Become a Teacher

WHO IS AN ONLINE TUTOR

Teachers or tutors who use the Internet to teach courses “at a distance” are referred to as online instructors or teachers. Online teaching careers are also open to mentors or counselors who answer questions and provide emotional encouragement for online students.

Online teachers interact with students through email, message boards, online “blackboards,” chat rooms or, in some cases, virtual reality platforms and software rather than face-to-face. Their students could be from around the country or around the world.

Online teachers need to be able to translate traditional course material in ways that are understood in the online environment, because they can’t rely on eye contact or other facial cues to determine whether students are understanding and maintaining interest in a lesson.

Some online instructors post video or audio lectures and other multimedia reference material online, as well as provide easily downloadable text materials. Some courses are set up so that all students attend a chat room at the same time and hear, see or read a professor’s words simultaneously, with live discussion via message board. Other courses do not have any shared “real” time, but provide material that students can download and study at their own pace.

Online teachers are expected to promptly answer students’ emails and message board questions, as this is the only form of access students have to teachers. Papers and other assignments are transmitted digitally between teacher and student.

Needless to say, anyone who is serious about an online teaching career must be comfortable with computers, Internet technology and, increasingly, social and mobile media.

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