Introducing The New italki Teacher Site

Comments

297 comments

  • Avatar
    Michael J.

    "I can't see the whole name of my student. I have more than one student called Maria I don't want to have to click into the class to see which one it is."

    How do you solve a problem like Maria...

    https://youtu.be/oku308DjiFo

  • Avatar
    Bianca

    Hello there,
    let's start with the positive:

    1. 45/90min - good.
    2. Accepting a lesson request without typing the password

    But I'm afraid, the things that (still) need fixing are more:

    1. the calendar is not in order
    2. the frequent refreshing of the page creates a lot of chaos / I'm taking notes about a lesson request and when I want to accept it, something else is suddenly displayed. ???
    3. Where is the feature that I can see new lesson requests? Now it's all mixed up with feedback etc. not useful. And, I do give my students feedback in class. And it is even less likely that I give feedback, since this spams my messages further with useless stuff.
    4. Why are actual messages from students - those with relevant content - not displayed in the emails anymore? As was mentioned before, the link leads to the messy message board where I have to click through all the stuff to find the message.
    5. Personal cancellation policy. We are not your employees. Forgotten that? Instead, there should be a space on our profile page where students will not miss it. Then they can make an informed decision.

    I'm sorry to say so, but in my opinion, you are far from making things easier here. On the contrary, I spend more time navigating this site, trying to find important information that is being buried in spam notifications... Why don't you ask the users before making such changes? It's quite unfathomable what is going on here. From a business POV this is crazy. If you had done some survey beforehand, you wouldn't be faced with a ****storm after every 'update'.

    Poor italki support team who have to read it but are probably not in any position to change anything.

  • Avatar
    Abby Teaches English

    Problems with the new subpage:

    I can't add or remove time slots on the new availability calendar. I need to create breaks between my students and now I can't. And for some reason, every day this week, I have students who are rescheduling the day before their lessons and I need to reopen those empty slots so I can try to replace them and now I can't add slots either. This is a huge problem. Changing browsers and refreshing the pages didn’t work. My browsers are up-to-date. So this is a big glitch.

    And the new calendar...Why does it show classes that I rejected or that were canceled/rescheduled? I don't want to see that. It's too confusing. If it was canceled, rejected, or rescheduled, I shouldn't even see it on my calendar. 

    The "old" site:
    Removing the Instant Tutoring, was something I have used to fill slots when my students canceled and I couldn't refill their slot in less than 24 hours…So with this problem with the new availability calendar, I have no way to try to refill these empty slots.

    Whoever had the idea to make all of these changes without consulting teachers and students and letting us test it before putting it into use isn't a teacher or a student and isn't thinking of the chaos this was going to cause. I try not to complain about these changes because other teachers have already done it for me. This platform has been so excellent and the help I receive with student issues has been prompt and reasonable. But this is a disaster. 

  • Avatar
    Bianca

    Now I really have trouble finding lesson requests. What happened to the dashboard? That was very useful and I could clearly see any new requests.

    Now, they get lost in all the automated feedback requests poured out by the system. I give personal one-on-one classes and I give my feedback in person. This feedback push-on is just  causing even more work and more confusion. I almost missed 3 lesson requests today because they were nowhere indicated and I received one email that lead me nowhere in specific... horrible, stress, stress, stress

     

  • Avatar
    Taeko

    Yep! Changing availability is not possible on the new site at the moment. So frustrating...
    But I found a temporary solution!

    https://www.italki.com/settings/availability 

    Still works fine...

     

  • Avatar
    Abby Teaches English

    Taeko, 

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I bookmarked the link. You saved my week! Thank you for sharing.

  • Avatar
    Victor

    All it´s good, but I am not agree that instant tutoring was removed. I would like to have  lessons group 

  • Avatar
    Sabine

    Thanks for keeping 45 minute lessons!!

    I have a problem with messages, both on the old and new site my message page is completley empty. I get -Emails notifiying me of new italki messages, but there are none on my page..help please!!

  • Avatar
    Andrew B (Edited )

    Just found out there's a problem with the course pricing. I have long-term students who I give a special package rate to. Just recently, a student sent me a package request. I would normal tell her to cancel it, then would go into the course and temporarily amend the package price so that she could then buy a package at her usual heavily discounted rate. However, I can't do that now. After making the changes and hitting SUBMIT, it comes up with UPDATE FAILED. 

