Besides online courses with pre-recorded videos, reading materials and ready-to-go content, you should also allocate your time and effort to set up one-on-one sessions to cater for learner's individual needs.
Adjust individual sessions to fit individual needs
One-on-one lessons tend to be suitable for learners who prefer to have a customised learning experience. An unparalleled strength of webinars is that learners can have the undivided attention of you, the instructor. On the other hand, understanding your learners’ needs can help you plan the sessions better for them. While these lessons can seem to be a more significant chunk of time commitment for you, setting up individual sessions can be fulfilling. You will have the opportunity to build and strengthen your relationships with individual learners while earning extra money. Typically, these lessons can fall into the following forms:
- Q&A sessions during office hours to complement the main online coursework
- Counseling/ personal goal-setting
- Full-on, long-term individual tutoring
Ways to set up individual sessions
You can set aside specific time slots per week called office hours when a course is running. Typically, these hours are included in the course offerings at no extra cost to the learners. Office hours are an excellent way for you to keep track of learners’ progress and give a personal touch to your course, which makes learners feel closer to you. This arrangement can provide them with a chance to ask questions on a voluntary, low-pressure basis as attendance is optional. However, you should be mindful of the time commitment throughout the course as your calendar will be occupied during those designated time slots and the earnings are already included in the course fee — you don’t earn extra income from these office hours.
Additionally, you can let learners book a time slot through the 1-on-1 feature in Senseily
or use an alternative calendar organising tool, such as Calendly, Doodle, or Picktime, so that they can ask you for personalised advice outside the scope of the course. To make it flexible and accommodating to learners’ needs and budget, you can allow them to have a meeting within 15, 30 or 60 minutes, prorated based on your hourly rate for a consultation.
Long-term individual tutoring is possibly regarded as the most lucrative income channel besides keeping your regular courses running. You can start planting the seed of the one-on-one offering by putting pop-ups on your course sites, verbally introducing it in introductory materials of your courses and during office hours, and giving discounts for first-time sessions or referrals. While not all of your learners will request one-on-one sessions, it’s worth getting the word out there and giving them a subconscious idea of the option!
While it’s tempting to charge a high hourly rate as you are obligated to set aside your own time besides running the main courses, it’s advisable to keep the rate reasonable depending on the depth of expertise needed and the budget of your learners. In addition, it’s wise to do some basic market research in the beginning so that you can get a feel of what your learners need the most and keep them coming back for repeated consultations.
The right structure for individual sessions
One particular advantage of individual sessions is that learners can get accustomed and relaxed around you, making the learning more enjoyable and comfortable. When each session starts, you can start building the rapport by creating a friendly conversation on the learner’s personal life, a piece of news of their interest, or simply asking them how they feel about their study progress with you.
For Q&A sessions
You should refresh your memory with the course materials that you have created, especially if you haven’t touched them for a while. Being prepared is the key to demonstrating your competency as an instructor. At the beginning of a Q&A session with the learner, you can reinforce their confidence first by asking which part of the course they are most comfortable with. This can help make your learners find it easier to share their difficulties.
Then, ask them which part they find confusing and if they have examples of specific concepts, exercises or ideas that they struggle with. Now, you can break it down into a few key areas that your learner needs support. If the course is hands-on with work products, for example, programming or photography, you can ask the learner to show you their work and/or shadow you as you show them how you execute your work step-by-step.
For personal goal-setting
Putting yourself in the learners’ shoes to empathise and understand where they are coming from is an excellent foundation for effective communication. What level of progress do they expect to make within one month, three months, or whichever length of the course? What motivates them to learn, e.g. intellectual curiosity, career advancement opportunities, personal self-fulfilment, or improved social standing? Are they a fast-paced learner who wants to condense their learning time as short as possible, or are they keener to spread their learning time over a longer time span in a leisurely manner? From discussing these prompt questions with your learner, you will have a much clearer vision of what they need.
You can now advise them to devise a plan to balance their time commitment, personal motivation, and timeline. It’s even better if you have goal-setting templates relevant to the courses you teach and sample plans and goals of previous learners. Learners can find it easier to visualise their goals and enforce their trust in your abilities, knowing that you have helped cases similar to them.
The beauty of one-on-one sessions lies in the ability to adapt to learners’ communication styles, speed up or slow down the course content based on their abilities, and give you a chance to form a steady bond with learners. Your personalised teaching skills will improve in the long run while you stay close to learners' needs and keep your course content relevant to learners’ demands. Hard work will certainly pay off!
, it’s easier than ever to provide 1-on-1 lessons for your students. Start creating free and paid 1-on-1 lessons now and boost your student’s learning experience.