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Looking to share your math skills with the world? Whether you’re an experienced educator or a math enthusiast looking to share your knowledge, this guide will equip you with the essential strategies and tools to teach mathematics online effectively. In this blog, we’ll explore the key steps to excel in the world of online math instruction, from setting up your virtual classroom to engaging your students in the most productive ways.

Skip ahead:

Why teach math online?

Teaching math online offers several compelling reasons for educators and individuals interested in sharing their math expertise:

  1. Accessibility

Online math teaching transcends geographical boundaries, enabling educators to connect with students from all over the world. This means that students from remote or underserved areas, as well as those in different countries, can access quality math education that they might not have had access to otherwise. It breaks down the limitations of physical location and opens up educational opportunities on a global scale. 

You can also more easily serve students with diverse learning needs or students with disabilities. For example, you can provide supplementary materials, video explanations, or interactive quizzes to help learners grasp mathematical concepts, making education more inclusive for a wide range of students.

 For students with disabilities, online learning can easily incorporate things like screen readers, closed captioning, and keyboard navigation that make learning materials more accessible. Additionally, students with physical disabilities can participate without the challenges associated with navigating physical campuses.

  1. Flexibility and convenience

Online teaching provides the flexibility to set your own schedule. You can work full-time, part-time, or even as a side gig, to make a bit of extra cash. This makes online teaching perfect for those that prefer less routine schedules, people who want to travel while working, or people that have many commitments already. 

  1. Entrepreneurial opportunities 

Online math teaching can be a stepping stone to entrepreneurship. You can develop your own courses, create educational content, and even build your brand in the online education space. An excellent way to expand from online teaching is to start creating and selling digital products or memberships. Digital products such as ebooks, downloadable workbooks or PDFs, or templates are a great way to collect email addresses for future promotion, as well as make some extra cash. Memberships provide you with recurring revenue streams rather than relying on singular course sales. 

Can you earn a living teaching math online? 

Here are some ways to set yourself apart from other would-be online math teachers.

  1. Choose a niche 

Determine the specific math subjects and grade levels you want to teach. You could focus on elementary math, high school algebra, calculus, test preparation (e.g., SAT or GRE math), or even advanced topics like statistics or linear algebra.

  1. Acquire the necessary qualifications

Ensure you have the qualifications and expertise required to teach your chosen math subjects effectively (we address this in the next section) A relevant degree and teaching experience can boost your credibility.

  1. Select an online platform carefully

Decide whether you want to work through an existing online education platform, use your website, or a combination of both. You can sign up for a course marketplace like Skillshare or Udemy. Or use a self-hosted LMS like Thinkific. To learn more about which option might work better for you check out this blog on self-hosted LMS’ vs course marketplaces!

  1. Do pricing research

Determine your rates for tutoring sessions. Consider factors such as your qualifications, the level of math you’re teaching, and the demand for your services. Decide how you’ll handle payments, whether through the platform you use or via other methods like PayPal.

For more information on pricing your online course consider reading our guide here. 

Top Thinkific online math instructor Po-Shen Loh (his site here)  prices his courses the same as his competitors ($20/hour) but provides a “far superior product.” To make his products even more affordable, he uses Thinkific’s bundle feature to group similar products together at a discounted rate. He describes his pricing philosophy the following way: 

“This price is enough for us to be able to do what we’re doing. We’re not extraordinarily profitable, but at the same time, maybe we don’t have to be.”

You can read his full story here if you’re interested. 

  1. Market yourself

 Promote your online math tutoring services. Use social media, educational forums, and relevant websites to reach potential students. Consider creating a content marketing strategy, creating lead magnets (like free webinars), and leveraging email marketing to get the word out about your course. 

58 Ways to Market Your Online Course Here

  1. Showcase testimonials 

As you gain experience and positive reviews, create a portfolio showcasing your successes and testimonials from satisfied students. This builds trust with potential clients. Put the testimonials in an obvious spot on your site, so people are sure to notice when they visit your course page. 

Qualifications needed to teach mathematics online

To teach math online you’ll need a few basic things to start. Firstly, it’s important to have a strong understanding of mathematics.  Ideally, you should have a degree in mathematics or a related field. An advanced degree (e.g., a master’s or Ph.D.) can be beneficial, especially if you plan to teach more advanced or specialized math topics. However, you also could just be an excellent math student who is an effective communicator. That’s kind of the beauty of teaching online!

You’ll also need to be confident and comfortable with technology. Some online math teachers simply use YouTube to share their skills – but even that requires video editing and uploading. In order to make money more easily, a learning management system (like Thinkific) will be your best bet. While LMS’ make it simple to upload and order your content, you’ll still need to be able to edit and create your online content. 

