How to Prepare for Your Online Tutoring Session
To get the most from your online tutoring time you'll need to prepare in advance.
- Review prior knowledge. Read your notes from lecture and make a list of points of confusion to review with your tutor. Try doing your homework, if applicable. Create an outline or draft of your writing project or presentation.
- Gather course materials. Have at hand textbooks, notes, assignment guidelines, the syllabus, and study guides. For writing tutoring, make sure you have the assignment sheet, writing prompt, and any guidelines you may have been provided for the composition. Digital files are best, as you may be able to screen share them with your tutor, but print materials are also helpful. If you plan to discuss a writing project, have an electronic copy of your paper, cover letter, personal essay, poem, or presentation ready to upload for the tutor to read.
- Prepare specific questions. Think about the course material that you find confusing or challenging. Prepare specific questions for your tutor about what you don’t understand. It is less helpful to say to your tutor, “I don’t understand anything” than “These are the specific concepts or operations I don’t understand....” Choose a concept from the course lecture or reading that you want to focus on, select a specific homework problem you're struggling with, or choose a paragraph or page you want to improve in the paper you're writing.
- Test your technology. Be ready with a webcam and speakers or a headset. Test to make sure everything is in working order. Try out Adobe Connect (follow the link provided for your scheduled appointment, or click on the "Location" link on this page for drop-in tutoring) to make sure it is installed and configured to work with your camera/microphone/speakers/headset. You might have to install a plug-in. For more information about using Adobe Connect, view our Adobe Connect Guide.
- Choose a location. Prior to starting your session, plan ahead and choose a location that is quiet and allows you to hear and communicate with the tutor and concentrate on the session. Additionally, a location where silence is necessary, such as a library, may not be a good choice. Keep in mind that you must be able to both speak to the tutor (using your microphone) an clearly hear the tutor throughout your session.