    PLEASE fix this problem urgently italki as it's crucial that us teachers have that flexibility in changing the prices and keeping our students happy. Every day that these things don't get fixed, both italki and the teachers are losing money.

    Again, I can't believe you've actually released this trashy website without testing if it actually works. 

    PS. If anyone has a temporary fix for this, like with the 'availability', please share it on here. Thanks.

  • Avatar
    Rina E

    Italki,

     

    I cannot update my schedule as access to the new site fails all the time, I have tried using different browsers. Please fix this immediately so that I can provide services to my students.

     

    K

  • Avatar
    Olga

    The Names of the Lessons look weird and counterintuitive. There should be a 'Lesson Name' in bigger and bold font, as a HEADER, and then it's description, wether it's a Professional or Informal lesson, right now it's visa versa. Doesn't make sense why the prices are different, 'cause all the lessons look the same. 

    Another confusing thing is a switch for languages. Those who won't notice it (I haven't first), won't even know a teacher is offering lessons for different languages.

  • Avatar
    Olga

    @italki Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to display minimal prices for lessons. It makes more sense to display prices for 1 hour lessons, for these are the lessons people book most often. It should be Under-promise, Over-delivery, and with displaying only minimal prices, it's the opposite, it's bad for a teacher's business reputation.

  • Avatar
    Marijana (Edited )

    So, I wanted to leave feedback for some lessons (italki, you put us a countdown for leaving feedback, are you serious?!?), because I can't get to the lessons requests, so I'm obviously forced to leave feedback now.

    Ok, I'll do it, but when leaving feedback for more than one lesson, you have to wait because if you left one feedback and you start to leave another, you get a notification "you left a feedback" (I know that, thanks) and this notification erases everything you have written in the box. So, we have to wait now between 2 feedbacks as well. Really funny! 

  • Avatar
    Bianca

    When are the silly notifications of our own actions being removed??? Whose idea were they? Someone with an attention span of 2 seconds????

  • Avatar
    Batsheva

    Hi, I tried to send Feedback from the Beta version of the website but I am not sure it worked (I might have sent my feedback twice, or not at all).  So I'll write this here as well, as this is really important, to my own teaching circumstances anyway.  Thank you! 

    Hello, I am looking at the new Teacher, Beta version of the website and I have a few concerns. Here is one. I teach two languages on Italki, both French and Gaelic (Irish). Now when I go on my profile, I can only see the French lessons I have on offer: in order to look at the Gaelic (Irish) lessons I have on offer, I need to click on the arrow next to the word 'French' and there is a scroll-down button. From there, I can click on Gaelic (Irish) and see my offer of lessons. Now I also wanted to see what students could see, so one of my Irish students very kindly agreed to take 5 minutes after the end of her class with me yesterday to go on the Beta version of the website, screenshare, and try and book an Irish lesson from there. I left her to it, and she said: 'It looks like you are no longer teaching Irish on here, only French!' She couldn't see the scroll down button. I then had her click on 'book now' and we found that if she is on my 'French profile', she can only book French lessons from there, while if she is on my Gaelic (Irish) profile, she can only see Irish lessons there. You know, scroll-down buttons don't work. I only have the one Italki account so I can't check what the students can see their end, but I think that recently, in order to book a trial lesson with me, students had to scroll down and find the right language for their trial lesson, either Irish or French. Now I have very few French students, but it seems that with the trial lesson thing, Irish was on top and French second: 90 per cent of the students who sent me French trial lesson requests sent me Irish ones by mistake. The first time it happened, the student hadn't messaged me to ask me what he wanted to do during the class and when I messaged him to ask him, he took a while to reply. I didn't know, about the scroll down button to book a trial lesson, so I assumed he wanted an Irish trial lesson and started explaining to him what I teach in my first Irish lessons. The student replied an hour before class to tell me: 'Oh my God! I wanted to book French! I am so sorry! Is it OK with you?' It was OK with me, I have plenty of pre-made lesson plans for those new students who don't ask me to tailor a specific class for them, but if I somehow hadn't, I would have been in trouble. People don't DO scroll down buttons, they really don't. Now I am not opposed to getting more exposure as a French teacher on Italki but on Italki, there are something like 400 French teachers and there are five or six Irish teachers, so I usually get the work in Irish anyway: over 80 per cent of the lessons I give on Italki are Irish lessons. I don't PREFER teaching Irish to teaching French, I don't mind, but as a French teacher, I am kind of 'hidden' from the view of potential new students already. So PLEASE, can we have ALL languages on the same page as before, with no scroll down button? And if you really don't want to, can we at least, PLEASE, be able to pick, in our teacher's setting, which language we want our profile to open on by default? We could be asked: 'I want my profile to open with French (little box you can tick with a click of the mouse) or Gaelic (Irish) (little box we can tick with a click of mouse), it's that simple. Because the only reason Gaelic is second here is because 'Gaelic' starts with a 'G', 'French' starts with an 'F' and it is an alphabetical order thing. I make my money from teaching Irish so can't afford to be hidden from view as an Irish teacher. If this isn't resolved by the time the website comes live, I'll have to resign from teaching French simply so I no longer have a 'French page' and Irish becomes visible again. I know I don't have many French students but it still would be a pity. And I can ALWAYS send a group email to my current Irish students to let them know how to book an Irish lesson with me, BUT I get new Irish students all the time, almost every week these days. Thank you! Batsheva.

