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Tutorful's Classroom is coming soon! 💻

You may have heard that over the past year, we have been building and developing our very own classroom!

Around 10,000 lessons have already taken place in the classroom and we have had invaluable feedback from the tutors and students who have worked closely with us testing it. We are now very close to launching the new classroom and it will soon become the default for all. :sparkles:

Interested in how the classroom looks? Check out our demo by clicking here. Do be aware that the screen share and video functions won’t work when trying the demo but they will be fully functional in lessons. :relaxed:

Screenshot 2021-02-11 at 18.11.40

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our new classroom or support you with any questions you may have - let us know by clicking the reply button below! :slightly_smiling_face:

Why not head over to our ‘Tutors’ category to get involved in the discussion around tips for teaching online? :mortar_board:

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Hi @Rachel_Tutorful,

I remember being one of the tutors who was transferred to the new platform to trial and unfortunately when using it with one of my student, we found that certain features were not working and from this had to be reverted back to the original classroom.

Since that point, I havent been offered the chance to retrial it but look forward to trialing it with all the features and functions working.

Sorry I cant give a more positive response but am sure this will change when I get the option!

Thanks

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Hi @Liam,

I’m sorry to hear you ended up switching back due to having some problems. As we only started building the classroom last year, it may be that certain features either weren’t available at the time you were testing or that some needed further development when you were testing it.

We have tutors and students testing the classroom to highlight things like this and have made many changes based on feedback received. We’re still adding new features to the classroom all the time so we really appreciate hearing thoughts from our tutors and students. :smiley:

There’s no need to be sorry at all, we welcome all feedback both negative and positive as the negative really helps us to improve! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. :sparkles:

If you’d be interested in trying out the demo, you’ll be able to get an idea of where the classroom is up to now and see the changes that have been made since you last used it. Do be aware that screen share and document upload do not work in the demo but would be fully functional in your lessons.

Everyone will be moved over to the new classroom at some point soon but if you would like to start using it again earlier than that, do let me know and I’ll put your name forward to opt-in early. :slightly_smiling_face:

We really appreciate your feedback, thank you.

Best wishes,
Rachel

Hi again Rachel,

Thank you for the response.

I can confirm that I have had a little play with the demo and everything looks great so far.

I can confirm that the document upload worked perfectly in the demo and everything seems super fast but wonder how this will work in real time with students. Only in the original classroom (even though the learncube classroom was not the very first orginal - showing my age with tutorful :joy:) does cause some problems with student connections at times where there may be a slight delay (lag) and or freezing etc.

I would most certainly (if possible) be interested in being able to give this new classroom a whirl with my students (and am extremely grateful to be considered for opting in early). I believe the document uploads seen as a continuous group of pages (rather than clicking through the pages 1 by 1) as well as the UNDO button will enhance the platforms efficiency and save time. The only thing i really like to use from the learncube classroom which is currently not present here is the orange pointer so that I have a visual of making students aware of things when highlighting certain areas, etc.

Also (and I know this is very specific to me and mathematics) a protractor, ruler and most importantly, a pair of compasses would be really ideal as without these, there a a few topics such as construction, loci, bearings, angles and the practical topics of mathematics which become incredibly difficult and sometimes logistically impossible through a computer screen and have become topics I try to put off until we are nearly finished with everything else or a student has a need to look at it but do understand this would be of no use for a majority of tutors and subjects.

I wonder whether this would be a good (but very specific) thread question to ask others on how they battle with dealing with the practical sides of mathematics and the various surrounding topics :thinking:

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No problem @Liam :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m really pleased to hear that you enjoyed using the demo! Most of the time the classroom freezing or having a delay is related to the internet speed of the tutor or student using the classroom. The browser test as you enter the new classroom will allow you both to test this and there is also a feature in the new classroom which allows you to see the connection strength of both yourself and the student which should help each of you to recognise if there is low connectivity. Screenshot 2021-02-25 at 10.11.12

It’s also important to check that you are using the most compatable device and browser to get the best experience. See more about that here.

