How to choose an online tutoring site

Choose which online tutoring site is right for your family

 
 

By Sharon Miller Cindrich

Contributor

Q: How does online tutoring work?

A: Most online services offer a connection with a live tutor hired by the company to help students. At Tutor.com, for instance, students work in an online classroom with their tutor and have access to a mobile app for tutoring on the go. TutorVista.com uses a virtual whiteboard to work out problems and has a chat option. At GrowingStars.com, students' sessions are conducted with Skype VoIP service.

Pricing, tutor qualifications and resources can vary for each service. Eduboard.com, for instance, covers subjects from elementary school to university level content, costs about $20 for 30 minutes of tutoring and offers one-on-one tutoring or a quick whiteboard answer with a sliding scale fee. Tutor.com charges $39 an hour. STIZZIL.com incorporates "live" video interactions from licensed teachers.

So which one will help Janie improve her geometry? Use this checklist to find the right fit for your child.

  1. Check qualifications. While many services pride themselves on qualified tutors, you'll want to find out what those qualifications are. Background checks and teaching experience often are a minimum qualification.
  2. Match subjects. Make sure the subject and grade level of your student are served by the tutoring service. Be specific when requesting Advanced Placement tutoring and inquire about the ability of the tutors to accommodate your child's special needs if he or she has an Individual Education Plan.
  3. Read reviews. Look online for reviews comparing the price, effectiveness and features of different online tutoring programs. Greatschools.org and Edudemic.com offer reviews on the top tutoring and educational trends.
  4. Start together. Make sure you are available to participate with your child with the tutoring service. Technology glitches and awkward introductions can often dampen enthusiasm. Parents can help by checking tech requirements before tutoring starts.

 
 
 



 
 
 
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