Tips for Tutors: How to Tutor Groups Online

June 17, 2020 by Hannah
Image We recently announced that Tutorfair has been selected by Innovate UK as one of the top business-led ideas to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will help us to launch our project Online Study Groups over the next few months and to help make sure that lost learning due to school closures is recovered.  

Work on the project began in June with an aim to implement this into the website by Autumn however, we have already launched a pilot version of the project.

The pilot has helped us to problem- solves issues we have encountered with group tuition and find new solutions to online learning. Therefore, we've provided some guidance on how to deliver online group lessons as a tutor. 

What are the benefits of group tuition?

Research has shown that small group tutoring is as effective as one-to-one learning. Groups will allow them to learn in small groups with high-quality private tutors delivering lessons tailored to them. Working with friends and other students will also enable interaction and social engagement during the lockdown whilst being more affordable and accessible throughout the country than one-to-one tuition. 

As a tutor, this will benefit you as it will expand your network of parents and students with a possibility to expand your client-base through recommendations from parents in your group. 

How to make a good first impression

Making a good first impression is key to building a good working relationship with both parents and students. A good working relationship is also crucial to securing repeat bookings. Therefore, it is key to introduce yourself to the parents/ tutors at an early stage to help provide reassurance and answer any questions they may have.

However, introducing yourself online might feel impersonal and awkward at times. We’ve put together a handy template for you to use when you are introducing yourself to clients virtually. In your first email correspondence you should be looking to provide a brief section about yourself and your tutoring experience - ensure to make it relevant to the subject you are tutoring!

How to cover content that is suitable for everyone

Unless you are covering specific topics for group sessions it can be very difficult to know what to prepare for your group lessons to ensure the content is suitable for everyone. 

So far in our group lessons, tutors have been covering a variety of topics at different levels and if they feel that a student does not suit the level - they let the support team know and we will try and fit them with a new group. We also never guarantee that these lessons will be suitable for all students and we have had some parents decide to continue with the tutor on a 1:1 basis. 

The best way to approach a first lesson is to choose a blanket topic (avoid anything too specific) that you can either expand or reduce in the level depending on the varying levels of understanding from each student in the group. Ideally, look for topics that are covered in all exam boards to ensure the content is relevant to all participating students.

If you would like some further advice from these tutors, send us an email and we can put you in touch -plus it’s a great way to start building your own tutor community!

Which platform to use

We give our tutors the flexibility to choose which online classroom they use for their lessons. However, most of our tutors for Online Study Groups use either Zoom, Skype or Bramble.

Whichever option you use, it's worth allowing a little extra time before the first session to help overcome any technical issues. 

You can find a full breakdown on each of these softwares here.

How to get involved

It’s been really exciting to see our Online Study Groups pilot starting to gain momentum.  If you are interested in tutoring groups online then please complete our registration form. When you have submitted the form you will receive more emails from us about planning, setting up and delivering the sessions.

Special thanks to some of the fantastic tutors who have been piloting our groups project: Andrew H, Sam R and Janet C.
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