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Question/Feedback Request: Adding additional badges to your profile and adding availability sorting?

Good afternoon everyone! :slight_smile:

Hope you are all having a marvellous week so far and enjoying the sunshine! :slight_smile:

As some of you may know, my team is currently working on ways to improve the sales funnel so that more customers get to the search results page and tutors’ profiles and hopefully book more lessons with all of you lovely tutors!

A few ideas have come up within the team, and I wanted to run these ideas by you to get your thoughts and feedback on the ideas!

  1. The first idea is about adding badges to your profile that helps you stand out and allows students to get a bit more information about you as a tutor beyond just how many lessons you’ve taught or how many repeat students you’ve had. Some examples might be that you’re great with beginners or kids or maybe even that you’re a great examination coach!

So what do we mean by badges? You currently have them on your profile for offering free video chats, or repeat students:


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  • What do you think of this idea?
  • How do you think we should come up with the various badges that tutors can receive?
  • How do you think badges should be awarded? Should it be based on student reviews?
  1. The second idea is changing our search results to show tutors who have more availability at the top, which would give newer tutors or tutors who are struggling to get business a better chance of appearing at the top of the search results. I am absolutely conscious that popular tutors or highly rated tutors may not benefit from this, but I want to reassure you that your ranking would absolutely be considered first in the search results ordering before availability.
  • What do you think of this idea?
  • How do you think we should do it so that it’s fair to tutors who have less availability?
  • Do you think this would help new tutors or tutors who don’t get much business currently?

Please know that we are not implementing these ideas at this moment, but are reaching out to tutors to get their thoughts and feedback as well as other channels (students/parents and internal team members) first to be transparent and get a lay of the land before any implementation will be considered.

Thank you as always for your thoughts and feedback, it is so appreciated and I appreciate all your hard work!

Kindest regards,

Natalie

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I think the issue with badges is that, as you say, you would need some mechanism to award them, which would make it harder for new tutors to get them, and then surely that would worsen the issue for new tutors?

I do like the idea of making better use of the current data, however what about trying to give greater prominence to the data already shown: lessons done, repeat clients, and ratings. After all those are probably going to be the most important things so perhaps thinking about ways to better emphasise and showcase those would be the solution rather than trying to extrapolate something more indirect from them.

I can’t say I’m a big fan of tying search rankings to availability. I like it for new tutors, but surely some tutors probably don’t go a great job tutoring and would have low availability because of that, yet this feature would give them an advantage? Also, it sort of feels like punishing success a bit - because the more clients a tutor is successful with, the harder it would be for them.

So I suppose I’m saying, maybe it would be good for tutors in their first few months with tutorful to have this bonus in the search rankings based on availability, but I don’t think it’s good for all tutors.

It seems to me that the search rankings should reflect as much as possible a tutor’s ability to retain students and book more lessons, and client reviews - that’s the best indicator of tutor ability that an algorithm is going to be able to capture. New tutors should get an artificial boost at first so that they can get some students but then they should take their fair place alongside all other tutors depending on how they did with those students. I just don’t like the idea of availability being a criteria in the algorithm in general because that is antithetical to what it currently measures which is client retention.

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I love the idea of the badges and also agree with JoeL

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Hi Natalie - agree with comments so far. I would ask you to consider that as regards availability many tutors work through more than one provider and in that case availability charts don’t help at all. Tutorful remains my provider of choice and at present is supplying almost all my work but that does not mean I want to be with one provider alone - put simply I am wary on having all my eggs in one basket. I would like to see more done for new tutors to get them going but again not if my bookings dropped significantly as a result . Perhaps consider that ambassadors/popular tutors could have a role along the lines of 'I am fully booked right now but would you consider a trial lesson with…

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Happy to hear my suggestion was taken on board. When I made my suggestion about the rankings being affected by availability - I made the suggestion as a search function as opposed to it all being done based on availability and it does seem like Tutorful have taken that on board with this: “but I want to reassure you that your ranking would absolutely be considered first in the search results ordering before availability” e.g. if you have good repeat client & booking scores, they will take precedence over availability. I think if I’ve understood that properly, that would be a positive change.

