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View Full Version : Should Online Tutors Use Video?

Online Tutoring Success
04-23-2013, 12:20 PM
Hi Everyone,

This is a curious topic that some people are quite passionate about.

Should online tutors use webcam video during their sessions? What are the positives and negatives to incorporating video of yourself and the student in your sessions?

Even if you aren't passionate about using or not using video, I bet you have an opinion on it. Hit me with your thoughts. I'll share my opinion a bit later. :)

04-23-2013, 01:39 PM
IMO, I would like to see my tutor in my monitor to get the sense that I am really in a class and to make sure that I am focused. :)

This will benefit both the student and the teacher as the teacher would see if his/her student is focused or listening to the lesson attentively.

04-24-2013, 09:58 AM
I have done both and I really think it depends on the student (and tutor, to some degree). Some students like that face-to-face connection and some feel confined or self-conscious by it. I think it boils down to what the student prefers.

For example, I briefly taught South Korean kids and was told that video was very important to them. I got along fine with it and had no problems. But now I'm working with adult students who prefer to do phone lessons without video, even when we're talking on Skype. I respect that and I don't use it.

Of course, sometimes you don't have a choice - you might be working for a tutoring company that requires you to use video (or not).


06-30-2013, 07:44 AM
Tutor.com doesn't have a webcam feature, although we can use voice if we want to. I personally don't, for a few reasons:

1) I like to keep the radio on and listen to the news while tutoring. A student would doubtless find that distracting. I could turn it off, but...

2) I don't have a great microphone/speaker set here.

3) I can't always guarantee there won't be other background noise where I'm tutoring.

4) Since students come from all educational backgrounds and areas, the combination of poor quality voice over the internet + accents means we may not be able to understand each other very well.

Out of 2500+ students I've only ever seen a handful who would like their tutors to use voice. It doesn't seem to be a big stumbling block. The combination of chat box + whiteboard is quite effective.

07-02-2013, 02:12 PM
I think it depends on the format and what type of classroom software you are using, if you have efficient number of instructional slides and graphics, I don' think there is a need for a webcam.