How to Qualify Online Tutoring Services

homework helperAt some point in your child’s education journey, you’re going to feel the need for tutoring. Riley Patterson, one of our Ask a Tech Teacher team has experience with this.  She’s a freelance writer who–in her free time–helps students with their homework. She lives in Illinois with her two-year-old Bridgette (who already knows how to count from one to ten) and a pet dog. Riley wrote a great summary of the critical elements to consider as you make that homework helper decision:

Online tutoring service has become very popular in recent years. The internet and the rapid technological improvement are making the world a little bit smaller and are eliminating barriers to learning. Students can now meet with private tutors, who are maybe from another country, through Skype, Google Hangouts, and other mobile communication applications. Online tutor or homework help companies even have their own website and own application for communication. Tutors, especially online, are now easy to find and easy to engage with. Numbers of online tutorial services are popping up everywhere on the internet these.

However, as parents how and when can you determine if your child needs extra help in their studies? Will you have your child be tutored even though they are doing okay in school? Alternatively, do you wait until their grades are already slipping down? Deciding whether your children need tutoring is a major family decision. Do you have the time to arrange a tutorial session for your child? Do you have the resources of financial capability to pay for the service? Would it really benefit your child? Will it affect their self-esteem? These are some of the questions that you need to answer when coming up when the decision whether or not hire a tutorial service for your child. Nevertheless, once you have made the decision to hire an online tutor, comes now another hurdle: How can you have the assurance that you are engaging the services of a legitimate and qualified tutor? Just like in any other services on the internet, the chances of encountering a scam artist are always there.

To help you out here are some tips on how to find legitimate online tutors or homework help:

Ask a Friend

When looking for online tutors the first thing that you need to do is find out who among your friends, you neighbors, co-workers, or members of your community have experience in employing online tutorials for their children. Mention to them about your plan to hire an online tutor to help your child. Parents who have experienced your problem will be more than willing to help you out with your ordeal. Ask about the quality of the service of the company or the tutor they worked with. Would they recommend them for your child? They have the first-hand experience that is why they are at the position to tell you what to look for and what to avoid in your search. In addition, they can show you and attest to it if those tutorials help improve the grades of their children.

Do your Researchhomework helper

Search the web for online tutorial websites. Make a list of the entire sites that you have found and evaluate them one by one. First, look at the country of their origin. If they are within the same country from where you are, then there is no problem. However, if they are from a different country try to find out if that country’s educational system and academic standard is the same or at par with your own country. What subjects does their service cover? Online teachers like online tutors covers advance subjects like architecture & chemistry, others companies cover elementary or grade school subjects, while some offer specialized subject matters. You need to make sure that the subjects of your children are actually covered by their tutorial services. Next is to look at their company profile, and try to evaluate their teacher based on their information provided in their website. Do they seem reliable? Are their claims legit? From what universities are they? Ask these questions to yourself when trying to evaluate them.

Look for reviews and testimonials within their website and from third party websites. If they have unsatisfied client, chances are you will find them ranting about the company online. Online reviews and rating are helpful, but do not base your judgment solely on them. Also, do not limit your search online. Some online tutorial ads and reviews can be found in parenting publications and magazines, radio, or in the television.

In addition, find out if they have online help and customer support. Help and support is very feature of an online tutoring service. You must have a recourse of voicing out your concerns and suggestion once the tutorial service have commenced. A great online tutoring company will have a great customer support, as this is an essential element for almost all industries.

Request to Interview the Tutor

Once you have narrowed down your list to an online tutoring company or a freelance individual tutor, try to contact them one by one and ask if they would allow you to interview the tutor that will handle your child. By doing an interview and assessment, you can gauge if that particular tutor is appropriate for your child. Prepare a list of questions to ask so that you can test the competency of the tutor. Ask about his/her educational attainment, qualifications, past tutoring experience and achievements. Aside from testing his/her competency, also take note if s/he is a good speaker. Effective communication is key for your child’s learning experience. It is important the when you hire an online tutor you make sure that he can convey information and impart knowledge very well. Because of the distance barrier, it is of utmost importance that the tutor can communicate in a manner that is understandable, especially if he will be tutoring a child. Make sure that the online tutor is a good match to your child.

Also, evaluate their tools and method of teaching. Every tutor and tutorial company has different features, teaching styles and teaching tools. Take all of these into account and determine what method/tools would best fit your child. Lastly, consider the rate and payment option before you pick an online tutoring service for your child. Can you afford rates of the service and is it worth? Finding legitimate online teacher or tutor will be easy if you equip yourself with the following information.

–Thanks to Riley for supporting my recent blog donation drive. It is much appreciated!

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

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