  • Avatar
    Rina E

    @Batsheva

    I agree with every single thing that my fellow colleague is saying. Please fix this issue of one language showing for those of us who teach two or more languages, please!

  • Avatar
    Batsheva

          And I'll write here also the second concern I sent as Feedback as I don't know why, I am not sure they are sending properly.  I sent this just now:

          Hello again: I have a second concern with the new Teacher website in Beta version. Why are you getting rid of the customisable green (or red) rectangle, called 'Availability Status'? Now I don't know what other teachers have been writing in it or why it bothers you to the point of getting rid of it, but that bar has been very important to my work. I mostly use it in two ways. 1) I live in Ireland where we get terrible storms over the winter. On Irish news, we are told to 'prepare ourselves' in case our electricity or Internet fails. Now they usually don't (it only happened once in almost two years of my working on Italki) BUT I use the green bar to write the following, for instance: 'Weather alert on Ireland from morning of 03/10/19 to evening of 04/10/19. I will come to your lesson unless the storm causes my Internet to break. Thank you!' I write this BEFORE the start of the storm, because clearly, if my Internet or electricity GOES, then I won't be able to contact students about not being able to teach them if I have no Internet (and I have told Support this before, but Ireland has only one viable Internet company, called Eir. If Eir goes, you can be rest assured no neighbour of mine will have ANY Internet I can use to notify students either). 2) Another use I had for the green bar recently was to warn students I had just had to reschedule all my classes due to having lost my voice as a result of a bad cold (you can't really teach without a voice). Now I can ALWAYS send group emails to all my current students about things like Internet crashing and being sick but messages in the customisable 'Availability Status' are mostly for potential new students: If you send me a lesson request, I'll respond within 48 hours, but NOT if I don't have any Internet for those 48 hours, how could I (see previous comment, most of Ireland uses the SAME Internet company: infrastructure wise, our country's Internet is fragile like that). And 2) If you urgently need a language lesson to help you with something but I lost my voice and can't teach, when you look at my profile, you'll see I won't be able to teach you THIS week. So if you need a lesson this week, please approach a different teacher. Because yeah, when I realized I was too sick to teach, I cleared my timetable of availabilities for that week, but I wouldn't want a potential new student to think I am just randomly having an unscheduled holiday: I am best letting students know I will be SO GLAD to teach them when I am no longer sick. It's just polite, and good communication. These are two uses I have often had for this availability status, though I think I had others but can't think off the top of my head. I am not often sick, but the Internet one is a BIG ONE, as again, Ireland is technologically fragile in its infrastructure and I live in Ireland. And the space you give us on our profile to describe our classes is TOO SHORT, it always was. I teach Irish and French on Italki and the demands of these two languages are as different as the demands of Literature and Physics might be from each other, so I need a profile where I can demonstrate I know what learning French and what learning the very different Irish language entail. If I am going to have to 'mutilate' my own profile just to warn students we are expecting a storm and my Internet might go, that's not good. Now I understand not all students were constantly visiting my profile to see what I was writing in there, but a new student checking my profile out would likely see what I had to write. This 'availability status' bar made life much easier, without it, Italki might become very difficult to work with, particularly in the winter months when Ireland has a million storms. Thank you for reading and for PLEASE bringing it back if possible? It was hardly an ugly or problematic feature it can be SO convenient. Thank you so much for reading. Very best regards. Batsheva.  

