Feedback from our community plays an important role in how we make decisions at Outschool. In the earliest days of our company, every member of the Outschool team had regular contact with educators. But as Outschool grows and our leaders naturally take on new responsibilities, we know we have to become more intentional, thoughtful and diligent about staying connected to our community. We’re committed to building this platform with you, not for you, and to do that, we need to develop the right channels for you to communicate with us.

Today, we want to share a little about one such channel: the Educator Advisory Board.

The Educator Advisory Board (EAB) is a diverse group of engaged Outschool educators who provide feedback to the Outschool team on a regular basis, with each cohort serving for a period of 6 months. The first cohort of the Educator Advisory Board was launched in October 2019, and we’re excited to kick off the third cohort this month! We’ve learned so much from the first two cohorts, and we’re endlessly grateful to the educators who have already served on the board and helped us shape this program (which we’ll continue to iterate on, with your feedback)!

What, exactly, is the role of the Educator Advisory Board?

The Advisory Board is a voice for educators within the Outschool team. Board members get to know the team (and each other!), offer feedback about policies new and old, make an impact on our product roadmap, and sometimes even help us design new features.

Who makes up the Educator Advisory Board and how are they selected?

The Educator Advisory Board is composed of 15 to 20 members from our educator community who exemplify EPIC teaching principles and represent the wonderful variety of educators on Outschool. Care is taken to ensure diverse representation inclusive of region, race, gender, topics taught, learner ages taught, and length of time on the platform. We intentionally select educators who are excited to provide thoughtful, constructive feedback to our team (both positive and negative) on a regular basis.

Do you know an educator we should consider for our next Educator Advisory Board cohort? Please nominate them here!

Does the EAB include only independent teachers, or are organizations represented, too?

Organizations are an important part of our educator community with unique needs and challenges, so we’re happy to share that they’re represented on the Board.

How do I share my feedback with the EAB, so they can communicate my perspective to Outschool?
At this time, the Board does not serve as a formal link between the broader educator community and the Outschool team. Rather, by recruiting a diverse set of educators and encouraging them to offer feedback based on their own experiences, we hope this group will allow us to hear a range of important perspectives.

We’ll be working with the next cohort of the EAB to determine whether and how we should build more formal processes for educators to submit feedback and ideas to the board that will be brought to Outschool leaders in board forums.

It’s such a small group - won’t they have an outsized influence on Outschool decisions? What about feedback from the rest of us?

The Educator Advisory Board is just one of many ways we listen to educators. Our product development process relies heavily on direct feedback from educators who aren’t on the EAB (we interview and co-design with educators every week!). Additionally, the feedback you provide in surveys directly impacts our work - we aren’t kidding when we say we read every single response you share! The challenges and feature requests you submit to our support team are also a big part of how we make decisions, as are the suggestions you provide via the Official Outschool Educator Facebook groups. The EAB is an important input, but it is considered and weighted thoughtfully along with feedback we receive via these other channels.

Are you interested in partnering more closely with Outschool to provide feedback on product and policy changes? Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Complete the educator survey every quarter (this is probably the very best way to make your voice heard and have an impact at Outschool)! You should have received an invite in your inbox last week to complete a survey! If you didn’t see it, please contact support@outschool.com.
  • Click here to nominate an educator (or yourself!) to serve on the Educator Advisory Board
  • Click here to volunteer as a beta tester for new product features (click to learn more about what this means!)
  • When prompted, share your feedback after support interactions. We really do monitor your feedback closely!
  • Join the Outschool teacher hub and respond to requests for feedback from Outschool researchers, designers, product managers and others.
  • Send your suggestions and feature requests to support@outschool.com. We have a system for tracking these requests and they inform how we prioritize our work.
  • Want to share something directly with Outschool’s User Research lead, Megan? You can do that here. (She’s a good listener!)