As an online tutor, it can be tricky gauging how a student is feeling about a lesson or concept. Tutoring in-person, we draw upon non-verbal cues like facial expressions and body language to read a student, then adapt accordingly. In a chat setting, we are entirely reliant on the student’s ability to share this information with us.
This past week, we introduced a new feature that aims to take some of the guesswork out of determining a student’s learning needs. Student Canned Responses provide students with handy shortcuts for expressing themselves during a session.
Check out the following infographic which outlines the new student canned responses and provides tips for responding to them during a session:
If you are assigned a problem you are unsure about, please take a moment to upload the student’s image in the tutor-chat channel in Slack. Tagging all online tutors using the @here tag will alert your fellow tutors, along with any online TQMs, that you need assistance. If you need a moment to wait for another tutor to respond, politely let the student know that you are working on their problem, thanking them for their patience.
If you are online and receive a @here notification from a tutor struggling with a problem, please take a moment to provide assistance. If you are with a student when you’re tagged, the student takes precedence – however if you have any capacity to help please try your best to do so.
SHIFT ENDING POLICY UPDATE
Starting January 1, 2019, we are updating our policies surrounding ending your shift and overtime compensation. Here are the two changes to the policy:
It will no longer be acceptable to pass sessions towards the end of a shift.
Tutors will be expected to accept incoming requests throughout the entirety of their shifts. This will ensure students are connected in a reasonable time frame and have a great experience with Yup.
Tutors should only claim temporary shifts or takeovers if they are available to extend into overtime. Due to the unpredictable nature of session length, please anticipate the possibility of needing to extend every shift you work by at least 30 minutes.
If there are shifts in your existing weekly schedule that you cannot potentially extend into overtime, it is important to email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so we can adjust your schedule accordingly.
In order to reward and incentivize overtime, we will be increasing the overtime rate from 1.5x your normal hourly wage to 2x your hourly wage starting January 2019.
This policy change aims to address an issue we’ve been seeing with dropped (unclaimed) sessions. It also helps us avoid situations where tutors have to leave mid-solution due to their shift being over, a common area concern for students and parents.
In the coming days, we will be rolling out a new dashboard feature that will expand on our current “Star” badges. These fun new Student Achievement badges will be located in the same portion of the Tutor Dashboard as the canned responses and can be accessed by clicking the trophy icon (see below.)
Students will be able to earn badges by exhibiting certain positive behaviors – for example, asking an inquisitive question can earn the ‘Cool Curiosity’ badge. While the goal is to praise and reinforce ideal student behavior, our hope is that they will also make sessions more engaging and fun.
We encourage you to use Achievements frequently, however it’s also important to use them methodically. Avoid sending badges when the pace of the session could be disrupted or when the student needs support more than praise.
Below you will find a list of each badge along with the matching icon, and guidelines for awarding the badges.
CONCEPT CARD LIBRARY
Last week we introduced Concept Cards, a game-changing addition to our whiteboard gallery. Since the release, we have introduced a resource that we hope will make using these Concept Cards more effective. Check out the ‘Concept Cards‘ button at the top of the newsfeed window for a complete, searchable gallery of all the available Concept Cards to help tutors familiarize themselves with dozens of cards available in the whiteboard gallery.
Earlier this year, we introduced a flowchart-style infographic to guide tutors through the Gap Clarification Phase, as measured by Rubric Standard 1.1. This week, we are excited to introduce similar, infographic-style visual aids to clarify every standard on Yup’s tutor rubric.
These resources aim to break down the best practices for each standard in ways that are easy to reference and understand. In addition to providing tips and suggestions for earning the rubric point(s), they will also guide you through common situations that may arise in a session.
These resources can also be found within our Yup Teaching Standards document on their respective rubric standard slides.
As the Engineering Team continues to diagnose and tackle Tutor Dashboard issues, it is now more important than ever to report any bugs you are experiencing during a shift. The most helpful way to report these bugs is to share a screenshot of the error messages in Chrome’s Developer Console so we can pass these on to the engineers.
To open the dev console, follow the path below in Chrome:
Chrome settings > More tools > Developer tools > Console
Note: We want to capture specifically the error messages listed in the console. You can click the “Default levels” drop-down menu and select only the “Errors” option to see just error messages.
Once you have captured the error messages, please share the image(s) in the Slack #system-issues channel along with a description of the issue you experienced. For urgent errors that prevent you from teaching, please also share this information with us at email@example.com.
Thanks in advance for your help, and for your patience and understanding with these issues!
Starting next Monday, October 15th, we will be putting an updated policy overview into effect: Yup Tutor Expectations. These guidelines aim to shift focus away from negative behaviors tutors should avoid and towards ideal, positive tutor behaviors. We will still be assessing your performance in the areas mentioned, however with less rigidity, instead focusing on a tutor’s overall ability to meet Yup expectations.
We hope this change will convey the good faith we have in tutors to use their best judgement when making professional decisions. However, it is important to note that an inability to meet the expectations set forth in this document may place your contract at risk.
Please let us know what questions you have about this update and have a wonderful weekend!