Best Practices in Hiring and Training Online Tutors and Instructional Designers

Introduction

Talent management in e-learning companies is an essential part of providing quality online education services. It includes not only hiring skilled and brilliant tutors, instructional designers, and academic coordinators, but also retaining them and giving them opportunities to hone their skills and fulfill their professional goals and aspirations.

Recruiting talented workforce

Although hiring criteria varies from company to company, several descriptors are common in their definition of a talented workforce. An effective online instructor is not only a subject matter expert, but innovative, highly communicative, and engaging as well.

While hiring such instructors and course designers, e-learning companies employ mock tutoring sessions, writing prompts, mock discussions with students and parents, interviews and group or individual activities on teaching methodologies, e-technology, and ways to enhance learning in the online classroom.

Keeping abreast of best practices in education, trends, and research, Learning Scholars, a front runner in the field of online tutoring, has a detailed selection process to hire prospective talent. Srinivas Katapalli, Chief Operations Officer at Learning Scholars reveals, “Our hiring process comprises following a selection criteria that effectively predict online tutoringcompetence. The criteria is not limited to teaching or experience in this field and educational qualifications-although our online tutors have Master’s degree or above. We look for solid subject matter expertise, communication skills, online tutoring skills, and online classroom management abilities. Being tech savvy and having an aptitude for creating visual representations of information are also essential in an effective online instructor.”

Resourcefulness to make e-learning fun and interactive is another key requirement that online tutoring companies look for in their instructors and instructional designers. As most students and parents expect Online tutoring to be more hands on compared to the learning that takes place in traditional classrooms, e-tutors are expected to make the tutoring sessions highly interactive.

Training on hands-on methods

Initial staff training and continuing professional development are integral to make sure that the promises of E-learning are realized in the virtual classroom. In order for the instructor and student to utilize the capabilities of cutting edge educational technologies and e-learning solutions, appropriate instructional strategies should be in place.

Instructional strategy is defined as methods and approaches that an instructor employs to actively engage students in learning. Examples of instructional strategies are guided practice followed by independent practice, and modeling of desired skills and outcomes.

While customizing content and instructional strategies, the desired learning objectives and learning style of the individual student have to be taken into account. To achieve tangible results, instructional designers, online tutors, and academic coordinators should be trained in the implementation of effective instructional strategies and assessment of instructional effectiveness and student progress.