Thoughts on Live Lessons?

Those of us who have used Chegg (formerly InstaEdu) or Cambly will be familiar with the concept of Live Lessons: tutors indicate that they’re online and can respond to lesson requests for immediate troubleshooting sessions in an online classroom which are charged, usually, by the minute. Students can also message individual tutors based on their profiles or previous experiences with them to arrange live lessons.

These work well as drop-in sessions for students who just need help with a single concept or want someone to look over an essay-plan, although they do also tend to encourage people who want to cheat on a test.

I’d be interested in whether Tutorful would consider this kind of functionality., and whether tutors would be into it. As Chegg has recently closed this portion of its site, there’s a big gap in the market for it. Lots of students hang out in Homework Help Discord servers, but this doesn’t quite achieve the same end.

I liked it as it meant I could keep my laptop open whilst doing something else, then pop over when I heard a notification. It was fairly well compensated which, of course, didn’t hurt!


I like this idea, there have been lots of times I’ve had students wanting immediate help but this can’t be facilitated with the current booking system so they end up going without. I imagine that concerns might be issues with students just wanting someone to do their assignments for them, but if other sites have a similar system then I assume this must be resolvable.

There are currently a few threads from people struggling to get their first clients and therefore ratings, reviews, etc. This could also be a way for them to get some early business.

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Oh yeah, very good point with regards to new tutors. A good way to accrue some hours and reviews.

I’m sure it’s a technical challenge, but it seems like Tutorful is not short of cash to spend on developing their platform tech!

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I like this idea, definitely something I’d be interested in!

Would be great whenever I have some unexpected free time in the evenings. I like the idea of a fifteen minute impromptu session on a particular question that they’re stuck on. I think it might work well for A level or university level students.


Interesting but probably not for me. I like building strong long lasting relationships with my students and provide bespoke lessons for them. They know they can ring me or message anytime if they get stuck with something but we clear up gaps in weekly lessons.

I’m not sure I would have wanted to even start tutoring using this method but of course there is a market for a variety of techniques.

I also have other work commitments which this method would not suit.

Interesting way of working and great for some though.

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I agree! Younger students may lack the proactivity to seek for help in this way but I am sure that older, more independent students would be more likely to take matters into their own hands.

I wonder if there is a way to link this with the community forum? The students could ask for help with a specific question or topic by posting on the community forum (once it’s open to students of course) and whoever is online would get a notification and would reply. Then both the student and the tutor would be taken to the online classroom for an agreed length of time.


Would opening up topics for students not just be providing free advice and reducing the number of students that might have potentially come forward for lessons?

Are these supposed to be free? Sorry, I assumed they would be charged an hourly rate. So if you charge £28 per hour then a 15-minute lesson would be £7. I think that the ability to book short one-off lessons would help us cater for students who maybe don’t think they need a weekly lesson with a tutor. We could earn extra money without it affecting our repeat client score.

The way it works on other sites is through an instant chat system and an alert board. Students can message individual tutors by searching (same as with prebooked lessons now) or post to an instant jobs board which alerts only those tutors qualified to help. Basically just a real-time version of the system already in place.

And usually paid by the minute, pro-rated from a set hourly rate.

Thank you for sharing this @IBD, I think it’s an interesting idea and it’s great to see thoughts on it from other tutors, too. I’ve passed this on internally for consideration. :sparkles:


Not for me - tutoring is about building relationships. Lecturing is about giving info whether you want it or not. In my opinion this is the antithesis of what Tutorful is about and the wrong way to go…

I don’t think anybody mentioned lecturing, so I’m not following the point you’re making.

It seems to me that Tutorful is about tutoring. The degree to which a tutoring session is pre-booked has no bearing on that.