The Outschool team is always searching for ways to improve our platform experience. The sky is truly the limit for what we can do as an innovative team of educators, leaders, families, engineers, and passionate creators, and this often leaves the Outschool team with the tough task of choosing which platform features to develop next.
We ultimately choose to design and test updates to the Outschool platform based on feedback from our families and educators, in-depth research into our core audiences, evolving industry best practices, and our long-term goals as a company and learning community. Those goals always include helping our educators achieve better business outcomes.
Ready to get a peek into some of the updates we’re working on for spring and summer 2023?
Adding opportunities to customize classes
Our team has been hard at work exploring ways to make the class experience more flexible and customizable for both educators and families. In the upcoming months, you’ll see several updates and tests related to class payments and scheduling, such as:
- Weekly payments, announced on February 28: New payment options enable educators to choose to allow parents to pay weekly, instead of upfront, for classes that meet for more than one week. This experiment will go live in mid- to late March, learn more about how to prepare your listings.
- Late enrollments: Changes to enrollment options allow educators to choose to accept late enrollments for fixed-duration classes.
- Content flexibility: New listing options and policies allow educators to specify whether any class has content that builds from meeting to meeting or is suitable for any learner to join in at any time.
- Class duration: New listing options and policies allow educators to choose whether any class that accepts weekly payments has a fixed end date or no end date.
- Syllabus creation: New syllabus options within class listings will reduce the need for frequent topic updates to class descriptions.
This project is an excellent example of how a series of individual platform changes can come together to achieve a much bigger goal. As a whole, these features will provide more opportunities for educators to build their teaching businesses on their terms and customize classes. As a result, educators may expand their reach to include many families looking for more flexible payment and schedule options on Outschool.
This phased roll-out and testing approach also highlights the importance of conducting focused, smaller rounds of testing before launching what may feel like a big update to Outschool families and educators.
We intentionally designed this platform update to take place over a longer period of time to allow us to inform educators and parents of upcoming changes, test specific aspects, and take the time to perfect small pieces of our larger vision for streamlined, simpler class experiences. Read more on how we design and test updates to the Outschool platform.
Helping families find the right fit
When we talk about how parents find the perfect class for them, we sometimes call that “discovery.” That process can include search, category pages, and more. This year, we’ve already made multiple discovery improvements to keep our search engine strong and results relevant:
- Improved our class search function to bring more relevant topics to the top of results based on keywords searched.
- Added a “teacher header” to call out your profile and video when a family searches your name.
- Updated default time search filters to help parents find more after-school classes, and updated price filters to be more inclusive of 1-on-1 class price ranges.
- Created new category pages designed to help more parents find your Outschool classes, faster when searching for topics on the web. We also doubled the number of categories available to browse in the search navigation bar on the Outschool site.
And the good news is, there’s more to come in the world of discovery! We heard that you want control over how your classes are found, so we’re kicking off research to create new ways to tag your classes with different attributes and topics. Examples of these tags could include grade level and specific skills like fractions or spelling.
This is going to be a big undertaking with many opportunities for us to incorporate more of your feedback. Expect to learn more as we enter late spring or early summer!
Another way we want to help parents find classes is by highlighting educators with badges for accomplishments such as popularity, quality, ACE Framework completion, or even being new to Outschool! This work is still in progress, and we’ll share more specifics as they become available.
Enhancing the 1-on-1 learning experience
We’ve been watching as demand for tutoring grows on Outschool, and we only anticipate more growth in the future!
As more families search for 1-on-1 classes, we’re taking a close look at how we could boost re-enrollments for educators who teach tutoring classes, and address some common pain points we hear surrounding the 1-on-1 enrollment and learning experience.
Here’s a sneak preview of the features you may see being tested this spring and summer:
New options for re-enrolling after a one-time class
One-time tutoring classes make up a significant portion of new 1-on-1 enrollments, as many parents want to try out one class with an educator before making a longer commitment. We’re developing new features that will make it easy for families to book a follow-up meeting or ongoing tutoring after taking a one-time, 1-on-1 class. We believe this will increase the likelihood that one-time tutoring learners will be back for another session.
More scheduling tools for educators
We hear you, it’s a pain to set up dozens of sections for your 1-on-1 classes! We’ll be rolling out a new calendar that allows you to set your tutoring availability and makes it easy for families to enroll in times that work for them for a one-time or ongoing meeting. These new scheduling tools will be specifically designed for 1-on-1 classes.
We’re also working on new ways to significantly reduce the back-and-forth messages needed to make a quick schedule change by allowing parents to reschedule ongoing 1-on-1 classes according to educators’ availability.
Continuous classrooms for 1-on-1 learners
By avoiding a section transfer using soon-to-come scheduling enhancements, educators will also be able to maintain the same classroom for 1-on-1 learners regardless of whether they’ve taken time off or changed their class schedule.
By eliminating some of these roadblocks, we hope to make it easy for educators to create recurring, personalized 1-on-1 classes that lead to new business growth and longer relationships with families.
If you don’t see an update you’ve been waiting for in this preview, that doesn’t mean it’s never coming! If you’ve submitted feedback about a certain function of our platform, you can trust that we’ve logged it and are exploring ways that we can continue to make the Outschool experience better. This preview calls out the big building blocks of this spring and summer’s platform developments—but smaller changes that respond to family and educator feedback are always in the works, even if they may not get as much fanfare.
We will continue to send e-mail updates to educators ahead of each of these feature releases or experiments. To make sure you’re subscribed to educator e-mails, head to your e-mail settings and toggle on the option for “Occasional updates from Outschool.” You may also want to review the spam settings on your e-mail account and mark any Outschool e-mails as not spam.
If you have any questions about upcoming product experiments or feedback on your Outschool experience, we encourage you to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.