Promoting Accountability through Technology.
Great tutors ensure their tutoring sessions are full of valuable learning and growth opportunities for their students. That may be so, but what about the time in between sessions? It makes sense that students who put in consistent effort throughout the week will demonstrate greater growth than those that only put in effort during tutoring time. To make it happen, accountability is the key!
Putting an accountability system in place from the first session will provide increased transparency, keep parents informed, promote engagement, and maximize opportunities for student growth. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to use technology to simplify this process for everyone involved.
Choose a Platform
There are a number of different digital platforms you can use to turn your tutoring guidance into more than just a session-by-session experience.
Seesaw – Seesaw is a free digital portfolio tool that allows educators and students to interact using text, audio, video, drawings, and pictures. Parents can be given access through parent accounts that allow them to see all of their child’s interactions and, if given access, even add feedback or ask questions themselves. Seesaw is a flexible way to create a transparent digital workflow and is compatible with just about every internet-connected device out there.
Edmodo – Edmodo is one of many digital classroom tools available to educators and students. While tutors may not be creating full-fledged classrooms, they can still use the tool to create learning environments for individual students where resources can be shared, work can be both assigned and collected, and feedback can be given easily.
What sets Edmodo apart from other popular digital workflow options (like Google Classroom) is its parent account feature. Each student account automatically generates a parent code. Parents can use these codes to create their own account where they can receive notifications and updates about their child’s activity on the site. A robust set of notification options gives parents the ability to tailor the amount of feedback they receive via email or text messages.
Oases – the Oases management system has been designed from the ground up as a comprehensive tool for improving the efficiency of tutors and tutoring businesses. Oases does the legwork to create impressive, data-driven reports that provide detailed feedback about student progress. Not only can tutors generate and distribute these progress reports to clients automatically, but there is also a complete suite of management tools to help streamline the entire tutoring experience including scheduling, billing, contacts, and planning.
It is worth noting again that both Seesaw and Edmodo are designed primarily for classroom use, but tutors can still take advantage of them as ways to manage workflows, provide transparency, and promote accountability. On the other hand, for tutors and tutoring businesses looking to totally streamline their digital workflow, a comprehensive solution like Oases may be a better fit.
Get the Stakeholders Onboard
The best accountability plan is worthless if your clients don’t know about it or simply refuse to follow it.
The goal of the tutor-client relationship is to promote learning and growth. Parents need to be aware that your services are not magic; learning requires effort. From the outset, establish your role as a learning facilitator and coach; you will be most effective when working in partnership with the student and the parents.
Keep this in mind when accepting new clients. Make active participation and accountability an expectation for both students and parents. Additionally, be sure to carve out time to demonstrate your accountability tools to parents and students. As long as the process is streamlined and easy to engage with, it should be easy to get everyone on the same page. Eliminate excuses!
If a client is unwilling to live up to your accountability expectations, it may be worth considering whether that client’s business is worth the risk. Students who choose not to put in the effort between sessions (or parents who are unwilling to hold their children accountable) could be both a waste of your efforts and potentially harmful to your business.
Remember, your business succeeds or fails based upon the growth your students achieve. Testimonials from satisfied customers will lead to valuable referrals and marketing opportunities to attract future clients. Conversely, clients who do not achieve the level of growth they expected can do irreparable harm with poor reviews and negative word-of-mouth. It won’t matter if it was due to a lack of student engagement or parental accountability.
For the best chances of client success and gratification, do what you can to make accountability a pillar of your tutoring experience.