Lecturing and asking questions is an effective tutoring technique at the beginning of a tutoring situation. It gives the tutor and the student a better understanding of the subject being taught, how it will be taught, and the level of skill which has been reached by the learner. However, once use for a short while, online tutoring providers need to challenge their students to do better. Here are some ways an online tutor may try to challenge those they are tutoring:
Making The Learner Summarize The Subject Being Taught
Online tutors have done a great job when they can lead a student through the steps needed to answer problems. However, in the real world, the tutor will not be there all the time to do this leading. Therefore, the student needs to be able to summarize the subject being taught by telling the steps required to answer a problem in the correct order. Rote retelling of the steps (memorizing) is not what the tutor is looking for when they use this technique! The tutor should have the student state steps of a process in their own words and then have them show an example of the complete process without prompting from the tutor.
When the student has mastered this for a particular subject, the online tutor can focus on a new concept, starting the steps of tutoring over again.
Requiring Drawings And Diagrams
The written word is a powerful tool for learning. However, the use of drawing and diagrams can cement an idea or concept in a student’s mind. The use of drawings and diagrams is especially critical for students that are more visual learners.
Online tutors should not just provide these drawings and diagrams for the student! Have the student build a model or draw a picture as an example of a concept. This act of doing can help the student retain the information much more dramatically than when they just hear the concepts or see them in writing.
As a student or parent, you should watch for these more advanced techniques of tutoring. While lecturing, reading and answering questions can be effective at teaching the basics, the more advanced methods are required for true retention and ultimately permanent understanding.