Online Tuition: Tutor Guide
This explains how online tuition works with TeachTutti and the actions that the tutor needs to take in delivering lessons.
TeachTutti has an integrated video conferencing platform that should be used by tutors for all online lessons and all scheduled consultations. TeachTutti covers the charges for all online tuition and is responsible for maintaining the platform and making sure it is available at all times.
How it works
The TeachTutti video conferencing platform has all the functionality needed to conduct online tuition, this includes:
- Screen share
- File share
- Session recording
Basically, it offers all of the features that you would expect from any similar system. The TeachTutti system ensures the integrity of the online tuition offered. Tutors can receive bookings, provide consultations, conduct tuition, receive reviews, monitor their work, enable students to review past lessons, generate invoices and much more, all as part of a single integrated system. It ensures the safety of tutors and students alike.
Bookings are made through TeachTutti by students viewing tutor profiles, messaging tutors, and sometimes by setting up free consultations as well. All consultations are conducted online. When messaging a tutor, students are given the option of scheduling a free consultation. They will schedule a time and a date in line with the tutor’s availability. Once a consultation has been proposed the tutor has the option of rearranging the date and time or of declining the consultation altogether.
Assuming the consultation time and date is agreed then a link to the consultation session will be sent to the tutor and the student for the agreed time. The appointment will be booked for 15 minutes, but the tutor is able to continue beyond the 15 minute period, although they will not be able to invoice for a consultation session.
The tutor will provide the information the student wants during the consultation session and will advise the student how to make the formal booking. If the student is happy to go ahead it is advisable to complete the booking during the consultation session. This is when the student is most likely to make the booking: vague future commitments to book often don’t materialise.
Bookings operate for online tuition in exactly the same way as face to face sessions. The student chooses the online option for their subject, chooses their preferred tutor and then selects a time and date for the lesson in line with the tutor’s availability. The tutor can accept, amend or decline the student’s booking. If the tutor accepts or amends (and the student agrees the amended time) then the booking is made and a link for the online system is sent to the tutor and the student.
To activate the lesson the tutor clicks on the link to enter the meeting room; the student does the same. Once the student and tutor are in the meeting room the lesson continues as normal. The lesson is scheduled for a set amount of time e.g. 45 minutes is the average lesson length. At that point the tutor and student will be alerted that the allotted time has elapsed. They can choose to continue the session simply by continuing. At the actual completion of the session the tutor will be prompted to invoice TeachTutti for the lesson. The default invoice will be for the actual length of the lesson rounded to the nearest quarter. The tutor can choose to reduce this to a shorter time in 15 minute increments, down to a minimum of 30 minutes e.g. reduce the invoiced time from 45 minutes to 30 minutes. The tutor cannot invoice for a longer period than the lesson length.
If the session ends abruptly without an invoice being created then the invoice will automatically be created in line with the actual length of the session i.e. rounded to the nearest quarter hour (e.g. 35 minutes will be billed as 30 minutes, 42 minutes will be billed as 45).
Before the end of the session the tutor and student will agree on the date for the next lesson. The link for each session is generated by the platform and is available on the bookings page of both student and tutor.
Lessons are arranged in four lesson blocks after the initial session, but the tutor does not need to be concerned about that. All the tutor needs to do is click on the link to start the lesson, activate the invoice at the end of the lesson, agree the date for the next lesson, and terminate the lesson when it is completed.
Frequently Asked Questions
The TeachTutti system has been thoroughly tested, using a high quality international platform for video conferencing. It is unlikely that the system itself will fail, but other problems can arise in any tuition session.
What if the internet fails midway through a session?
If the session breaks down then either the student or tutor or both, depending on where the internet failure lies, should try to reconnect as soon as possible. The system will detect that one participant is no longer on the call, but will keep the session open for the original planned duration of the lesson plus a 10 minute gap. This is usually sufficient time to re-establish a connection.
At the end of this time period the system will trigger the creation of an invoice in line with the original planned session length or to the nearest quarter as described above. If additional time needs to be made up, then this can be added onto the next session.
The same approach should be adopted for any other mid lesson breakdown e.g. an emergency or the illness of a student or tutor.
What if the student/tutor's system is incompatible with TeachTutti?
TeachTutti’s system has been tested against all operating systems and is compatible with them. The system deploys a platform that is used successfully by millions of people across the globe. There will not be compatibility issues: it is much more likely to be user error.
What if the session goes on longer than planned?
Students can change the length of the lesson in advance simply by messaging the tutor (and the tutor agreeing). A change in lesson length can also be agreed mid-lesson. The tutor can amend the length of lesson that is invoiced for at the end of the lesson, by choosing the appropriate option.
What if we have a break mid-way through the session?
The system will automatically shut down the session if the lesson continues for 10 minutes without a participant. If the tutor and student take a break then as long as it is less than 10 minutes this will not be a problem. The invoice prompt at the end of the session will still default to the planned lesson length.
If you have any FAQs that you would like added to this guidance, or any suggestions for improving the TeachTutti system, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was updated on 13 Jul, 2022.