It’s great to hear you’d like to switch to our new classroom early. I will put you forward for this and we will get this sorted for you as soon as possible. I will also pass on your feedback about having a pointer - a few other tutors have said this too. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you for sharing a list of tools you feel would be useful for maths tutors, that’s really great to hear and I will pass those ideas on - thank you.

That sounds like a great idea for a new topic! I’d suggest popping that in the #tutors category as I’m sure many other tutors will have a lot to say on that subject and may have some amazing ideas to share! :slight_smile:

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I promised I would give feedback, so here goes! Apologies, this might get long!

From my students’ point of view, the feedback on the classroom is mixed. Some love the new design, and think it’s ‘smooth’ and ‘modern’. Many like the new undo button, and some have commentated that it looks more professional. The majority of my students have responded positively, so that’s good!

However, some are disappointed with it. Many hate the new screen function where they cannot see what a tutor sees, and to be honest that’s an issue for me too. It reminds me too much of the backup classroom on here, which I HATE! Some students find the text box better, but do not like the new pen, saying it’s harder to use.

Sadly I’ve had a few technical problems, I’ve had 3-4 lessons over the past few days where the audio has cut out. Also, some students have been unable to see what’s on the board and one student struggled to get into the classroom at all.

From my point of view, I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. It’s missing a few things for me. Students have noted a lack of highlighter pen an issue, though this is minor. My two big issues with it is there is no way of monitoring when a student is about to enter. I used to love that we could see them doing their pre-class checks. Also, there is no download button to download students’ work, which is a big thing for me. I don’t like the screen from a student’s point of view. Also, I have been unable to upload a Word document, but I’m not sure if that’s just me!

I like the layout though, and I think it will just take time to adjust to. I realise it’s a work in progress, so hopefully we will see more added to it in time! However, I am very happy that Tutorful have created their own classroom - it makes the fee increase feel so much more worth it now!

Sorry if this is very negative!

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Loving the new side chat but when on the blank page I don’t think you can zoom in or out the same way? :persevere:

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The chat is a welcome addition to the new classroom but my students tell me that they cannot use the chat when I am sharing my screen. Is that correct ?
Also, my students tell me that they cannot share their screen. Is that correct too?

I think that those two features should really be part of the classroom at some point if they are not available yet.

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Hi @katywilson6, thank you so much for your feedback. It’s great to hear what your students have been thinking about our classroom too and that the majority of them responded positively!

I really appreciate you outlining what is missing and what is not quite working how you would like it to. I have passed each of your points on to our Product Team who are taking all feedback we get on board to make the classroom the best it can possibly be for our tutors and students. New features and updates are being added regularly so watch this space. :slightly_smiling_face:

You’re correct that you cannot currently upload word documents. You are able to upload pdf documents though so for now I would recommend converting word documents into a pdf so you are able to upload.

I’m sorry to hear you had some technical problems.

With the students who couldn’t see what’s on the whiteboard, it may be that they were looking in a different place to where you were using the board. We have ‘View ports’ in place so that tutors and students can see which part of the board the other person is looking at. We have a short video here about view ports, explaining how they work. Do you think this could be why those students couldn’t see what was on the board?

With regards to the audio issues, this typically relates to the browser/device being used (by tutor or student) - we recommend using a laptop or PC and we recommend Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or the latest version of Microsoft Edge as a browser. Using other browsers such as Safari can lead to issues like this. We have information about the best device and browser to use to get the most out of the online classroom here. I hope this helps but do let us know if not or if you do experience further problems.

Thanks again for taking the time to leave feedback, it’s much appreciated. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks so much for responding, it means a lot.

That’s great, I’ll certainly look at the ‘view ports’ you suggested. I think it’s just getting used to it!

