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Tutor Subjects Selection
Updated over a week ago

At Pear Deck Tutor, we spend a lot of time thinking about how online tutoring can best serve student needs. We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience for tutors and students on our platform so that each interaction is maximized to impact learning outcomes.

Ready to find out what exciting improvements are coming to the Pear Deck Tutor platform? Some of these require your action to continue tutoring on Pear Deck Tutor, so please take a few minutes to thoroughly read through this page.

Streamlining subjects into curriculum areas

Guided by your feedback, we're introducing a series of key enhancements to make your Pear Deck Tutor experience smoother. The first of these is an optimization of our subject list. We are streamlining subjects into clearer curriculum areas and sunsetting some harder-to-match or less frequently requested subjects.

Our extensive research that led to this change shows that the revised subject list can still cover 96% of tutoring requests! That means that the quantity of available work on our platform is unlikely to decrease, while the quality of tutoring requests will steadily increase! Because of these optimizations, you’ll be able to match with students more efficiently and have more effective tutoring sessions. Pear Deck Tutor's platform, and every individual tutor on it, can now focus on the subjects that most move the needle. Eliminating subjects that are less aligned with student needs frees up space for enhancements, new resources, and more tailored improvements. This empowers you to be the best tutor you can be in the subjects that best serve students.

You can find our updated subject catalog here.

What does this mean for you as a tutor on Pear Deck Tutor?

Update your subject selection

Action required: Starting July 20th, you’ll be prompted to update your subject selection as soon as you log into your Tutor Dashboard. Please follow the steps to review and select the curriculum areas you can tutor in. You’re required to complete this before you can be available to tutor on Pear Deck Tutor. The changes will go into effect on August 3rd. Until then, you can still receive requests in your current subject portfolio.

If you wish to update the selection of your curriculum areas, you can find them in the tab “Curriculum Areas” in your account settings.

No tutoring sessions in legacy subjects

After August 3rd, you’ll no longer receive tutoring requests from students in a removed subject. This affects both on-demand and direct requests in that subject. The Browse Tutors page will replace the subject dropdown in the navigation bar, which means students can no longer find or request tutors in the legacy subjects.

Direct requests of students you’ve previously tutored

We value the relationships you’ve built with students, so those connections will still be available to you. No new sessions can occur in legacy subject offerings, but the chats with the students you have tutored in those subjects will remain accessible.

If you have repeating sessions with a student, we encourage you to message them to define what other subjects you can help them with. In most instances, you’ll find that a removed subject is closely related to a subject that is still available. For example, instead of conducting sessions in SQL Programming and Web Development, you can conduct your sessions in Computer Science. In the chat, you can direct the student to request a tutoring session in that subject instead.

If they have any questions about this, you can direct them to this Help Center article.

If there’s no closely related subject, we encourage you to wrap up your tutoring journey with this student in that subject. We understand that this may take some time – no student should be left hanging! However, we strongly encourage you to shift your tutoring efforts toward the available subjects within a few weeks. Those subject offerings are best aligned with the priorities of the schools, districts, and universities in the United States – enabling you to make an even greater impact on students’ futures!

Removal of the forecasting heatmap

As we realign our subject offerings to better match student needs and tutor preferences, we need time to collect new data to populate the forecasting heatmap. In the meantime, this feature will be removed from the Tutor Dashboard to avoid providing you with inaccurate estimates. Given that we are focusing student demand and tutor availability in a narrower catalog of subjects, you likely won’t miss the heatmap too much! This is a see ya later, not a goodbye. Don’t worry, we’re still committed to giving you valuable information about request volume. You can expect more frequent email communications to alert you when there’s a spike in demand in one of your subjects.

Updated student interface

This product update will also include a more user-friendly interface and an improved tutoring request flow for students. This means it’s easier for students to select the right subject, so requests that may have previously gotten lost can now make their way to you! One other change you’ll notice is that the request description is no longer a required field for students. At the same time, we are rolling out a strong support program that enables teachers and faculty to be more prescriptive about the type of tutoring request they’d like their students to submit. These two improvements combined will result in fewer low-quality requests and lay the groundwork for providing you with more detailed information prior to the session.

What’s next?

These changes are the foundation for further optimization of the matching process. Next up: an easier way to claim sessions. Coming this Fall, our brand-new and industry-leading matching system will take “on-demand” to a whole new level. Instead of requests becoming instantly available to all online tutors, you will be placed in a queue and receive the request when it’s your turn. This makes the claiming process less stressful and allows you more time to review the request.

Higher quality requests - As part of this matching optimization, you’ll also receive more information about the student’s learning journey and their tutoring requests prior to the session. For example, you’ll be able to see the grade level of the student – a frequent feature request from tutors!

There are more initiatives launching that will help further improve the quality of the tutoring requests in the near future. This is an exciting first step, with much more to come!

Updated tutor profiles - We’re also about to release updates to the tutor profile pages. You can prepare for this change by updating your profile content, especially your bio since that will become more prominently visible to students soon. Do this by navigating to your tutor account page.

Tutor filter: languages spoken - Also coming this Fall: new tutor filter features! These will allow students to find you more easily on the Browse Tutors page when you match their unique preferences, like languages spoken. This is a huge opportunity for tutors who can tutor in languages other than English. English Learners across the United States are waiting for your expertise as a bilingual subject matter expert!

Removal of the waiting room - The optimizations we're making to the request process mean that the product will outgrow the waiting room. When we release our matching updates, students and tutors will skip this step. You and your student will enter the Lesson Space immediately after you accept the request. Less waiting and idle time for you or students; more time to guide learners to their lightbulb moments!

All of these changes and many other improvements to your tutor experience are coming to you in the upcoming months. We can’t wait!

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