Lastly, depending on your location and the platform you choose, having a teaching credential or certification may be required or preferred. In some cases, platforms may require you to pass a background check or provide proof of your qualifications. The American Board offers online teacher certifications in a variety of subjects, including math. Additionally, Coursera has partnered with institutions like John Hopkins University and MacQuarie University to produce specific certifications in online teaching. Check online university courses out in your area for more options.  

Steps to creating your online learning experience

  1. Prepare your virtual classroom

Creating a conducive online learning environment is crucial for teaching mathematics effectively. To start, choose a reliable online teaching platform that aligns with your teaching style and offers interactive features. 

Free Buyer's Guide: The Best Online Course Platforms: Download Now

Equipment and set up

Ensure seamless communication with your students by investing in high-quality equipment. A good microphone and webcam are vital for clear audio and video. Equally important is a stable and high-speed internet connection to prevent disruptions during online lessons. If possible, use an Ethernet connection for added reliability.

Designate a dedicated and well-lit teaching space in your home, keeping it clutter-free and professional-looking. This setup enhances your students’ focus on the content you’re delivering. 

Organize your teaching materials, including textbooks, worksheets, and digital resources, in an easily accessible format. Cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive can help store and share these materials efficiently. Maintain a logical file structure with clear filenames and folders to simplify navigation for both you and your students.

Scheduling and course delivery

Establish a consistent schedule for online classes and communicate it clearly to your students. Sticking to this routine provides structure and predictability, encouraging punctuality and active participation. You can consider whether you want to release all of your content at one time, or use drip scheduling to release certain units every week or couple weeks depending on your course design. 

Recognize potential challenges that students may encounter in an online learning environment. Offer guidance on technical issues, provide alternative resources for those with limited technology access, and ensure your materials are accessible to all students, including those with disabilities.

Implement regular assessments, quizzes, and assignments to gauge your students’ understanding of mathematical concepts. Provide timely and constructive feedback to support their improvement. Utilize online assessment tools and grading platforms for efficiency.

  1. Plan your curriculum

Designing a well-structured math curriculum is essential for online teaching success:

  • Define your objectives: Clearly outline your teaching goals and objectives for each lesson or course to keep your instruction focused.
  • Break it down: Divide the math concepts into manageable chunks, making it easier for students to grasp complex topics gradually.
  • Create engaging content: Develop interactive presentations, quizzes, and assignments that promote active learning and participation.

How to create an effective course outline here.

Example course outline (drip scheduling)

Course Title: Algebra Basics

Course Description:

This online Algebra I course is designed to introduce students to fundamental algebraic concepts, equations, and problem-solving techniques. It provides a strong foundation for advanced mathematics and real-world applications.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Solve linear equations and inequalities.
  2. Graph linear equations and interpret slope and y-intercept.
  3. Simplify and perform operations with polynomials.
  4. Factor algebraic expressions.
  5. Solve systems of linear equations.
  6. Apply algebraic concepts to real-world problems.

Course Outline:

Module 1: Introduction to Algebra (Week 1-2)

– Lesson 1: What Is Algebra?

– Lesson 2: The Real Number System

– Lesson 3: Expressions and Equations

– Assessment: Module 1 Quiz

Module 2: Solving Linear Equations (Week 3-4)

– Lesson 4: Solving One-Step Equations

– Lesson 5: Solving Two-Step Equations

– Lesson 6: Solving Multi-Step Equations

– Assessment: Module 2 Quiz

Module 3: Inequalities and Absolute Value (Week 5-6)

– Lesson 7: Solving and Graphing Inequalities

– Lesson 8: Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities

– Assessment: Module 3 Quiz

Module 4: Linear Functions (Week 7-8)

– Lesson 9: Introduction to Linear Functions

– Lesson 10: Graphing Linear Equations

– Lesson 11: Slope and Rate of Change

– Assessment: Module 4 Quiz

Module 5: Polynomials and Factoring (Week 9-10)

– Lesson 12: Introduction to Polynomials

– Lesson 13: Adding, Subtracting, and Multiplying Polynomials

– Lesson 14: Factoring Polynomials

– Assessment: Module 5 Quiz

Module 6: Systems of Linear Equations (Week 11-12)

– Lesson 15: Solving Systems of Equations by Graphing

– Lesson 16: Solving Systems of Equations by Substitution

– Lesson 17: Solving Systems of Equations by Elimination

– Assessment: Module 6 Quiz

Module 7: Applications and Review (Week 13-14)

