Is Online Tutoring Safe? How to Safely Get Online Academic Support
As parents, our main goal is to keep our children happy and safe. Whether they’re tots in elementary school or on their own at a prestigious college program, we want to know they’re safe at all times, including when they study. It’s no surprise that many of us have wondered, “Is online tutoring safe?”
When it comes to online tutoring, there are several different ways to get academic support, and some are safer than others. Here, we’ll offer tips on how to create a safe and productive online tutoring experience for you or your child.
Is Online Tutoring Safe?
Online tutoring is generally safe, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t pitfalls or dangerous tutoring situations. In order to find a safe tutoring arrangement, parents and students need to do their research. Additionally, some tutoring set-ups are inherently safer than others. Here, we’ll discuss the best ways to ensure a safe online tutoring situation.
Hiring Your Own Tutor
There are two main online tutoring options: working with a private tutor directly or hiring one through an online tutoring service. In the first option, you can search for an online tutor using sites such as Craigslist or Indeed. This involves looking for a tutor, handling all payments, and vetting their background. You’ll need to evaluate if they have sufficient knowledge and teaching experience in the desired subject.
When hiring your own tutor, safety is your responsibility. You’ll need to vet the tutor candidates yourself and manage the arrangement. You’ll also need to set the boundaries for the tutoring arrangement and take charge if any issues arise.
Using an Online Tutoring Platform
Alternatively, you can hire a tutor through an online tutoring platform. Online tutoring services do the extra work for you. They pair you or your student with a qualified tutor, they generally offer a safety guarantee, and they handle all payments. This arrangement means you can focus on supporting your or your student’s academic goals.
There is a wide range of online tutoring platforms including sites like Skooli, Chegg, and TutorMe. While each site connects students with tutors, they all ensure student safety differently.
Some sites thoroughly vet tutors while others simply ask that tutors meet a certain number of requirements. Most platforms offer messaging and phone support if issues arise. Some also feature online learning tools such as digital whiteboards and messaging systems, so the tutor and student can’t communicate outside the platform.
Drawbacks of Hiring a Tutor Yourself
With the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on education, more and more people are looking for online learning services. Along with the increased demand for online education, more people are offering their tutoring services — many without the experience needed to truly offer academic guidance.
This problem is particularly common when searching for a tutor on Craigslist or other local sites. These tutors aren’t backed by any company guarantees and haven’t been vetted. That means you’ll need to do all your own legwork to ensure it’s a good fit for your student. Here are some things to consider when hiring a tutor yourself.
Aside from their knowledge level, it’s important to know the tutor’s background. If you are worried about online safety, you may want to run a background check or ask for referrals. To get a better handle on the tutor’s history, you can check public databases and look at their social media accounts. Other ways you can gather information include requesting a credit report and searching court records.
Additionally, you’ll need to establish whether the tutor has a good rapport with your student. During the first few lessons, you may want to monitor the study session to ensure the tutor acts appropriately. For example, they should correct your student’s mistakes in a constructive way rather than a mean-spirited or harmful manner. You’ll also need to ensure that payment amounts and frequency are agreed upon at the beginning and included in a contract.
Advantages of Using a Trusted Service
Using a trusted online tutoring service can save you time and energy. These services can also offer a better quality tutoring experience compared to hiring a tutor found on Craigslist. Here are some of the benefits of using trusted platforms for online tutoring.
Online tutoring platforms typically offer a vetting process to ensure the safety and quality of their tutors. At TutorMe, tutors are evaluated based on their tutoring or teaching experience. They must also be enrolled or have graduated from a college or university, and they must be at least 18 years old. Each tutor applicant is reviewed by the online platform before they can hold any tutoring sessions.
Control of Communications
Tutoring platforms also help control the methods of communication. When hiring a tutor yourself, there's little you can do to prevent the tutor from contacting your child on Facebook or other social media platforms. With tutoring services, all communications occur within the platform. If a tutor or student breaches communication agreements, you can report the problem to the online platform staff.
In addition to child safety, online tutoring platforms generally handle all payments. You’ll know exactly how much you’re paying for a certain number of hours or lessons, making it easy to budget and prepare for costs. Additionally, you don’t have to negotiate with the tutors or make payments through an unverified party.
Better Subject Matter Availability
Tutoring companies also offer access to a wide range of tutors and one-to-one tutoring arrangements. Whether you need physics tutoring today or math test prep help next week, you can easily get academic support for yourself or your student. At TutorMe and other online platforms, you’ll find options for everything from calculus tutors and statistics tutors to online writing tutors and tutors for professional topics. Additionally, it’s easy to work with a different tutor if you find the teaching style of a certain tutor doesn’t fit your needs.
When working with online tutoring companies, you’ll agree to terms of service and receive access to high-quality support. If any issues arise, you can reach out to the customer service team to get real-time support and guidance on the best solutions.
Study Safely With Vetted Tutors From TutorMe
At TutorMe, we make working with a tutor a safe and enjoyable experience. Our commitment to safety means we screen every tutor and provide secure communications to avoid inappropriate messaging and the exchange of personal information. Additionally, our students and tutors agree to an honor code that governs academic integrity. Our help center provides in-depth answers to the most common questions, and you can get 24/7 support for all of your questions, concerns, and ideas.
In addition to a commitment to safety, TutorMe offers the highest quality tutoring possible. Each tutoring session occurs in our proprietary lesson space. This lesson space features an interactive whiteboard and video chat functionality so you don’t have to use third-party applications like Skype.
All you need is a stable internet connection and to let us know what you need help with. We’ll pair you with a great tutor in less than 30 seconds so you can get support fast. Best of all, our tutors are available 24/7 so you can get help whenever you need it.
Paying for tutors at TutorMe is easy. You can choose from a pay-as-you-go option or a range of monthly plans with rates as low as $26 per hour. We offer tutoring options for all budgets and education levels from elementary school through doctorate programs. With TutorMe’s benefits, you can rest easy knowing you or your child will have a safe and effective tutoring experience.