Important Information For All Users (April 2nd 2019)

Comments

475 comments

  • Avatar
    Sara Jimris (Edited )

    It's been more than 24 hours after the new website was launched but I can still manage my calendar and courses through italki.com. 

    However, what worries me most is that I sent an inquiry regarding the faulty messaging system and, for the first time, the person that replied seemed to not even have a good enough understanding/command of English - either that or he purposely ignored my question about some new option being implemented in order to improve the current system and avoid so much confusion. Regardless of that, I added some more inquiries about the new website, but I simply haven't received a reply yet. Just like all the teachers and students complaining here and awaiting some sort of response to reassure them.

    If I make an effort to look on the bright side, the new teacher website does feel lighter and somehow seems to run more smoothly - but then again, I personally find it less intuitive and it feels more cumbersome to access the different sections and have an overall view of the most important information at a glance.

    Now you can't see when your students were online for the last time (not that I'm keen on spying my students or anything, but it does help in some ways like adding a sense of liveliness to the cold and distant online relationship - it's like we're even more isolated now).

    Regarding the instant tutoring feature, I haven't used it so far but I completely understand and support those who have been left without it for no apparent reason.

    As for class duration, I'm glad they finally decided to keep it the same though I offer my own class duration since I saw another teacher do it and got Support confirmation that teachers are entitled to do that - which apparently hasn't changed. 

    I read a thread on the waiting policy yesterday. There was a teacher who suggested using that time to prepare other lessons and so on. Personally, I can't fully focus on any other task if I know I'm supposed to be waiting for the student to show up any minute, not to mention that professional lessons normally come with lots of different materials and docs you need to have open and ready to use before each lesson. If I start to open other sites or files and I suddenly get an incoming Skype call, I'd need to reorganise all the stuff as I start the class, which is certainly not the way I like to proceed. I put in lots of preparation when it comes to designing a lesson and I literally give all my attention to the session at hand.

    The least I expect is some sort of notice - if I get that, I don't mind waiting for as long as needed provided the student shows up, even though this affects the lesson plan (students can't even imagine how hard it is to try and adjust the activities so they fit into the class duration - and of course skipping stuff will most likely end up affecting the long-term lesson plan).

    If the student hasn't even bothered to inform me, or if they've faced some emergency which has made it impossible to type a quick message, it's not my fault either. I was there on time, ready to give my lesson. What I'd normally do is call the student in the first place - then leave them a message to please call me when they're ready - then wait for 10 minutes and leave them another message letting them know the lesson is a no-show and must be charged. Of course, I haven't got the slightest idea of how I will actually proceed if I face this kind of situation from now on. As others have said, I place a high value on my freedom of choice when it comes to implementing my own teaching policy. I deserve no less respect than my students do.

    All of these sudden changes and so-called improvements, the inconveniences caused and this silence as the only response so far have left me in a constant state of uncertainty. I really want to keep trusting italki's team but I'm starting to fear the worst - I hope they prove me wrong soon.

     

    5
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    CJ Lee

    INSTANT TUTOR ZERO - So people, I was thinking of something interesting... It's a bit of a makeshift, short term solution... Perhaps some have already thought of it. 

    So the idea is a somewhat DIET version of Instant Tutoring. A temporary fix until this debacle is officially solved.

    I have finally been able to alter a lesson plan on the new website.

    So, here is what I plan to do. Perhaps it will be good for some of you as well. (The following Steps)

    1. Create a lesson titled (Instant Lesson). Same stuff... 30 min, "X" amount of dollars
    2. The lesson can be activated and deactivated with the flip of a switch.... (I think... at least that's how the old site was.)
    3. When they see the lesson activated, it means I'm available for instant tutoring. 

    Anyway, this allows the student some flexibility and us too. There are a few things to keep in mind... like being sure to shut the lesson off for the 30 minute duration of a lesson. And of course, if a student takes a lesson, it would have to be scheduled at some ridiculous time (as most of us have probably done before)

    I plan to put in the description that this is only temporary until the real deal is back.

    Any ideas to make this idea better?

    4
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Guyomar

    Another weird thing about the new teaching site: when you click on a student's profile, all you see is feedback from other teachers, and only the 4-5 latest ones. It's very difficult to see at a glance who the student has worked with, and there is no information about how many lessons they have had, packages terminated, and attendance rate. This makes it much harder to decide whether we are going to accept a new student. Personally, I don't accept students with many terminate packages and a low attendance rate, because I've found they are more trouble than it's worth. Why can't we see these statistics? Are they going to be added or not? Makes it hard for teachers to make a judgement about who we want to work with.

    5
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    I have a suggestion for italki and I think it may be the best solution for everyone since they probably don't will put instant tutoring again. Some people already told me that instant tutoring is not easy to program and if the italki ended up with the 24h time simply for no time?

     

    I'm gonna explain:

    We can to see if a teacher, tutor, student, etc. is online right? What if we could schedule a class for this moment?
    That is, it's now 3:28 pm, and if the student had the option of scheduling a class at 3:30 p.m. of today? If we are online we will see the notification of the lesson and we will accept, if we are busy then why are we online at italki?

     

    It may be a solution to a major problem that italki has created for us. If not the only alternative will be the teachers available /online to continue giving the classes at the time the students appear and they can schedule in the calendar the next possible time avaible or when the teacher says, in exactly the same way when we make corrections and proofreading

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    Guyomar

     

    Instead of just having one comment per teacher and having the option "more" to see the rest of the teacher's comments, now only  appear the last ones. It's weird. 

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Beth

    I don't think that would work sofia. Firstly notifications dont always come through in a timely manner. And I am often on italki but would not be able to take instant requests. There are a lot of reasons we might be on the site but not available. checking our calendar, planning things, leaving feedback, making changes to our profiles, availability etc.