  • Avatar
    Christina

    @ Batsheva

    Drop-downs are supposedly mobile-friendly, I don't think italki will change them.

     

  • Avatar
    Guyomar

    Batsheva is right to raise these problems. Those of us who teach more than one language need it to be clear that we teach all those languages (not just highlighting a single one, and hiding the others so that one can't easily see them if one doesn't know where to look), and a student should have to select their language as the first step of the booking process and choose from the lessons as they do now on the classic site. I contacted italki support with various issues about their new Teacher site by e-mail, and I have yet to receive a response more than 24 hours later. You'd think there'd be a response, given that teachers can't even update their calendar on the new site...

  • Avatar
    Christina

    What do you think about the countdown for upcoming lessons? Instead of day and time, I see that I have a lesson in 21:49:49 hours. How is that useful?

     

  • Avatar
    Batsheva

    @Christina 

    In my experience with the trial lessons I wrote above, they don't work.  With trial lessons it didn't bother me as students could STILL see clearly I was teaching two languages from my main profile anyway, but with the way it is promised to be now, it is very problematic, particularly as I am following the 'going rate' for lessons by checking out how much other Irish and French teachers charge and my French lessons are a good bit more expensive than my Irish ones, so while it doesn't matter to me if a student books an Irish lesson and then we learn French, it bothers me financially since my prices are not the same.  But for me, it's a no brainer: if Italki leaves it as is, I'll contact Support and ask to stop teaching French.  It's no skin off my nose: I'm a French native speaker and a non-Irish native speaker.  Only Italki is flexible enough to let me teach a language I speak more than fluently but that isn't my mother tongue.  So for me, it's easy: I'll move to another platform for French and will only teach Irish on here from now on.  This means my current French students might pick a different French teacher, but they might also leave, which would cost Italki money since they charge their 15 per cent commission.  I do write how I feel and point out potential problems according to my own circumstances, but as I said to them already in a message I sent Support, working for Italki is AMAZING because it is so easy to work for it.  If it's going to become difficult and Irish students can no longer book me, I'm out of here.  I give 30 to 40 Irish lessons for each French lesson I give, so since I am sensitive to where the 'offer and demand' is for me / what demands my students have off me and since I am much more successful as an Irish teacher than I am as a French teacher, I won't sacrifice my Irish teaching to a technicality.  And yeah, Christina you say drop-downs are supposedly mobile-friendly and I would be inclined to agree, but I have seen with the trial lesson situation my students don't seem to find them that user-friendly and that's the only thing that matters as I won't be booking lessons with myself, and it doesn't matter to me if it looks like I am only teaching French on here.  However this will matter to potential Irish students who start thinking: 'Oh well, Batsheva probably taught Irish up to now and no longer does' when these students go and learn Irish with a different teacher (another Irish teacher on Italki teaches Irish and Spanish.  As the scroll-down button is an alphabetical order thing, she will have Irish as her default page and Spanish hidden from view.  I am guessing she will take all potential new Irish students if this comes into effect).  

  • Avatar
    Inna

    The new site is very bad, it’s obvious. Very annoying in its inconvenience. The new options like “leave your feedback” are of no use. I am not going to leave an open feedback. I do it privately after every lesson. 

  • Avatar
    Christina

    @ Batsheva

    I agree with all your points and I have the same problem with the languages I teach and the 'surprise' trial lessons students never bothered to verify. However, I think what is important for italki is (what they perceive as) mobile-friendly features. Last year's update, with huge empty spaces and other things that look good on touchscreens tells me they want to go mobile. I think they will not change their mind unless they see an important decline in income, which I find improbable because every update focusses on removing free services and students who don't make big purchases. (They may have removed instant tutoring because instant students don't buy lessons systematically.)

    The new teacher site is (insert unprintable word here) but I doubt it will get fixed before we lose our students. My concern from now on is how to cut my losses, not how to beg for self-evident improvements. 