The badge one is a tricky one. I’m not sure how that could be implemented. You might have to also implement such things as a questionnaire when a student leaves Tutorful [if one doesn’t exist already… I have no idea] to ascertain how and to what extent the tutor made a difference. Maybe badges along the lines of the “20 lessons a week” badge or “25 lessons a week” badge would be useful for if a tutor teaches 20 or 25 lessons in a week?

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Good morning everyone!

As usual, your responses are incredibly thoughtful and give me great context and thoughts for how we can proceed. I will certainly take all of your thoughts onboard and we will think carefully about how/if we implement the availability and badges ideas.

I think the badges are a really cool idea and give the students additional information about who you are as a tutor and person that a number like “number of repeat lessons” just doesn’t give, but how we implement it will be the important thing.

Once we’ve started ideation on how we could do this, I will absolutely pass designs and ideas of implementation along to you to get your thoughts and feedback on it, so that we’re doing it in collaboration and not in silo.

Thank you all again, hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll be in touch soon!

Kind regards,

Natalie

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I like the badges too - I think as a long-serving tutor I like that there should be something for them as well as new ones - but I definitely think there should be something to help new tutors too! i’m not overly keen on the availability system either - mine is all over the place at the moment due to being on a summer timetable! It will be easier once students are settled for September though.

Thanks for running it past us - much appreciated :slight_smile:

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I like the idea of the review badges being on show - or maybe some key quotes from reviews - like (as Natalie suggested) ‘good with children’ or ‘works well with ESL students’ or something like that!

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Happy Friday everyone! :wave: I’m Tudor, I’m a Lead Software Developer at Tutorful, working with @Natalie_Tutorful on solving problems related to acquiring more students.

It seems like people are open to the idea of badges if done right. I can think of a few ways in which we can go about implementing badges:

  1. Having it as an automated process where our platform awards badges based on the data we have - e.g. long standing tutor, top tutor in Spanish, recently online or others
  2. Having a manual process where tutors can pick X badges to be displayed on their profile from a pre-defined list
  3. Starting to collect data from students at the end of lessons through little surveys and then showing those in search results and profiles. A bit like how Uber does it where at the end you can say that the driver had a good conversation, or drove safely, we could maybe let students pick from things such as: friendly tutor, focuses on grammar (thinking of language tutors here as that’s closer to home for me) or other things related to tutoring. (much like how @Basmati64 has suggested)

What do people think?

Obviously, these are just ideas and it is not a commitment that we will implement them. We are just trying to understand what our tutors think would work best to help them stand out in search results, make their profile more attractive to students / parents but also help new tutors get started.

Thanks,
Tudor

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Unsurprisingly of the 3 options, I prefer number 3 the most! Though number 1 is a pretty decent idea too.

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Thanks @tudor_tutorful and @Natalie_Tutorful for discussing this with us. I like the idea of badges in principle but think it needs to be carefully considered. Personally I would suggest that badges should be for extras or bonuses rather than things that are clear advantages that any client would want, and especially not things you would expect from tutors to begin with. Regarding being good with kids, this seems to be near enough a prerequisite to working with them. If someone tutors children then surely their reviews/score is a reflection on this anyway (if they don’t meet the criteria for ‘good with kids’ but still get good results then doesn’t that mean the criteria are wrong?). I am a little worried that anything less than perfect implementation would be disastrous for someone’s business. If you can choose between good with kids or not when it comes to choosing a tutor for your child, it will always be the good with kids. If someone who is good with kids doesn’t have the badge for whatever reason then their business is unfairly jeopardised. The reason could be that they’re new, that whatever criteria is just doesn’t count them when we could argue it should, etc.

