New User Flag and “IDK” Alerts

As you may have noticed, one new feature was added to your Tutor Dashboard this week, and one more will be added before the week is over! Please read more about them below and answer the questions at the end of this post.


Whenever a session you’ve claimed is the first or second session that your student has submitted, you should now see this extra field at the top of your tutor dashboard:

New users are the least acquainted with our service and have the highest risk of misunderstanding how Yup works or having a bad experience. It’s up to you to show them how much help and confidence our service can give them!

Our service plans have changed to become longer-term and more expensive, making it all the more crucial to give new users a great learning experience. For that reason, we are preparing to give these New User sessions greater weight in our QA system. We hope you’ll use this New User feature to give extra attention to how new users behave and how best to work with them.

“IDK” Messages

Several weeks ago, we saw that a strong predictor of your percentage of Gap Bridged sessions is the rate at which your questions are answered with phrases like “i don’t know” or “not sure” by the student. This rate is also correlated with the percentage of your sessions that receive “Confusing Explanation” feedback from the student.

To address this, we’ve built a new alerting feature that should be deployed today. Whenever your student sends a message like “i don’t know,” “idk,” or “i’m not sure” more than once within a seven-minute time period (we’ll experiment with this time period to optimize it) you’ll see the following message in your chat window:

The aim is to keep the importance of pushing information at the front of your mind, which should decrease the difficulty students have in answering your questions or following your explanations.

We acknowledge this feature’s limits; for example, some “idk” messages are absolutely necessary when probing the student’s knowledge. Also, a few students will say “idk” to any question you ask when they don’t want to participate. Again, this is aimed at encouraging tactful information-pushing, and note that we are not currently tying any new policies to this feature.

The student will not see this alert, but you will be able to see it in your session history. We thank you in advance for your patience as we fine-tune this feature, and look forward to gathering your feedback on it!

— Team Yup

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NEW Pre-Session Questions

UPDATE November 22nd, 2017: Due to unforeseen tutor dashboard issues that were resolved today, all parts of the feature below will be pushed out next week (week of November 27th) rather than this week. Also, the feature will be available for both iOS and Android, although the bot questions will remain an iOS-only feature for now.

Big changes are coming to the Yup iOS mobile app. Soon, we’ll require all iOS users to answer the questions “Have you done a similar problem before?” and “Have you started working on the problem?” before they request a tutor, rather than after:

This means that you’ll be able to see the answers to these questions in your Review State as soon as you claim a session with an iOS userYou won’t see them in the bot conversation, however. Instead, there will be new fields for these two answers at the top of your Tutor Dashboard:

Showing you these answers at the start of nearly every session should ensure that your first questions about the student’s progress and prior knowledge are always as customized and informative as possible.

For example, if the student has not made progress, start with questions about what they feel stuck on and what they know. If the student hasn’t done similar problems before, be ready to push information and examples quickly.

While these fields will appear on your Tutor Dashboard early this week,  you won’t start seeing the students’ answers until we release the new version of the iOS app later in the week. Going forward, we will continue using the Yup bot to test different ways of preparing the student with helpful tips and more detailed questions.

As always, let us know if you have any questions or concerns about this feature. Use it wisely!

— Team Yup

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Policy Changes, Updates + Grading Delay

New Post-Session Page Policy

Starting this week, spending more than 5 minutes completing the Post-Session categorization page will result in minutes being deducted from your compensation.

While it’s very important to accurately categorize and tag sessions, note that time spent on this page is time you cannot be matched with a new student, resulting in users experiencing higher wait times and requests being dropped.

This policy is in response to a small handful of tutors regularly spending an inordinate amount of time on this page after completing a session rather than making themselves available for the next student.

Session Feedback Delay

As a result of the traffic surge we faced in September, TQMs are still working hard to catch up with grading the large volume of sessions that were completed. We are hoping to post these scores as soon as possible, but there will be a delay with determining rankings and report cards in the meantime. If you’re interested in a position helping grade sessions, don’t forget to take the PlayPosit TQM Course to express your interest.

Review State Length Increasing from 20 to 40 Seconds

Many of you told us in a recent survey that extending the Review Statewould make it more effective. Now that we’ve removed automatic scrolling and settled on the most important Yup Bot questions, we’re ready to raise the maximum Review State time! On Tuesday, October 24th at 10:00 AM PDT, it will increase from 20 seconds to 40 seconds.