I’m asking my students over the week to give feedback on the new board, so if anything else comes up I’ll be sure to pass it on! :slight_smile:

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Hi, it’s great to hear that you’re loving the new chat in the classroom! You’re still able to zoom in and out in the classroom, however the buttons have just moved to the toolbar, as we’ve added in a help button in the bottom right corner where they used to be! This means you can just use the zoom buttons in the toolbar in the top right to go in and out, same as before!

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Hi Fabian, it’s great to hear that you’re pleased about the chat feature! Unfortunately, students aren’t able to see the chat box whilst you’re screen sharing at the moment, so I’ll certainly pass this feedback onto our product team to consider whilst developing the classroom. We really do appreciate the feedback, as we want to make sure the classroom is as useful as possible for our students and tutors, so please do send any more thoughts our way!

In terms of screen sharing, students are able to do so in the classroom, in the same way you can as a tutor - they just need to hit the share screen button in the bottom left corner. They won’t be able to screen share whilst you’re doing so, but if you aren’t, they’re able to share their screen with you if they’d like!

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Hi Rachel,
I really really hope we can create classroom for adult learners too.
I wonder whether this would be possible.

Best wishes,
Elisa

Hi Elisa :slight_smile:

We are building a classroom that we hope will be suitable and useful for learners of all ages. This is a really interesting point so thank you for sharing!

I’d love to hear more about what you would like to see in the classroom to make it suitable for adult learners. Is there anything in particular that you have in mind?

I see no option for using YouTube clips in the new classroom? I may have missed it but this is concerning for me as I use YouTube heavily in about 80% of my classes.

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Hi Alexei,
You cannot currently upload videos into the classroom but I will certainly pass this on as feedback about our new classroom to see if it is something we can add in the future. :slight_smile: Thank you for taking the time to share this and sorry for any inconvenience that has been caused by you not being able to upload videos.

For now, I would recommend using the screen share option in the classroom to give your student visibility of the Youtube clips. When doing this, I’d recommend sharing a tab in Chrome rather than sharing your entire screen as sharing a tab will give you the option to also share audio with a student. Alternatively, you could share the link to the Youtube clip via our new chat function so that the student can open the clip on their computer. I hope this helps.

Thank you again for your feedback. :sparkles:

Dear Rachel,
With regards to Alexei’s post,
this is why we need to have the chat available when screen sharing because we do interactive activities that require screensharing where students respond in writing in some cases. It is possible on Zoom and Skype. It would be great to have it here too.

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Hi Rachel,
Sorry for the late reply.

I thought to plan short courses like 1-hour lesson a week for two months (8 lessons in total) with 5 student maximum per class. It should be better at the same time and same day every week such as: 8 lessons on Monday from 10 am to 11 am.

Tutors could set the start date for each course that they planned and so the students could book into the course and pay to confirm their place.

Tutors should also provide the course layout and write down what topics will be cover.

In the online classroom is important to have a chat box, to have the opportunity to share screen, images and videos.

Give them the opportunity to chat and speak but as well as to mute all participants joining the classroom.

Moreover, it will be important to have the email of all participants to send them teaching materials before or after each lesson.

I would be pleased to hear from you and other tutors interested in this matter.

Many thanks,
Best regards
Elisa

Hi :slight_smile: thank you for adding your thoughts on it’s, it’s great to hear why this would be useful for you! I have passed this on to our Product team along with Alexei’s post. :slight_smile:

Hi Elisa, that’s no problem at all, thank you for getting back to me. :smiley:

This is a really interesting idea, thank you for sharing and taking the time to outline how you see this working.

Some threads have recently been started within the Community by tutors who have some similar ideas.
Teaching group classes
Topic lectures
Live lessons

I’d definitely recommend checking those out and getting involved in the discussions! :slight_smile:

I have passed on your thoughts to the rest of the Tutorful team for consideration. :sparkles:

Thank you for your thoughts on the online classroom, too. We have recently added a chat feature to the classroom, you are also able to share your screen and add images to the classroom. You cannot upload videos at the moment but you’d be able to show videos through screen share or by sharing a link in the chat box. :smiley: Find out more about using the features in the classroom by watching our video guides here.