I would also wonder why Tutorful would allow anyone to tutor if they didn’t have the badge. I’m sure the intention is more along the lines of fun for kids, entertaining, etc, but if it’s not read like that then I’m sure most will just passively go for the ones who are going to help. I’d like to see more badges, but as I say I would personally rather they be for things which aren’t a clear unambiguous advantage. Maybe a student badge for current university students (makes them more relatable to younger people perhaps, more direct knowledge of what is being lectured in of a topic, etc), or one for a job within the field, etc. As soon as you see the ‘good for kids’ badge though, you aren’t going to hire someone without it for your child.

Regarding sorting by availability, I again like the idea but I do wonder how it could be implemented. From the student end, someone with only two hours available a week is much the same as anyone else with two hours available a week. If the intention is to help newer tutors and if it is based on free hours, then they would rank the same even if one is a full time tutor who is nearly fully booked and the other is a beginner tutor who can only spare a few hours outside of another job. Again, if it’s entirely for student benefit then I suppose that’s only of secondary importance, just something to consider. Percentage of time available runs into similar issues. Maybe boosting tutors who have no bookings at all (or a very small number - I’m not sure what the stats are on average numbers of students)?

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Thanks for this @Dylan! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer this.

I do agree that we need to find a solution that works fairly for everyone. If we decided to go with badges we would do user research to figure out what badges would work best for both students and tutors. “Good with kids” was just an example.

Personally I would suggest that badges should be for extras or bonuses rather than things that are clear advantages that any client would want, and especially not things you would expect from tutors to begin with.

Would you mind giving us 1-2 examples of what could count as extras or bonuses?

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I have a few ideas just for to give an idea of what I mean, but don’t know how many of these are things students would actually be interested in or how well they would fit the plan.

Some might be practical things like lots of availability or flexible bookings. A tutor having lots of availability may be important for students who don’t have much time but won’t matter so much to students who do. Similarly, someone with a fixed schedule may not be interested in tutors having much flexibility with bookings week on week, but someone whose schedule changes a lot may want a tutor who doesn’t need to commit to the same time each week.

There may be things about where their expertise comes from or as a demonstration of it. Maybe a published author badge for writing, or researcher for science, teaching for any qualified teachers (I know there is something similar already for them though), etc.

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@Dylan could have a badge for being an examiner.

One thing I’m noticing in general here is how subject-specific a lot of these ideas are.

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Hey all!

This is such a great discussion, I really appreciate all the feedback!

I think practical badges for objective facts like “Taught at Tutorful for 4 years” or “Tutor is an examiner” would be great. That way we aren’t allowing subjectiveness to play a factor in what badges the tutors are receiving.

I do think for students, it might be interesting to give feedback on tutors and for that feedback to make its way on to the tutor’s profile, especially if the tutor works really hard to build a good rapport with their student or makes lessons fun, which I know you all work really hard at, you should get credit for those kinds of things!

I am absolutely certain after this discussion that the implementation of this is going to be very careful and considered, with lots of thought and collaboration with our tutors, to ensure that it’s a fair and objective implementation and we are not giving anyone an unfair advantage.

Thank you all again for your thoughts, this has been incredibly useful, and we will take the information away and do some further thinking, but we will ensure we come back to this community with any progress we make! :slight_smile:

Kindest regards,

Natalie

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I like 2 - I think tutors can be trusted to know their strengths and pick what they want to be highlighted (there could be a limit to how many can be picked to force us to prioritize), also many tutors including myself don’t use the online classroom (especially since the recording change) so surveys at the end of lessons would discriminate against us.

I would also like to add that sorting by availability seems like a way to brush over making the availability system better. If the student can better input their availability and we can better display ours to create better matches, I think that should be the priority. I agree with the above that “From the student end, someone with only two hours available a week is much the same as anyone else with two hours available a week.” and it’s better to find more precise matches. It’s definitely been my experience that most people who get in touch are not aware of my availability despite trying to keep it really up to date.

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I prefer option 1 and 3 but not 3.

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