Online tutoring is the way of the future. It is convenient, affordable, effective and simple for students. All students have to do is sign up for a specific service, find a tutor, and get started with their lessons. However, for you, the tutor, it is not as easy. Most of these platforms are built for student satisfaction only and ignore the needs of the tutor. Here at Tutorela, we find it extremely important to treat our tutors, as well as our students, with the utmost respect. Online lessons should be pleasant for both parties in order to ensure the best results.
Preply, one of the biggest names in the world of online tutoring, has received a variety of complaints from the tutors that have signed up. The issues range from high commision to a poor scheduling process. We at Tutorela have done all of our research to fix the mistakes that others have made so that we provide the premier online tutoring service there is to offer to both you and the student.
Get your first lesson for “free”
Preply advertises the first lesson to be free. What they really mean is that 100% of the money the student puts down for that first lesson goes to Preply and none of it goes to you. You worked an hour to make no profit and the student is not guaranteed to become a client in the future. This could happen a few times a week if new students keep reaching out to the same tutor. Preply is securing themselves money and not rewarding you, who brought in that new client at all. You should not feel as if you are being taken advantage of, rather you should feel valued for your time and effort.
Tutorela does not have any built in system like this whatsoever. You will receive the money from day one regardless of if it was the first lesson. We appreciate all the work that goes into planning your lessons and the time spent over video chat.
Commision is through the roof
The pay cuts don’t end after the first lesson. Preply has a rigid breakdown for commision based off the number of hours you have tutored. The structure is as followed:
- First lesson: 100% commision
- 0-20 hours: 33% commision
- 21-50 hours: 28% commision
- 51-200 hours: 25% commision
- 201-400 hours: 22% commision
- 400+ hours: 18% commision
Even after teaching for over 400 hours, they still take 18% of the money you worked hard for.
At Tutorela, we want you to feel like you are in control of your own lessons and not being cheated. When teaching with Tutorela, you agree to allow 20% commission to be taken start to end no matter how many hours you work. This levels the playing field for new and veteran tutor and allows you to still earn the money you deserve.
The competition is too hard to beat
Preply likes to showcase their impressive number of tutors on their website. In total they have 29,000 tutors from 185 countries, but what does this means for new tutors? It is nearly impossible to infiltrate the existing order that the long term tutors have established. Students are generally loyal to their teacher and are not shopping around for new tutors who have not taught any lessons yet. Because of the high quantity of tutors, new tutors are also faced with no other option but to lower their prices for hourly lessons as incentive for students to choose them. At this point though, they would hardly be making any money due to the high commision spoken about above. It is a cycle that is hard to break especially with the ranking algorithm used by Preply. More than 50% of the traffic for booking lessons comes from the first page of tutors. This leaves new tutors with little hope in successfully using Preply.
With Tutorela being a new website, signing up now would be extremely beneficial due to lack of competition. While we do have a handful of expert tutors already signed up for our service, establishing yourself now on our platform will be advantageous for the future. If you believe that you are skilled and are passionate about teaching, create a profile now!
Bad Scheduling Process
Preply tutors have long complained about the messaging policy. In order for your tutor profile not to get blocked, you need to reply to all messages you receive from students. For a handful of female tutors these messages are sometimes inappropriate for an online learning platform. Preply also does experience bots and phishing on their site. At Preply they also have a feature that allows students to book a lesson instantly. This leaves the tutor with very little time to prepare a lesson if they are even available at that time. Students on Preply can also cancel a lesson too late or not turn up at all with no financial penalty, rather the teacher loses time and money. This is not fair to the tutor who took time to plan something to teach and had to wait for the student via video chat only for them not to show. Tutorela has the technology to check all users and make sure there are no bots, so no tutor has to face a fake lesson. At Tutorela the timing is flexible and up to you. Every tutor has a personal calendar on their profile page and you choose which hours to make available for prospective students. Even with this feature, you have confirm the lesson with your student before the start of the lesson to ensure that the meeting goes as planned.
Skype vs. Zoom
Preply uses Skype as their video chat service and at Tutorela we use Zoom. While Skype is a renown platform, it is less than ideal for conducting online lessons. Skype is more of a social media website in the sense that you need to connect with the person you want to speak to. The features are not high technology, which makes it harder to have a video chat lesson. You also need to know the other person’s Skype ID to use the video chat. This often leads to problems between the student and the teacher, including not being able to find one another.
For Zoom, one party just sends the other the link the to the ‘Zoom Room’ all they have to do is accept the link. Zoom also has the added benefits of screen sharing and recording. This former allows the teacher to enter the students screen to check over their work and help them directly. The latter allows the student to re-watch their lessons so they can review the material. Zoom also allows users to share files, such as documents and photos, with each other. Both you and the student can annotate and edit the documents. With Zoom, you can have unlimited one-on-one video chats and you can also have huge webinars for a maximum of 40 minutes. This feature is useful for when you are giving lessons to more than one student at a time.
The two most important aspects of an online tutoring platform are the students and tutors. Here at Tutorela we understand this and treat both users the right way. We are completely transparent with our tutors. You are in fully in control of your hourly rates and your schedule. We like to give all tutors the fair chance to meet new students and have the best video chat experience possible. If you are interested in becoming a language tutor on Tutorela, sign up now!