1. What setup do I need for my online lesson?
2. How do I improve my internet connection?
3. Any tips for my first lesson?
4. What is the Acceptable Use Policy?

What setup do I need for my online lesson?

You’ll need:

One of the following devices

Windows Laptop or Desktop

Macbook or iMac

A microphone

We recommend using a wired headset with a microphone.

Apple Earphones and Bluetooth devices (like AirPods) are not recommended as this may disrupt the audio and lead to echos or a lack of audio.

A webcam

Any webcam will do! Normally your device will already have a default camera built in

Please note, all tutors are required to use their webcam in the lesson space

Strong internet connection

We recommend using a wired (ethernet) connection if possible.

You will need at least 2mb/s upload and download speeds.

You can check your internet speed here.

A compatible browser

We recommend using Google Chrome as your browser, but we also support Safari and Firefox on a desktop.

If you’re using an iPad – please launch your lessons in a Safari browser

Try accessing the page using an Incognito/Private browsing window as this tends to help the connection in the lesson space.

You may want a graphics tablet:
Graphics tablets allow both tutors and students to write far more easily on the lesson space whiteboard. This enhances the shared space and makes it far more intuitive. These can be purchased from around $60 on websites like Amazon – browse graphics tablets on Amazon here.

Although we do not recommend a specific tablet, our tutors often use Huion tablets as they have found they are particularly good value.

How do I improve my internet connection?

  • Please make sure you are as close to your wireless router as possible – Ideally in the same room! Big obstructions in the way between your router and computer such as thick concrete walls can seriously weaken the signal. Some large home appliances such as fridges and microwave ovens can also disrupt the WiFi signal as they emit electromagnetic frequencies close to those of the wireless signal from your router. Please make sure that your router is not located near any such appliances.
  • Use an ethernet cable between your computer and router if possible. This will eliminate most connectivity issues and will minimise the risk of disruptions to your online session.
  • Ensure that other internet users are not streaming or downloading large files, like catching up on their favourite shows on Netflix!
  • Consider upgrading your wireless router. If it is older than 3-4 years, it may be a good idea to replace it. You can contact your internet service provider to ask them if they can send you a new one. Alternatively, you could buy one yourself.
  • Consider upgrading your broadband plan with your internet service provider.

If you are still having issues, it might be worth giving your service provider a call to see if they can help.

Any tips for my first lesson?

Before your lesson

Preparing well for your one-off lesson is the best thing you can do to make sure you’re ready to meet your pupil.

Kicking off

The first five minutes of a lesson with a new pupil are very important. It’s a chance for you to put your pupil at ease and set the tone for the rest of the lesson. Use this time to:

Build rapport

  • Introduce yourself – tell your student what you are studying and where, and tell them something about yourself.
  • Ask (open) questions – What do/don’t they like about the subject they’re learning? What do they get up to in their spare time? Is there anything in particular they’d like to focus on in today’s lesson?
  • Be confident – this will help put your pupil at ease.

Set an objective

  • Identify what today’s lesson will focus on and set an achievable objective – the more specific it is, the better.
  • If possible, break down how this will be achieved throughout the lesson, e.g. practice questions / discussion / going over a paper /answering exam style questions
  • Check the pupil is comfortable with this, and write it in the lesson space.

Wrapping up

Take five minutes at the end of your lesson to review what you’ve covered, offer some feedback and suggest what they should focus on next week.

Review your objective and offer positive feedback

  • To what degree do you and your pupil think you’ve met your objective?
  • Throughout the lesson, try to keep track of examples where your student has met the objective, and feed back on what they have done well. Positive feedback is really important in building a pupil’s confidence.

Discuss what next week could / should cover

  • Suggest what your pupil could/should focus on next, and check whether they agree with this.

Ending the lesson

  • Reinforce the positive feedback you’ve offered throughout the lesson
  • Wish them luck in any exams, and say goodbye.
What is the Acceptable Use Policy?

Use of proprietary software, such as lesson space, is subject to terms of licence agreements between Tutor Koala and the software owner or licensor, and may be restricted in its use. If you use the online lesson space for more than the duration of your lesson or for any other reason other than for tutoring on the Tutor Koala platform, Tutor Koala reserves the right to charge you (the tutor) including any admin costs.

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