Technology issues

Hi everyone, me again, just seeking some advice.

I’m not sure if anyone has had any technology issues with certain students? Not necessarily to do with the classroom, but I always find some connections is worse with some students than others.

For example, I’ve got one student and we constantly struggle with the Internet connection. I phoned Tutorful to check if there were any issues from both ends, and there weren’t, but I was told if this happens regularly with just this one student, it’s likely to be an issue on their end. Whenever we have a lesson and the technology fails, I will do everything I can to sort it, including refreshing the pages several times, moving onto Zoom (and the last time we did that, it failed miserably) and even going downstairs closer to my router (I usually work in my study upstairs in the evening). I asked the parent once if she could phone Tutorful and try and sort out the internet from her end; she flatly refused, saying it was the tutor’s job to sort out the lesson. Now our lessons have been hugely interrupted, I do everything on my end, but if they’re not prepared to compromise, I want to tell her I’m considering pulling the lessons if the internet is not more stable.

Anyone else had this problem? Any advice to get the internet more stable? I don’t think this is a classroom problem, though I do think that the classroom does need to be able to work well when multiple people are using the internet; when I phone up the people are always so friendly and great, but when they tell me to make sure no one else is using the internet, I feel this is unfeasible as in the current day and age EVERYONE (practically) is working from home and using the net. Any techies out there that can help? Thanks!

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By the sounds of things you’ve done more than enough to confirm that the problem is neither with yourself or with Tutorful. Claiming that it’s the tutor’s job to sort out their connection is unreasonable, to say the least. It’s certainly the tutor’s responsibility to investigate this first if it isn’t obvious where the issue lies, but once you’ve identified that it’s likely at their end then there’s nothing you can do. If it’s happening with Zoom as well then it’s not likely to be a Tutorful problem, but trying a third type of call would confirm this just for certainty’s sake.

I assume they’re not suggesting that you show up and install a better router or upgrade their connection, so I don’t see what you can really be expected to do. Trying to improve the connection at your end won’t do anything if it’s at their end or if it’s between them and Tutorful. If the issue is the number of people using the connection at their end, their main options are upgrading their bandwidth or simply not having so many people using it like they suggested. It may be an issue with the router or their device, have they tried using a different PC/phone/etc? Again, there’s not an awful lot you can do. Using voice-only may help but that may not be ideal (or necessarily fix it). Trying to find a type of call that doesn’t use much data may help, but I don’t know so much about what this could be.

Personally, I would make it clear that you’ve done everything you can and the problems will continue if they don’t address it. If they’re happy to keep going (and paying) that’s their choice, but if it’s too difficult for you as well then I would just stop the sessions.

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I have had similar issues with one student yesterday and I suggested moving over to Zoom for future lessons, which was fine as the problems were definitely his end. However, he then cancelled all the lessons and that affects my scores as we know, but I was willing to persevere. I have tried to e mail him on Tutorful and to his personal e mail address saying that the lessons still need to be booked and paid for through Tutorful, but he has not replied. What else can I do? It was hard enough to get a response out of him at the best of times but now I am hitting a brick wall lol we can only suggest ways around it but, at the end of the day, I might need to let him go, and you might have to do the same, Katy.

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Hi Katy,

I think the parent’s comment was out of place and simply rude so please don’t take it to heart. It’s not your fault if there is a problem with the internet connection on their end. Next time something like this happens I would recommend testing your internet connection using a simple speedtest. You can send screenshots of your speedtest results to the student and ask them to do the same. Once that’s eliminated then it could be a software issue. I have had some issues with Zoom when my students were not using the most updated version of the app. Sometimes switching to a different device for Zoom also works better. I am not sure if it’s a software compatibility thing or just better RAM but with one of my students whenever he used his mum’s laptop, the quality of the call was terrible but when he switched to his own laptop it was much better. Same house, same internet - just a different device was enough to improve the call.

If your student (or the parent) is not happy to try troubleshooting on their end, then maybe it’s time to just politely explain that they may want to try another tutor… You deserve to be working with someone who respects you and your time :woman_shrugging:

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Hi Katy if you contact tutorful they will give you another link in which you can try there classroom through a different app really helps when I have a glitchy student with bad internet.

Hi Katy
I totally agree with all the previous advice.
Using a screenshot of the speed test is super useful and if your student is old enough to take one their end, this should show Mum and Dad that they need to take action.
Failing this, if they do cancel then I’d talk to Tutorful to see if your booking rating could be reinstated.
Good luck and let us know how you get on !