Free Video Chats - How do you use them?

Hi everyone!

As Free Video Chats have now been a feature on our site for three months, it would be great to find out a bit more about how they’re going and how you use them! :free::speech_balloon:

What kind of information or content do you tend to cover during a Free Video Chat? If you have still yet to have one, our FAQ provides some guidance regarding the information you can cover. For further information on this, click here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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I’m sorry to report I haven’t used one! I’d love to though, but I’m not sure students are really aware! I think they are a great idea!

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I have used one. They are useful for seeing if the student actually can use the classroom on their device, as well for getting to know them and discuss their requirements, etc. So many do not make use of the demo classroom before their first lesson and then run into issues that could have been resolved beforehand.

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Hi Luke,

I have used it twice it’s a lot better then going back and forth in messages and let’s you put everything out there from the beginning all questions and all answers.

I think it’s a good platform for parents to ask all their questions and give them a idea of what you can deliver.

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I use them fairly regularly, at the students’ request. I think it’s mainly for them to ease into it and get to know me before starting formal sessions, lots of people prefer talking in ‘person’ to messaging. We discuss the general things we need (exam board, level, other information) as well as have a little bit of a chat, generally speaking.
I don’t have much use for it for my own benefit, but it’s definitely nice to see people in a relatively relaxed atmosphere before starting the full paid sessions.

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My profile has been offline since they were introduced, but I’m looking forward to trying them out!

Is there any time limit on how long the chat can be? My concern over using them is that some people could take advantage and treat it as a free tutorial.

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I think it’s 15 minutes but you can continue if you like. Mine have all been pretty brief I prepare before the video chat and then just ask if they have questions.

Works hand in hand

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I think it is good the 15 min chat. Personally, I use it to introduce myself and get to know the student better what’s their goals are for choosing the course and also I indicate my teaching method. It’s ok. I have had a couple of those chats without success however the positive to rescue from this is that they get to know you and you save yourself from people that would be difficult to build rapport with and make your teaching experience uncomfortable. So it is good for both the teacher and the potential student. Ideally, I would advise to stick to the 15 min agreed time and put the marking time in the system as it was in the past, maybe?

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I think free video chats are useful to the student and the tutor. It offers the student a free opportunity to discuss their needs before committing to a paid lesson and an opportunity for the tutor to formulate the first lesson plan. However, I am experiencing lots of messaging and interest and bookings for a chat but no confirmation or no show. I don’t really understand this and it’s a bit time wasting for the tutor.

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I haven’t used it much as my profile has been offline for a while but I’ve used it to introduce myself and so that the student and I can ask each other questions. I can figure out their requirements and the way forward.

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I think it is great and an efficient way to gain an understanding of the student’s needs and for them to meet you and for them to understand how you work.

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it’s been too early to say at this point. RJS

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I haven’t used them, and I probably wont. I quite like organising via messages, as I can go back and check the information as and when I need to. I also don’t like giving up my time for free. From my experience, when I’ve offered the free introductory chat (I did this when I started tutoring) students tend to respect my time less (lessons running on, turning up late, changing lessons last minute). It may be a coincidence, but it has happened a few times so now I don’t like to offer them.

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Really great points mentioned here, it’s great to know how you all use them!

Don’t worry @Julia, Free Video chats tend to only take around 15 minutes and are used as an introduction as everyone here has mentioned.

Free video chats allow tutors to gain a better understanding of the student’s learning style and ability which means the lessons are better geared to their needs! As a result, students tend to be happier and more likely to leave positive reviews.

If they aren’t something you have tried before, you can find out more about how to offer them here!

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Chats have been useful in obtaining information and moans about Tutorful focussing exclusively online which to me is taking something of an unnecessary and unjustified risk. I prefer a blend of online and Face to Face.

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Well I have used them and on the whole find them to be useful, however I did not know that there needs to be at least 4 hours notice before trying to book them. I tried to book one and got a message saying I had arranged a lesson but not booked it on the system first lol needless to say, I was relieved when support explained it to me and said about the short-term nature of my request. I do think that there should be a different text message though explaining what it was about as I was confused to say the least :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Hi @KayleighD !

Yes, there is a notice period with 4 hours being the minimum! We are currently working on improving our Free video chats at the moment based on the feedback we receive.

I will pass on this to our Product team to look into further. A message detailing the notice period when a free video chat won’t book would be really helpful!