In 2020 the entire world underwent great change. The Covid-19 pandemic represented the biggest worldwide upheaval since World War II. Entire countries were effectively shut down. With travel restricted – even locally – in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus, commerce and industry had to act very quickly to rearrange working practices.
With offices, shops, and other business premises closed, the only option was for those who could to work remotely from home while persons in essential jobs were the only ones permitted in the workplace. It’s fair to say that had the pandemic occurred 30 years ago; the situation would have been far worse. What saved the day? Quite simply, affordable digital technology in personal computers, smartphones, and software packages and apps.
Some smaller businesses – especially those that involve a face-to-face meeting between a service provider and a customer – looked set to suffer badly. One of those was the education sector and, in particular, private and corporate tutoring. However, the industry rallied to the occasion, and now – thanks to having discovered the available software that enables online tutoring – many tutors are keeping this method as an option. Let’s look at why this is so and what you need to successfully run an online tutoring service.
Why Online Tutoring is Here to Stay
The move to online tutoring may have been forced, but it gave rise to the fact that this is a surprisingly efficient way of teaching. The tutor can present one-to-one or to a class using up-to-the-minute video conferencing software and apps. His tutor has choices, as do the students. They can also choose whether to present life or pre-record a session that the student can watch at their leisure.
For many tutors, the live presentation is the best method, and one-to-one is also preferred as it allows for two-way conversation that is not confused by many people talking at once. Now let’s look at some of the tools you need to enable tutoring online, includingbooking software for tutors that is one of the most important.
Tools You Need for Online Tutoring Success
The following tools should ensure that online tutoring is convenient for all delivery and receiving sides. Let’s talk first about online booking software for tutors.
Booking and Scheduling Software
Keeping a diary or calendar updated is essential, but also time-consuming. But there are booking software packages and apps that allow you to create a calendar in the cloud. Manual booking involves calls, emails or messages, and physically entering the booking in the calendar. This is then accessed by a password given to all the tutor’s clients.
What happens is that the tutor highlights every open block he or she has available in the cloud calendar. The students can then log into the calendar and choose a slot that is convenient to them. That slot is then closed, and the tutor is notified it has been booked, and a reminder may be sent to the student nearer the time. This method reduces no-shows and puts the onus on the student to choose the best slot.
Some of these packages and apps also have useful features for people working from home who are not necessarily tutors – perhaps personal trainers, for example, or counselors – and are certainly worth checking out.
Video Software – One on One and Group Sessions
The key to a successful online tutoring business lies in the quality of the software or app involved, which is especially true for video conferencing. This area of communication became very big business during the pandemic, with the likes of Zoom rocketing in demand. This was due to the growing number of remote workers.
Some of the booking systems we talked about include a video conferencing feature that can be one-to-one or group sessions. The tutor can also use this feature to run virtual classrooms as part of the tutoring package. These can be accessed by the student whenever they like, usually within set dates. This way, there is less chance of the student forgetting a session and falling behind.
Quality is paramount, as we said above, and you need a reliable broadband connection and won’t keep dropping out if this is to work smoothly.
Automatic Payment Reminders
One advantage of the booking and scheduling packages we mentioned is that they usually come with a payment portal. This will remind the tutor that they need to invoice students for their time or may do so automatically at a pre-set duration – perhaps fortnightly or monthly, for example. This sort of feature ensures that invoices are raised without the possibility of missing one and that payments are taken via the app directly into the tutor’s business account.
Reports and Certificates
At the end of your tutoring, you will want to issue your students with the relevant certificate and perhaps a report and assessment of how they have performed. If you are teaching a recognized body’s course, they may issue the certificates, but giving your students your own personal assessment is a nice touch. An editing and content app will enable you to create personal and uniquely branded certificates and documents to pass on to your students.
We have perhaps not covered all aspects of online tutoring, but the above are the major software, apps, and tools you need to run your business successfully. Whether you tutor many students or simply a select few, the situation remains the same, and the software and features described above remain important.
Whether you are looking to begin online teaching or are keen to make it an option that students can choose – and for many, it is the more convenient and cheaper method – we recommend you look for a package that includes most or all of the above, with the emphasis on remote booking and efficient video communications.