  • Avatar
    Bianca

    We should have an announcement banner option like: I'll be on vacation from ... to ... or other things, where we can display important information. INFORMATION SHARING, COMMUNICATION

  • Avatar
    Batsheva

    @ Christina

    'My concern from now on is how to cut my losses, not how to beg for self-evident improvements.'  It's my concern as well, but the thing is, by the time they have improved again, I probably will be gone, at least on one language (as as I said I really don't want the fact I teach two languages to cause Irish to be hidden from my profile).  But since I do need to make a living, and Ireland is an expensive country, I am unlikely to wait around for too long.  Which is why, when Italki asks us to give feedback / say what we think, I do.  That and the fact I used to work as a freelance education consultant for schools in Ireland so I am used to HAVING to give my two cents on everything education related because that's how my brain works.  I am not naive, I understand Italki probably doesn't care much whether I stay or go as an individual.  But Italki has been a very good workplace for me since I started almost two years ago, the new site is very obviously... '(insert unprintable word here)' as you say, and it actually saddens me to see it move in directions I think might be bad for it long term.  I am forever looking for other jobs I could do online, as I have personal reasons not to want a physical job, and I have seen that there are many, many language learning platforms.  Now it seems to me Italki is the biggest, but other startups WILL improve in time and might end up being more attractive to students than Italki.  I am very, very happy I am working for Italki rather than other platforms, I do believe these guys can be amazing at what they do most of the time, and it saddens me when they do things that I think will harm their own interest in the long-term.  But it's all about money at the end of the day, and since I have bills to pay, I can't wait for too long to cut my losses.  But if ASKED for Feedback (and they expressly do so), I give it.  It's not about begging, just about giving them some input.  Whether they listen to it or not is ultimately their problem, and will be ONLY their problem if I decide to leave.  I hope I won't have to, but again, I have bills to pay, so...  

  • Avatar
    Bianca

    @Batsheva

    •  absolutely agree

    but: we don't work FOR italki, we work ON italki

    very important!

    @everyone

    Stop begging. It's SO insulting my intelligence...

    They make millions because of us, but we don't work for them. They profit from us. They provide a platform, a service! - one that is becoming more and more like "how can we mess this up?". That's it.

    And as you can see, ... well, let me put it like this: something must have gone wrong in the HR department. All these silly notifications, the layout, the bugs just scream amateurism, bloody amateurism... With millions in the business, can't they employ REAL professionals? Or is this a weird social experiment... how far can we push and how much can we frustrate people until they leave? Faced with the situation of building a new livelihood somewhere else, which takes time... Or is this about statistics: how much time spend users on your website ... better ranking? ... Yet, they spend so much time because they are trying to navigate this piece of 'work'.   SO unethical, stupid, ignorant and I can't help thinking of Mark Twain's famous quote:

    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

    @support

    You have my compassion. 

  • Avatar
    Bianca

    This top-down approach to a business relationship, that is based on a service offered (you) and expertise given (us,) and should be to "mutual benefit" ... (your thoughts here..................................................................)

    Fools never think of themselves as fools...

     

  • Avatar
    Christina (Edited )

    @ Batsheva

    I did give a lot of feedback for this update. I am constantly giving feedback, for years. Since iTalki always disagree with my opinions, I find no reason to continue. Nor will I say "please" to people who get a share of my income for their contribution.

    @ all

    How many of you find this "countdown" for upcoming lessons useful? For me, it is really confusing. Other than clicking on each lesson separately, I can't find how to work with it.

  • Avatar
    Mohamed Fouad
    Hi italki Team
    I tried to change my price as usual in the old system but did not save the change
    How can I change my price as I was in the old order?
    I look forward to hearing from you soon and help me change my prices as easily as before
    Mohamed
  • Avatar
    Andrey

    Guys, I really appreciate your work but WHAT HAPPENED WITH USABILITY?

    The information I need to see on the website first of all:

    1.    New requests for lessons or packages. 
    2.    Lessons which require confirmation. NOT my confirmation, BUT student's confirmation.
    3.    Messages from students. 

    On the new website, information about new requests and lessons which require confirmation hidden from the homepage. It's very, very inconvenient!! Today, I learned about requests only from notification on the smartphone, to find this information on the website took a couple of minutes. 

     Messages. Now I have about 700+ unread messages, 99% from them are just notification. WHY messages and notifications were combined? It's super easy to miss the important message among tons of notification's "garbage". 

    I need all the most important information(see 1,2,3) on the HOME PAGE!!

    Thank you!

     

     

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