able to get face-to-face tutoring benefit, but those who have previously experienced face-to-face tutoring can also have a beneficial tutoring experience. One of the by-products of online tutoring is that the student automatically has a transcript of the session. While the transcript may answer a particular question, the problem that the student was having is likely to be one which the student will have again. Looking at the questions that the tutor asked and the explanations that the tutor gave can help the student work through other problems on their own. It is in effect writing a textbook designed for the particular student, addressing those problems specific to the student in a way which that particular student can understand.

It can also provide structure and motivation for students. Tutoring sessions can act as useful intermediate deadlines, breaking up a large project or assignment into manageable pieces. Periodic checks with a tutor can ensure that progress is being made. The tutor can act as both a cheerleader and a calendar for the student. Of course, this is true of face-to-face tutors as well. However, online time with a tutor can be broken up into smaller pieces than in the case of time with a face to face tutor. If you send an e-mail to the tutor, who spends 15-30 minutes writing a response, everyone’s time is better spent than if you or the tutor had traveled to meet the other. This increases the frequency of tutor/tutee sessions.

In some cases online tutoring is what the student really needs, when he/she really needs it. For example, a student working on a term paper may need feedback, or a student may need a few questions answered. In cases like these, online tutoring is really what they need. It doesn’t make sense to sit and watch a tutor read over your paper, or to pay the high fees for a face to face tutor when you have a few specific questions not an overall problem with the subject.

Online tutoring is also a way for students who have handicaps which preclude face-to-face tutoring to get the tutoring that they need. For example, students who are unable to hear, speak, or travel are able to get tutoring which might otherwise be inaccessible.

Frequently tutors need to diagnose the source of problems for a student. The online tutoring system we use allows tutors to come away from each e-tutoring session with a complete transcript of the session. This is a perfect setting for really accurate study of pattern of errors for each student.

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