It will stay at 40 seconds for at least a week. We’ll then analyze the effect of the change on session outcomes to decide on next steps. As a reminder, here are some guidelines for making the most of the Review State in every session.

New Yup Bot Question Order

When we increase the Review State time limit, we’ll also be making the  question “Have you worked on this material or similar problems before?” the first bot question students are asked instead of the third.

Earlier bot tests have shown that “lighter” questions like this or “How are you feeling about this material?” can increase student engagement with later bot questions. Asking “Have you worked on this material…” may, by increasing engagement with the bot, decrease the number of students canceling their sessions due to longer wait times (while still giving tutors useful information).


Let us know what questions you have!

— Team Yup

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NEW FEATURE: Student Grade Level

Student’s Grade Level Now in Tutor Dashboard

Yesterday, we released a feature that collects each student’s grade level via the Yup Bot once per academic year. We then store the grade level for each student in our system and display it in the Tutor Dashboard for each of that student’s sessions.

Using the Students’ Grade Level

The table below summarizes how a few aspects of your sessions should depend on your student’s grade level. As your student’s grade increases, so should the size of your solution steps, the initial amount of participation you can expect, and the complexity of the terms you use.

Note: Review State Auto-Scroll To Be Removed This Week

Later this week, most likely tomorrow (Oct. 11) afternoon, we will remove the automatic scrolling feature from the Review State and improve the questions asked by the Bot.

These changes are the first couple of steps toward addressing your feedback from the pre-session message survey. Thank you to all those who filled it out!

If you have not done so already, please fill out the survey on Stars and Whiteboard 2.0 as well.

— Team Yup


Tutor Whiteboard 2.0

Tutor Whiteboard 2.0 has been released!

Try it out at!

This post describes its new features and known issues. 

Text Editing

To use the new text tool:

  1. Click on the “Aa” button
  2. On the whiteboard, drag your mouse down and to the right
    • Known issue: As you’re dragging out the space for the text, you will not see the box growing. It only appears once you release the mouse.
  3. Release the mouse
  4. Click inside the text box to start writing
  5. Press “Enter” or “Return” on your keyboard to finish writing

Here’s where it gets interesting! Click on the mouse cursor button in the top left corner, which lets you select and manipulate any object on your whiteboard except for freehand sketches. With the cursor button selected (not the “Aa” button) you can:

  • Hover over text boxes to see their boundaries
  • Edit the text in the box by double-clicking
    • Remember to press “Enter” or “Return” when finished
  • Drag text boxes around the whiteboard
  • Delete them using the “Delete” or “Backspace” key
  • Resize them using the blue squares on the edges


You can now create three new types of shapes: ellipses (using the circle button), triangles (equilateral and isosceles), and straight lines.

Open the menu by clicking on the shapes button, choose a shape, and then close the menu by clicking the shapes button again.

As with the text boxes, you can click on the cursor button and then select, move, resize, and delete the shapes.

Five More New Features

  • Manipulate outside images: You can still drag images from your computer and from many websites (like straight onto your whiteboard, drag out the area where you want them to appear, and click on the image icon that appears. Then, you can use the mouse cursor button in the upper left corner to select, move, resize, or delete these too!
  • Eraser: You’ll notice an eraser button, which lets you erase freehand drawings you’ve made with the pencil tool. It cannot erase shapes and text; you’ll need to use the cursor tool and your delete key for those.
  • Redo: Along with the undo button, there is also a Redo button. This feature’s ability to track whiteboard actions hasn’t been perfected, so some actions may be “batched” together.
  • New ‘Clear’ Icon: The new “Clear whiteboard” button is on the bottom-right corner of the whiteboard’s button menu. Look for an icon with an eraser and a rectangle.
  • Always open: During your sessions, the whiteboard is now permanently open for business!

Important: Known Issues

  1. PLEASE DO NOT use the rotate feature until further notice. There are two known issues that should be fixed within the next day or two:
    • Drawing on a rotated board does not work properly.
    • Trying to load an image from the Tutor Chat that has a different orientation than your current board causes the board to go blank. If this happens, just keep rotating the board until the orientations match up. This will let you see and draw on the image.
  2. For technical reasons, the math typing feature has been temporarily disabled. It will return in the next round of improvements.
  3. DO NOT resize text boxes to be smaller than the original text you wrote, as this can cause the resize feature to behave erratically. If this does happen, you may need to refresh your window to clear the whiteboard.

Best of luck using your new whiteboards, and thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work on these issues! Please take the 2-question quiz below to show us that you’ve read and understood this post.

–Team Yup