– Lesson 18: Applying Algebra to Real-World Problems

– Lesson 19: Review and Test Preparation

– Final Course Assessment

  1. Engage your students

Engagement is key to effective online teaching. Consider these strategies:

  • Interactive sessions: host live classes with interactive whiteboards and encourage students to ask questions and participate actively.
  • Discussion forums: create online discussion forums, chat groups, or communities where students can collaborate, share their thoughts, and ask for help.
  • Use visual aids: use visual aids, such as diagrams, graphs, and videos, to explain mathematical concepts more effectively.
  1. Assess and provide feedback

Regular assessment and feedback are essential for student progress:

  • Assignments and quizzes: administer regular assignments and quizzes to assess your students’ understanding of the material.
  • Timely feedback: provide prompt and constructive feedback on assignments and assessments to help students improve.
  • One-on-one support: offer virtual office hours or individual sessions for students who need additional help.
  1. Adapt and improve

Online teaching is an evolving process. Continuously adapt and improve your methods:

  • Gather feedback: ask your students for feedback on your teaching style and course materials, and make necessary adjustments.
  • Professional development: stay updated with the latest teaching tools and methodologies by participating in online courses or workshops.
  • Stay patient and flexible: understand that students may have different learning paces and adapt your teaching approach accordingly.
  1. Promote effective communication

Effective communication is crucial in the online learning environment:

  • Clear communication: ensure your instructions, explanations, and expectations are communicated clearly to avoid any misunderstandings.
  • Regular updates: keep your students informed about course schedules, assignments, and any changes that may arise.
  • Encourage questions: create an open and supportive atmosphere where students feel comfortable asking questions and seeking clarification.
  1. Foster a sense of community

Building a sense of community among your online math learners can enhance their motivation and engagement:

  • Icebreaker activities: Start your courses with icebreaker activities to help students get to know each other and build connections.
  • Group projects: Incorporate collaborative group projects that encourage students to work together, even in a virtual environment.
  • Virtual events: Organize occasional virtual events, such as math contests or guest speaker sessions, to keep students engaged and excited about learning math.
  • Community platform: choose an LMS that includes community features (like Thinkific!) to more easily keep students in your course. Keep in mind that 50% of online community members are actively engaged. Thats more than 10x the engagement rates on traditional social media!

  1. Use technology to your advantage

  • Interactive Tools: explore math-specific interactive tools and software that can bring abstract concepts to life. Tools like Desmos or GeoGebra are great for visualizing mathematical ideas.
  • Online assessments: consider using online assessment platforms that allow you to create and grade math assignments and tests efficiently.
  • Recorded sessions: record your live sessions (if you decide to offer live session) so that students can review them later or catch up on missed classes.
  1. Evaluate student progress

Regularly assessing and tracking your students’ progress is essential:

  • Data analytics: use data analytics and online learning platforms’ tracking features to monitor student performance and identify areas where they may need additional support.
  • Adaptive learning: explore adaptive learning technologies that personalize the learning experience based on individual student needs.
  • Celebrate achievements: acknowledge and celebrate student achievements to boost their motivation and confidence in learning math.

Extra tips to consider

  1. Time management

Help your students manage their time effectively by providing clear schedules and deadlines. Encourage them to create study routines and set realistic goals to stay on track with their math coursework.

  1. Encourage critical thinking

Promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills in your math lessons. Encourage students to tackle complex math problems independently and provide guidance when they face challenges.

  1. Supportive feedback

Continue to offer constructive feedback on assignments and assessments. Highlight areas of improvement while acknowledging their progress, fostering a growth mindset. 

  1. Evaluate and adapt

Periodically review your course materials and teaching methods. Ask for feedback from students and be open to making adjustments based on their input and changing educational trends. Make sure you actually listen to your students feedback! They’ll tell you what’s working and not working for their learning. 

  1. Create a resource library

Build a library of supplementary resources, such as video tutorials, practice exercises, and reference materials, to support your students’ learning journey.

By incorporating these additional tips into your online math teaching strategy, you can create a more enriching and effective learning experience for your students while fostering your growth as an online math educator. Good luck, and enjoy the rewarding process of teaching mathematics online!

Want to try it out asap? Sign up for Thinkific free!

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“When I was doing research and comparing Thinkific to other platforms, it completely blew me away,” she says. “The user interface is so easy, and it’s not a large learning curve.”

Not enough? How about from another Thinkific creator Jenny Shanks:

“I just love Thinkific,” she says. “I’ve tried other competitor platforms before and I just genuinely love the usability of the front and backend.”