Online Tutoring in the 21st Century


  • Kelsey Torgerson


tutoring, online tutoring, online education


With the rise in online and distance learning, student support services are adapting their tutoring practices. This presentation focuses on how successfully to implement two key frameworks of online tutoring: synchronous and asynchronous. Based on published research and best practices, strategies for both live real-time online tutoring and “YouTube” style tutoring will be shared and discussed.
Certain challenges exist when tutoring synchronously online. As with face-to-face tutoring, tutors must be proficient in the content area, pedagogical methods, and in building rapport with the tutee. The biggest hurdle is relying on stable audio/video connection and finding pertinent software or hardware. Another hindrance is the limitation of nonverbal cues and the challenge of building rapport over the internet. This presentation will focus on strategies to overcome these obstacles.
Many institutions have also begun employing asynchronous tutoring in the form of short video tutorials with voice-over explanations. Each video focuses on one specific example or topic, targeted at common troublesome material. These help students develop independence and are a convenient resource outside of class.
This presentation will focus on how to improve online tutoring in higher education. Our hope is that participants will leave with a solid understanding and enthusiasm for online tutoring and feel confident improving practices at their own institution.

Author Biography

Kelsey Torgerson

Kelsey Torgerson is the Master Tutor in the Academic Success Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Her master’s degree is from the University of Wisconsin Madison. In recent years, she’s developed a framework for effective online tutoring and is eager to discuss her insights with other learning assistance professionals.