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Online Tuition

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by microbiology, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. microbiology

    microbiology New commenter


    I have never done online tuition before but someone has asked me if I would tutor online (skype) to a distant student.

    I have a few questions:

    1.) What platform do you use for online tuition, if skype- can you showing your writing? share files? can they record?
    2.) How do you take payments from a student online?
    3.) How do you make it effective?
    4.) Do you offer discount? if so, how much?
    5.) Do you book them for a regular lesson?
    6.) What equipment do I buy to write? I know I have to buy a microphone and webcam

  2. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    Ziteboard is good - you can both write on it, either keyboard or stylus., and you can both see what the other is writing. You can also import pdf files, so things like exam papers, to work on together. The trial version doesn't allow this but the paid (not expensive) version does.

    Ideally you'll need a decent tablet that you can write on properly.

    Payments are fine by paypal or transfer, but there are other methods available. I find though that parents are familiar with and trusting of paypal.
    As for the bookings and the discounts, that's up to you.

    Good luck.
  3. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    I use Idroo and Skype, it is free to use but if you want to upload pdfs etc there is the paid version.

    You really need good graphics tablet to write on, I have a Wacom, really simple to use.
  4. Ian1983

    Ian1983 Occasional commenter

    I've done 1 Skype lesson a week for the past couple of years. My technological set-up is incredibly basic (a laptop sat on top of a chest of drawers pointing directly towards a whiteboard on the wall!) but it works perfectly fine for me for maths.

    I do find though that some extra preparation is needed due to the difficulty in seeing a student's work - I always ask the student to email over in advance photos of any questions they've had difficulty with.

    Having said that, if I was tutoring via Skype more regularly, I probably would upgrade to a more technologically advanced set up, such as those suggested by the previous 2 posters.
  5. jean_daligault

    jean_daligault New commenter

    I'm tutoring online full-time, and I still use webcam and physical whiteboard, I find it more efficient and natural. Only fails when the student's internet connection is bad.

    Check out zoom.us, I've used it only a little but it seems good, I think it's free for one-to-one. I don't ask for payments in advance, and I haven't had to chase up too many payments, might just have been lucky.

    No commuting is good :)
    Happyregardless likes this.
  6. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    I'm interested in what people charge for online tutoring. I've seen profiles of tutors offering face-to-face tutoring for £40ph then I've seen the same tutor on another online site asking £100ph!! It seems strange. Further the online tutors seem to have far more reviews, again the same tutor that has say 2 reviews for face to face but 100 for online all 5 star. Is something fishy going on in the world of online tutoring or is it just far more lucrative?

    I taught IB for a short time in a very suspect school in Italy, a large number of students presented work that clearly wasn't their own. I've always assumed that some online tutors tap into this slightly dubious source of revenue.
  7. jean_daligault

    jean_daligault New commenter

    That does sound fishy. That said, people seem to give reviews often for online tutoring (some sites probably ask pushily, if that's a word). Over my first 25-30 students, about half gave review, so I just stopped asking. I could see a high volume online tutor getting to 100 reviews reasonably fast. On just one site it looks like a stretch though, unless it's a site like superprof where one can't really search according to various criteria, and the first tutor results are always the same for all students.

    I do get a lot of requests for projects, some brazenly wrong (one student wrote "no you do it, I just pay"), some legit (in computer science, students often have to do projects in languages they barely know), often it's a hard to walk grey line.
  8. krakowiak6

    krakowiak6 Occasional commenter

    Please share the link to the online tutor(s) asking £100 hr as I have not seen any such adverts
  9. microbiology

    microbiology New commenter

    I was thinking of charging 5% less than my hourly rate.

    ALso, I have a bad internet connection so I am not sure how this will affect me
  10. jean_daligault

    jean_daligault New commenter

    When both connections are good, Online tuition is as good as face to face I've found. But when one of them is bad, it becomes dreadful: video feed it's not good enough for physical whiteboard, and even the sound gets problematic. I'd strongly recommend upgrading your internet connection.
  11. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    I know we are not suppose to name businesses but it was on superprof among others. I do spend time looking at other profiles to help myself, particularly with pricing and profile writing.

    I am very interested in the online tutoring myself and have bought a new computer, a tablet and a microphone. The tablet I can't get to work yet. My main problem seems to be I have very slow internet which I can't upgrade until open reach install fibre optic cables in our area (apparently). I see the advantage being a far larger market place. At present I cover a 15 mile radius from my home, once I can master online tutoring the world if not the universe will be in my reach.
  12. jean_daligault

    jean_daligault New commenter

    That's the upside. The downside is that anybody searching for live tuition in your area will see your face add one of the few options. When searching online, the averagely ranked tutor will be buried on page 40. Of course the top dog on superprof will ask £100 an hour, if he asked an average price everybody would snap book him. You're leveraging your ranking more than your actual ability.

    When I started, it took me a long time to get decent volume, in spite of having a PhD and being in an on-demand field (I think? Computer science). I'd recommend registering on a ton of websites, although it always takes ages. You'll start low in the rankings until you get students and reviews from students from that site. Being a face to face tutor and having reviews from your former students will make your profile more attractive, I did not have that having never tutored before.
  13. cwilson1983

    cwilson1983 Occasional commenter

    I learned some valuable lessons with my recent experience of online tuition.

    The site I was registered on took 25% of my earnings. This was something I became aware of after my first (and only) lesson. So, double check any site's T&C's before commencing. I ended up having to increase my rate to ensure I would receive my usual rate when the commission was accounted for.

    The same site enforced the use of their online classroom, probably as a means to justify their commission. Unfortunately, the UI was incredibly poor compared to other platforms I have used and unreliable (downloaded lesson notes didn't in fact download successfully).

    As stated, there are other platforms available which also happen to be free to use with better features. So, do your research before falling prey to the convenience offered by certain tuition sites.

    In future I intend to offer online tution on websites where they derive their comission by charging the tutee a one off finder's fee, and conduct lessons via Skype, WhatsApp or Google classroom.
  14. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I've just started with online because an existing client asked me. It was fine so I updated my profile to include it on various websites. One of them, can't remember which , wanted a cut of all online lessons. Not a chance! So on that site I didn't offer it.
  15. microbiology

    microbiology New commenter

    I still haven't set it up. Can you guys recommend a decent web camera and microphone?

    Also, how do you deal with people recording lessons and sending it to peers or siblings? Can I say no recording allowed?

  16. microbiology

    microbiology New commenter

    what graphics tablet do you guys recommend?
  17. jean_daligault

    jean_daligault New commenter

    There's so much free videos of stuff online anyway, the whole point of private tuition is to ask the specific questions you have. No point in forbidding recording imo. Spires even provide automatic recording of each session to the students (my single student there seems to use that feature regularly)
    SgtSlaughter likes this.
  18. microbiology

    microbiology New commenter

    I teach a lot of students from one community and students know each other. Some have passed on my notes and resources which means they no longer come to me because they have got the notes from other people. Having the lesson recorded will just mean I will lose everyone as most can record the videos

    What do I do?
  19. jean_daligault

    jean_daligault New commenter

    Maybe have live lessons for these, and online lessons for people that live further afield and which co-students would probably not find you anyway?
  20. icosahedron

    icosahedron New commenter

    On the question of tablets, I have scruffy handwriting (I think it might be a minor problem with my fine motor skills) and I've noticed I need to rest the side of my hand on the tablet while writing otherwise it gets much worse. Even though the apps and the one graphics tablet I have claim to address this, they don't. I'll be interested to hear is anyone else has this issue, especially if you found a solution.

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