How Online Tutorials Work

Student writing on paper while looking at a computerOnline tutorials are held via private video chat. As long as you have a computer or tablet and reliable internet access, you can have your lesson anywhere in the world!

Accessing online tutorials is simple, and you probably already have everything you need:

Tutorials meet via Google Hangouts, a free video and audio chat service that works as a plug-in to the Chrome browser. If you don’t already have Chrome, download and install it on your computer. Add the Hangouts extension from the Chrome web store, and you’re ready to go. For more information, see Hangouts Help.

In addition to Hangouts, students need access to Google Drive, which includes Google Docs, a free word-processing program. During a tutorial session, the student and I work collaboratively in a shared Google Doc. This functions as the online version of a whiteboard, and it allows both tutor and student to keep up-to-date copies of the document in their respective Google Drives. I ask students to do all of their writing assignments in Google Docs as well, and that’s where I’ll make edits and comments on those assignments.

All of these Google services are also available as apps for mobile devices. I don’t recommend using mobile phones or other small mobile devices for tutoring sessions because the screens are not large enough to accommodate both an open document and the Hangouts window.

I will usually ask students to complete assignments between sessions. Depending on what we’ve arranged, these may include writing tasks, grammar exercises, or readings. I am available by email between sessions to answer questions about assignments and to discuss student progress.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!