Monthly Archives: November 2016

Math Tutoring Online – Creating Ideas That Build Confidence In Struggling Students

In every learning environment, it is imperative that the teacher have a good idea of the motivational beliefs their students are bringing into the learning environment. This is evident in an algebra tutoring session where Chris states that he is not able to solve a certain algebra question because he does not know how to begin.

Jane, on the other hand affirms in an online calculus tutoring session she can solve ordinary differential equation from first principle the first time and can arrive at the solution with little support from the tutor.

It is the teacher’s prerogative to find out what type of favorable or unfavorable beliefs the student holds before coming to the classroom or online tutoring services platform for learning. Knowledge of the student’s motivational beliefs allows the teacher to plan sessions, making good use of the favorable beliefs and helping the struggling student reconsider those unfavorable beliefs.

Interest is a strong factor in motivating struggling students to learn and should be promoted in all learning environments, if education will yield its ultimate fruit of transfer of knowledge.

Jane has a dominant positive belief about math and feels certain in the online calculus tutoring session; stating she can solve a certain type of problem if she is given little support from the tutor. Jane’s interest in attempting the ordinary differential equation problem first time is the spark of zeal that propels students to learn.

In contrast, Chris affirms that he is not able to solve a certain Algebra question because he does not know how to begin. This lack of initial trial is a negative belief, as the student views the problem as either difficult, does not have the interest to proceed or does not have the basic knowledge to proceed. Once this negative feeling or thought has taken a hold of the student, it activates doubt and sometimes anxiety sets in. The end result is failure.

This is where the teacher or tutor’s role is preeminent; to re-establish a link from the negative unfavorable thoughts and beliefs to favorable reassuring learning thoughts. These favorable reassuring learning thoughts creates zeal and interest to assist the child cross over to favorable beliefs.

The teacher/tutor needs to bring Chris to a point of interest to partake in the learning process if transfer of knowledge must take place.

One of the challenges in online calculus tutoring session, algebra tutoring online, and indeed all math learning sessions is how to generate interest so that deeper learning can take place.

The teacher or tutor needs to understand that generating interest is just a tip of the ice-berg. Keeping the interest in the ultimate goal of the teacher/tutor.

If Chris is to be interested in solving the algebra question, the tutor must involve Chris in this learning process via the “You do, I do” scaffolding technique. This is one scaffolding technique that promotes deeper learning.


Deeper Learning is a process whereby a learner demonstrates ability to transfer knowledge. This means a deeper learner will be able to explain a subject matter to others and apply it. The challenge in the deeper learning approach is bridging the gap between theory and practice. This gap can be bridge if the teacher/tutor can apply the following teaching styles:

a. Teacher uses the story telling approach to make idea or concept stick.

b. Teacher uses the active, more problem based approach and;

c. Teacher uses real life examples and pictures/drawings that the student can relate to their situation.


One of the greatest challenges in K-12 education is how to offer rich mathematical learning opportunities to the student. Some math online tutoring services platform with in-house design teaching methods assist struggling students participate in learning to promote engagement that cultivates interest using mathematical games. These games promote one of the scaffolding techniques of “You Do, I Do” in a live online tutoring services platform.