Q&A: Is Online Tutoring Available?

Answer: For most online high schools and colleges, tutoring is available for students and often can easily be found in general coursework like English and math. However, you could find that tutoring in other subjects, such as philosophy or psychology, could require more effort to track down.

If you are having difficulty understanding your course materials or assignments, try contacting your instructor first. Your instructor may be able to give you a brief explanation via e-mail or phone. However, if this doesn't help, it's perfectly OK to see if a tutor could be beneficial.

To find out if your school offers tutoring, ask your instructor or contact the student or academic services department. Many schools offer a Student Help Center (or similar) where students can submit English or communications assignments and receive corrections -- most often in the form of formatting or grammar, however. Your needs might exceed this and some online schools do offer tutors (often instructors or other students) who are available for these types of services. If you school doesn't provide the types of services you need, it may provide resources for outside help.

Nevertheless, don't give up: you can always seek tutoring on your own. One suggestion is to try the website smarthinking, which provides tutoring online. Additionally, there are other online tutoring websites that you can find with a quick Internet search. Before committing to a program (there may be a charge), make sure you research the website, the credentials of the tutors and read the student reviews.

If you are looking for a local tutor, you can also try the nearest community college or university. Call the main number and ask for the tutoring center. Often students tutor other students at a lower cost. If you online school offers a ground campus, and it is nearby, you could also seek services there or go into your department and ask around or even see what might be posted on bulletin boards.

If you are having difficulty using a specific computer program, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, or understanding how Mac or other programs work, you can find several tutorials available online. The Microsoft and Mac websites could also be useful resources.

Dr. Beverley BrowningDr. Beverly A. Browning (Dr. Bev) has been a higher education adjunct faculty member for over 25 years. She has taught in the classroom and online for multiple colleges and universities including Spring Arbor College, Baker College of Flint, Mott Community College, and Rio Salado College. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Spring Arbor College and Mott Community College. She is currently an online instructor for ed2go.com (Cengage Learning). In addition to founding and directing the Grant Writing Training Foundation, Dr. Bev is also Vice President of Grants Professional Services for eCivis, Inc. She is the author over over 37 grant-related publications and a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter for national and regional conferences. Dr. Bev is a product of lifelong learning and an advocate for online teaching and learning!