CotW #3 + Best Method Infographic


Congratulations to Comment of the Week winner, Maya Merchant! This session was tagged “Clear Explanation” and received the following comment:

“Thank you so much for your help, I finally understand how to do problems like the one you helped me with.”

Please read through the session and annotations to see why this session helped the student learn something she had been struggling with:

Comment of the Week #3   ›  

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Follow the flow chart below to help guide your sessions towards the most appropriate solution method for the student and their problem:

Happy tutoring!

— Team Yup

Tutor Contribution + Solution Goals

Tips for Building Warmth

Have you ever been marked down on Standard 3.3:  Encouraging Language or wondered how to create a learning environment that is more comfortable for the student? This is one of the trickier aspects of online tutoring – if it is an area you feel you can improve in, you are not alone!

Yup Tutor and TQM Helen Herring seems to have an innate ability to make students feel at ease during a session and has drawn upon this skill to compile Tips for Building Warmth to share with the team. These suggestions are all very simple to implement, but they come with a huge impact!

Tips for Building Warmth

Although there are quite a few ideas to consider, we would recommend reading through the list to see how many of these you already implement, then slowly starting to fold 2 or 3 of these suggestions at a time into your daily teaching. Once they become habits, start adding in more so that you, too, can master this skill.

Helen will be receiving a bonus for proactively writing this article – and you can too! If you have an idea for something that would benefit the tutor community, please let us know at Maybe it is a skill you have like staying in-tune with the student’s perspective, or tricks you can share for an area in which other tutors struggle, like keeping the student involved. We hope that you will consider writing articles for us so we can bring tutor contributions back to newsfeed posts!

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Guiding Students with Solution Goals

When your student feels stuck, there are a few key factors like positive language that make a world of difference in whether they give up or persist. One of these factors, and one that we haven’t discussed much, is the student’s awareness of how the current step fits into the overall purpose of their problem.

If students don’t understand why your questions or explanations are necessary, then it’s common for them to become impatient or disengage from the learning process. Instead, give students a sense of direction and context throughout the session by making objectives clear all the way to the solution. This way, students will better understand how their own participation will bring them closer to the solution, and will feel more willing to participate.

The brief infographic below uses examples to illustrate the ideas above. Check it out before your next session!

Happy Tutoring!

— Team Yup


New HipChat Room + Answer Check Infographic

Now on HipChat: New Ideas Room

We are excited to announce a new HipChat room, called the New Ideas room!  In the past, we have reached out to you through periodic surveys asking for ideas on fairly specific topics.  This is our way of providing a forum where we all can discuss what you believe can be done to improve the tutor experience.

For example, what additional features would you like to see on the whiteboard?  What improvements can be made to the Tutor Dashboard? What other information would you like us to collect from students before you begin the session?

Before you get started, here are a couple ground rules:

1. Be respectful of others’ ideas.

2.If you like someone’s idea, don’t be afraid to tell them! If you’d like to add to it or modify another tutor’s input, don’t hesitate to jump in.

3. This is an ideas room, so let’s focus on creating positive solutions rather than dwelling on negative frustrations.

We have invited each of you to the room, so getting started is as easy as logging in. This room is on a two-week trial, so submit your ideas now!

Answer Check Infographic
See the resource below for reminders and tips to ensure you are leaving students with all-star final answers.

Happy Tutoring!

— Team Yup

Policy Breakdown + Chat Lag Fix


As a startup that’s blazing a trail in education technology, we frequently find ourselves uncovering new problems and adjusting our priorities as new data and learnings come to light. At the same time, we know that these policies can be tough to keep track of!

To ensure everyone is on the same page with what is expected of them, we have created the Yup Policy Breakdown. This infographic organizes all of the bonuses and penalties that Yup Tutors can receive into a one-page resource:

In the spirit of learning, improving, and evolving, we’re also taking this opportunity to introduce some updated policies which are a result of feedback from both users and tutors. These changes, which you can find in the above guide, are as follows:

– New bonus opportunities for positive student feedback
– New thresholds for response speed bonuses and penalties
– New maximum absolute totals and minimums for key tags

Check out the links provided on the right-hand-side of the policy page for more details.


Many of you have reached out to us with concerns about a bug that was affecting Tutor Dashboard response time, especially when typing in the chat box. We are happy to report that the Engineering Team was able to push out an update this morning that should address the issue. Let us know if you continue experiencing the lag, or if you notice other issues. See the Bug Reporting document for instructions.

Keep up the great work, and as always, let us know if you have questions or concerns about this post by emailing

— Team Yup

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Gap Clarification Updates

Recently, we introduced a feature that asks students if they have started solving or previously solved a problem similar to theirs. Now that this information is available to tutors via the Tutor Dashboard, we will be updating the way we assess rubric standard 1.1, which asks “Did the tutor figure out where and why the student was stuck?”


Going forward, you will be expected to ask the student about their progress only if one of the following is true:

– The student’s response to Started Problem is Yes, but they didn’t upload any work

– The student’s response to “Started Problem” is N/A

When a student responds “No” to “Started Problem” or responds “Yes” and submits work to the Yup Bot, we consider the task of finding where the student is stuck to be complete. At this point, start figuring out why the student is stuck by probing their existing knowledge!

We would like you to continue asking about “why” the student is stuck regardless of how the student responds to these questions (although we strongly suggest that your questions reflect the student’s answer to “Done Similar Problems”.)

In a recent tutor survey, we were pleased that many of you reported utilizing the answers to these questions to ask more targeted questions in the gap clarification phase. (For example, asking the student how their problem differs from others they’ve solved if they indicate having solved similar problems previously.)

Check out the infographic below for a visual guide to navigating Gap Clarification Phase going forward:

As always, let the Operations Team know if you have any questions about these changes by emailing

Happy tutoring!

— Team Yup

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