     

    Students would get annoyed if teachers dont respond. 

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    I think fixed the calendar. Can anyone see if the calendar is now normal?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Cassidy

    Interesting changes here.  While I appreciate change for the better, I am very disappointed to see that instant tutoring has been taken away.  I have students who rely on the instant tutoring feature and I'm saddened that I will be missing out on those classes now. I'm hopeful that something similar is in the works because this feature added an angle of flexibility that is just too great to remove. 

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Guyomar

    Sofia, yes, you basically have to click through to the end to see the teacher feedback in chronological order. It's like our feedback from students now on the teacher profiles on the teach.italki.com website : all in chronological order, not grouped by student. I don't like the way student profiles are displayed. I like to have an idea who I am working with and what their teachers have said about them, as well as the statistics for more objective information.

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia (Edited )

    Beth I have no problems with notifications, because I activated them so they appear on the computer. If I am doing other things I see the notifications in the other pages. The only annoying thing is that they are too much and thousands of them come. I would prefer fewer notifications as before. I only give feedback when I'm online, I do not go to italki just because of a feedack. Students have three days to confirm the lesson and many times it is automatically confirmed, I can take the same time to give a feedback...

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sara Jimris (Edited )

    @Sofia, just a quick note on the 'being online' thing. I've noticed this is not as reliable as it may seem. It's happened to me several times that I thought a student was online and wondered why they wouldn't reply to my messages... just to find out, a few minutes later, that they had actually been online 'X hours ago' for the last time. I guess they just left the session open or something and it's a sort of bug? - but it clearly shows the system is not 100% reliable and might lead to confusion.

    Oh, and I totally agree with Beth - notifications often come in unduly late, and being online doesn't necessarily mean you are available (just like the offline world - the fact that I'm home doesn't mean I can answer the phone).

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    Beth They will not go put it again or they would not have taken it off. We are going to be without students and so we have to find other solutions. I've been on the site since 2014 and now they decided to remove Instant Tutoring.

     

    Sara Jimris And did you leave and re-enter the site or did you reload the page? It is the same when we give a lesson, we have to reload for the money to appear if it will not appear. Or when they are for example 4:00 am and the class ended at 03:30 and still appears in the classes below because of the reload or we needed to log out and log in. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    Guyomar I prefer it as it used to be. We went at "more" and there were more classes from the same student. What the hell did they do?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sara Jimris (Edited )

    Certainly, Sofia. I've been teaching on italki for almost a year and several years online, so I'm aware of this stuff. All I'm saying is that things are not always what they seem - nothing is a hundred percent reliable and technology does fail from time to time.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    Sara Jimris 

     

    I've been here for 5 years and before that it was nothing like that. Every update they made was for the worse, but generally when I log in and log out things usually pop up. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Horacio

    Thanks for not removing 45 minutes lessons :) 

    I'd would like to see what are the new options for instant tutoring.  I don't use that option much, because of teacher overcharge for that! so it does not make sense!  I wish that you can limit the instant tutoring for half of what it cost 1-hour lesson. maybe that way there will be an increase in demand.  

    -5
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    For example I can not teach classes in the italki page. The first few times it went well and then the computer started to shut down, I always use other applications

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    Horacio

    The maximum and minimum price of each class is controlled. For example informal goes from X to Y, formal from Y to Z etc. And when there are informal and formal classes it does not make sense to be priced at half an hour. Was it half a formal or half informal price?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    paul

    removing instant tutoring is not a good idea, it would have been better to make instant tutoring more visible and easy to use. Maybe you can explain what reason is for removing this facility? It's actually a good way to speak to different teachers.

    3
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    CJ Lee I liked your idea, I will try do that. 

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    paul Formerly it was super visible and everyone could see. Look how it used to be: https://www.speakinglatino.com/italki-lesson-5-find-a-teacher/

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    jon housman

    Why on earth would you remove instant tutoring. I often don't know if I will be able to have time for a lesson until the day I can do it. This seems a really bad decision, and I am going to try to find this option somewhere else. If anyone can point me in the right direction, much appreciated. Jon

    3
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Simon

    I only put money on my account to use instant tutoring. Now you have changed the service, how do I withdraw my money please? I'm so disappointed in this.

    5
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    I added instant tutoring classes. So if I'm online I have these classes online too. Not the best solution, but it's one we have for now.

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sofia

    I also wanted to see the name of the course in the first place instead of seeing the type of class. It's less confusing

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Valerio Viale

    Bring back Instant Tutoring. This is a very useful tool, or at least explain why. It makes a little sense to me.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Anna

    I wonder if the developers' team is going to stop hiding their heads in the sand and comment on everything that has been happening on for the last two days. We have been waiting and waiting to hear something worthy and plausible but in vain...  

    3
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Valerio Viale

    I am suggesting to put an instant tutoring also for 45 or 60 minutes lessons. That would be very handy.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Shannon

    Can we please get an explanation as to why Instant Tutoring is being removed? Of course we're upset about the decision, but we're also upset that we've been given no explanation or timetable. It's extremely frustrating and feels disrespectful.

    Also, please fix the instant messaging system! It's great that you want to have visible notes for every tiny thing that happens on italki, but they're all jumbled together, there's no way to sort or fix them, and important messages get completely lost. I've had students overlook my urgent messages to them because they're getting piles of notifications that immediately push my message off the screen. My students are frustrated and view the system as spam--especially the students that are struggling to figure out how to stop every type of message from being sent to their email as well. It's a mess.

    3
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Yuriy

    Hi Team,

    Instant lessons should not be removed as they are essentially useful when you are not sure to schedule a lesson 24 hours in advance. 

    Instant lesson feature was one of the best why I chose ITALKI a few years ago!

    It would be cool if you could return them.

    3
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.