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How to boost your online tutoring productivity?

How to boost your online tutoring productivity?

As the world collectively adapts to slow the spread of a pandemic, our governments' decisions to close schools, colleges, universities, and other training institutions are imminent. The urgency of transferring training processes to virtual spaces is increasingly pressing. Although some institution had anticipated a previous plan to enable the delivery of courses in a virtual way, now it is essential to prepare a virtual environment that supports the number of connected users, trains its teachers in the correct use of virtual tools for online tutoring, and to prepare your students on how to continue their education.

We are aware of the imperative need to inform institutions, teachers, and students about immediate considerations that they must bear in mind. The transformation from face-to-face to virtual environments is effective, fast, and of great quality.

Here is a brisk guide on how to adapt effectively if you are new to the world of virtual environments and are taking online courses for the very first time:

  1. Before starting your virtual classes.


So, you have just been officially informed that your face-to-face classes will now be held in a virtual space, and the coffee that you were thinking of having with friends now will be virtual. Faced with this new situation, you should consider the following aspects:

  • Be cautious and consult your institution on how the continuity of classes and their implementation will take place.

  • Ask which platform and learning tools to use, how to access it, and the minimum technical requirements required guaranteeing quality access.

  • Check with the institution if there is a previously identified schedule of classes or activities in order to organize your sessions in advance and plan in advance the tasks that you must complete.

  • Ask how you will be able to track your progress online.

  • Confirm the type of activities that will be held in the virtual environment. If they are sessions in which the tutor and the participant must connect one day at a special time such as video calls (also known as synchronous sessions), or if on the contrary, you can make progress of the activities at different times like sending emails, forum participation, or submitting a task (also known as asynchronous sessions).

  • Prepare your schedule. Once you have identified the workload, make sure to reserve real times in your schedule to work remotely. Virtuality exists, even if it is on a screen. It means that you must save active time on your part to focus and carry out your activities. Postponing these activities "for when you have time" amounts to the "almost always" broken promise to go to the gym.

  1. During online classes.


Now that you have prepared to start in your new virtual environment, you must recognize the benefits and challenges that it represents, so we suggest you keep the following in mind:

  • Prepare your configuration. Please make certain that you have a decent Internet connection at home, microphones, camera, and headphones for your laptop or device and that they work properly. If the sessions are synchronous (teacher and students connected simultaneously and in the same virtual space), the audio and the microphone will be fundamental tools. Understanding that access to the Internet or devices can be a barrier for many people, we continue to await new initiatives from both governments and the private sector that seek to expand connectivity in this new global context.

  • Categorize a place in your house where you can work attentive, calm, and productively. Comfort above all! Find a place with good light, make sure that your chair (if you sit down) is comfortable enough (because there you will spend a couple of hours a day) and that your table allows you enough mobility for the work tools you will use (in addition to your computer or device).

  • Manage your time wisely. There are different applications on the Web that you can download to help you keep track of your time effectively, taking short breaks to recharge your energy and resume pending activities.

  • "Who doesn't really communicate, doesn't really exist." In digital environments, it is a thumb rule. If, in your virtual environment, you have a communication space (forum, chat, email, WhatsApp), be sure to be present regularly. Take advantage of these spaces to socialize and exchange knowledge.

  • Meet deliveries on time. If you have activity shipments on specific dates, avoid doing them at the last minute. Technology does not have a word of honor, and in many cases, it can fail.

  • Have fun! It is a learning adventure that, no matter how new, will leave many lessons about the skills that you will gradually acquire in virtual environments. And these are here to stay!

  1. After online classes.


After your first experience with virtual learning, you can stop along the way and reflect. Did it turn out how you expected it? Is there something of your skills that you can use to maximize the experience? Also, consider the following:


  • Review your schedule and time spent on completed activities. Assess whether it is necessary to make adjustments to maximize time and work more effectively.

  • Talk to your colleagues about this experience and exchange opinions. Hearing from others' experiences can be a good mirror to discover internal formation processes that you may not have seen before. To do this, take advantage of the communication channels that you already have open in your courses.

  • Ask, ask, and ask! If the indications of an activity are not clear if you need more information, make yourself heard if you require further guidance. Take advantage of the communication spaces that the institution has provided you and if you still don't have them, check where you can do it.

  • Share your lessons learned from the experience. If you have tips, suggestions, tools, or resources that can facilitate adaptation to these environments, make sure someone else can access them. You never know when you can help others start on this virtual path.