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A flying start with online tutoring

by Will Chambers on 6th December, 2017

With online tutoring, the first session is vital. If it goes well and the client loves it, there will be hours of great online tutoring to come. If it goes badly, there's a chance it'll put them off completely. So, what can we do to get people off to a flying start? To increase the likelihood of that first online tutoring session being a success?

We can use the Are You Ready tool.

Check setup

Before the first session, we need to check the student and tutor have the right technology setup for a successful session. This starts with device and browser, they need to be using Google Chrome on a laptop or desktop. They also need a good connection. Are You Ready tests their connection times to the nearest Bramble voice server. We're looking for times less than 0.2 seconds. Some users might not have a good enough connection, so we provide tips on how to improve it. If it's still not good enough, then online tutoring isn't for them: better to disqualify them now than five minutes in to a frustrating first session. Finally, we test their audio by getting them to connect to a test session. If they pass the speaker and microphone test, we know they've got the right hardware.

Check understanding

We also want to make sure they're familiar with how the online tutoring software works. After completing Are You Ready, tutors and students are provided with a link to the walkthrough video and tutorial notebook. The notebook takes them through Bramble's core functionality: how to join a session, the pen tools, sharing resources, webcam mode and export. Once they've completed it, they'll be ready to go.

How to use Are You Ready

We advise sending it to all online tutoring students and tutors before their first session. It will check they've got everything set up correctly and understand how the online tutoring software works. If they have problems, it's better to identify them sooner rather than later. Here's the link:

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