Education Online Tuition Virtual Lessons Online Whiteboard

What is Online Tutoring and How Does it Work? The No-Nonsense Guide

Sebastian Owen

19th October 2020

How does Online Tutoring work?

Online tutoring works just as face-to-face tutoring does. Tutors work alongside academic institutions and curriculums to help pupils achieve their results and boost confidence. A tutor can review class assignments, discuss study goals and plan work times to assist the pupil in particular topics that are harder to grasp.

Everything is the same online as with traditional tuition. The same format that has been used by teachers and mentors for years is unchanged just now accessed through a technological medium. In most cases of online tutoring the tutor and the pupil would virtually arrange a date and time to have their lesson, then on the day they would virtually meet and chat online.

Most freelance online tutors hold their lessons with video chat tools such as Skype, Zoom or Microsoft teams. Now these tools have developed there are options to share each other’s screens, therefore the tutor can display various study resources, videos and diagrams to the pupil. More substantial organisations and online tuition platforms, such as Sherpa, have the use of better tools like their interactive whiteboard (online classroom).

This online classroom shows a video feed from each webcam in the corner of the screen so that both parties can see each other and converse like a normal video-chat. Taking over the majority of the screen however is a virtual interactive whiteboard. The best way to compare this is to a whiteboard in real life. The tutor and pupil can write, draw, paint, shape and long divide their way to achieve success. The whiteboard also has the function to upload documents and photos and other materials onto the screen as well as the standard screen sharing option.


Therefore online tutors in general have even more resources than face-to-face tutors and due to the development of video chat software can speak freely with no technical hiccups. Parents everywhere have found it to be a very useful service to keep brains active during the holidays and supplement the attention given at school.

What are the benefits/drawbacks of receiving online tuition?

Aside from the benefits mentioned above about the technical prowess and ease of use, there are many other more obvious advantages.

Convenience-wise, online tuition out-trumps regular tuition everyday. This is because to learn online you are not limited by geography. There is no need for either party to travel to a specific location, this lowers the net cost of the tuition and doesn’t steal as much time as face-to-face meetings. Tutors of all subjects and academic levels, particularly the main ones, maths, english, science and TEFL (teaching english as a foreign language) through primary education to GCSEs and A-Levels are easy to find online. Whereas in person, most tutors come from recommendations and may not have the depth of subjects. The beauty of this being that, for languages in particular, a tutee can be taught and can perfect a language with the help of a native speaker from the country in question.

Bramble - Getting the most out of online tutoring

In favour of the old fashioned way, many tutees prefer meeting their tutor in person. Often, after having been taught in person throughout their school years people find it harder to learn through a screen. This is also the case for many who feel they need to bond with their teacher in order to learn. Naturally, face-to-face meetings can create a stronger bond and the pair can get to know each other faster. Today’s children however, after being forced online by their schools during the pandemic and spending the rest of their time on Fortnite, do not have a problem connecting and learning through a screen.

Does it get the Grades?

Online tutoring works! Parents and children can see results go up and targets achieved with the use of an online tutor. It works best when the tuition style is 1-1, focused specifically on an individual learner’s needs. For example, many students find maths in particular very challenging. Students can find equations difficult from KS1, KS2, KS3 all the way up to GCSE and A-Level. With an online tutor the lesson can concentrate solely on the equations and topics that the student is struggling with. Therefore creating time outside of a busy classroom to catch up on the topics that they have struggled with throughout the term.

Bramble, an online education resources tool, took an extensive survey from 2063 of its users on the topic of online tutoring. The effectiveness of online tutoring can be judged by the reaction of the tutors who took the survey, 80% of tutors who responded to the survey had no prior experience of tutoring online before lockdown yet 99% of them plan to continue tutoring online for the coming year. This shows that they are clearly willing to carry on due to online tuition working successfully. Both infographics used have been taken from the report.

Students who have received online tuition believe that it helps them achieve their target grades. Over 75% of students having received online tuition have said that it is as effective if not more effective than traditional in person tuition. To add to that over 70% of parents whose children have received online tuition say that it is as effective if not more effective than face to face tuition.

Bramble - Getting the most out of live online tutoring

What is the most common type of online tutoring?

The nature of online tutoring being so versatile a child (or adult) can have online tutoring at any age and any subject. Commonly we tend to see most lessons be taught for exam year pupils, 11+, IB, GCSE and A-levels.

On that topic the most common subjects that we see lessons for are Maths & Physics, English, Key stages and languages. The online tutors from Bramble’s survey recorded that in Q1 and Q2 of 2020 38% of all lessons taught were Maths. This highlights the importance of tutoring, at some point through their academic career everybody finds themselves struggling and in need of a confidence boost, for most people it seems this is maths but it could just as easily be an English literature text or help with exam technique. 

For whichever situation you are in there is a tutor for you.

You know who would love this?

Sherpa connects you to qualified, vetted online tutors to receive top-quality lessons through our industry-leading online classroom.

Find Me A Tutor

Similar Articles

Blog Cover Image

What is Newton's Second Law? And How is Stopping Distant Effected?

Newton’s Second Law discusses the forces of momentum are dependent upon the net force acting upon the object and the mass of the object. If the force acting on the object increases, the acce

Sebastian Owen

12th March 2021

Blog Cover Image

Booker Taliaferro Washington the American educator

Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States.


29th October 2020

Blog Cover Image

How Do Colours Influence Learning? The Best 3 Colours To Change How You Learn

Did you know that colours have a great impact on how we feel and how we digest information? We can manipulate colours in order to influence our capabilities for learning which in turn, increa

Ethan Carter

20th October 2020