Frequently Asked Questions
In relation to the previous model the whole process hasn't changed so much. Student books a lesson and at the same time pays for it. Before the lesson starts credits are reserved on a student’s balance without any possibility of withdrawal request . After the lesson is finished the money is reserved on a tutor’s balance for 24 hours to give both a tutor and a student a chance to lodge a complaint. After this time money will be ready to withdraw to a tutor’s PayPal account.
Currently it's not possible to buy a couple of lessons at the same time. We plan to add this option as soon as possible.
Student will pay for a lesson while booking a lesson. That money will be reserved until your lesson is finished. Once a lesson is finished, you’ll receive a payment into the BuddySchool subaccount - it will have a pending status in Check earnings section. 24 hours after lesson ends you can withdraw your money with PayPal, which will take up to 1 business day.
The very important thing is to log into your account before or during a lesson. If you notice that a lesson has CANCELED status while it should be finished, please contact us immediately at email@example.com.
To carry out your payments safely we’ve decided to charge fee which is now 20% of the price a tutor sets for a lesson, but this will vary.
We've changed all prices from other currencies to US dollars according to the current exchange rate at the day of implementation. Since then all the prices offered by tutors are expressed in US dollars only.
In BuddySchool tutors and students meet to study online. Here's a simple step-by-step description of how they go about doing it:
- Tutors post their offers with information about their experience, pricing, availability and contact information.
- Students search through offers to find a tutor most suitable for them.
- When they find a tutor, they check his or her calendar and send a "request for lesson" message. In this they specify the date, time and other details about the lesson. Students pay before or during booking but until the lesson ends credits are reserved on the student's balance.
- Tutors receive requests for lesson(s) and accept or reject them. They can also change some of the conditions and send the request back to the student for confirmation.
- When the request is accepted, the lesson is officially scheduled which is saved in both the tutor's and student's calendars.
- At the scheduled lesson time the tutor and student log into BuddySchool and hold the lesson using online classroom. They carry on with the lesson until BuddySchool indicates that their time is up.
Both the tutor and the student should be logged into their accounts in BuddySchool. During a lesson tutor decides if he or she wants to use the online clasroom which gives the opportunity to teach many subjects - languages, math, chemistry, physics and much more. BuddySchool makes no restrictions, only keeps track of the time and informs them when it is up.
BuddySchool has lots of unique features which help make studying or teaching online easy and fun.
- Online classroom BuddySchool gives you the opportunity to carry out the whole lesson on the platform. With this solution you can learn and teach any subject - every foreign language, math, chemistry, physics and much more.
- Schedules You don't have to worry about keeping your schedule. BuddySchool will remind you of upcoming lessons by SMS and email notifications. At any time you can also check your calendar to see all future and past lessons. Another useful feature is that BuddySchool recognizes time zones and calculates the schedules accordingly, so you can easily work with anyone in the world.
- Quality All tutors have rankings which ensure that they can provide quality service. Students also have individual rankings, so their tutors will know they can trust them when it comes to payments.
- Personal space All information about the subjects you study or teach, your tutors and students, past and forthcoming lessons, payments etc. is organized in your account for fast and easy access.
- Payments BuddySchool's system for tracking payments and easy method of sending and receiving payments makes all your financial arrangements as trouble free as possible.
- Sharing materials During a lesson tutors can share materials - pictures, documents or even videos - with their students.
- Other Features... Explore BuddySchool for yourself and find many more features designed to make your online studying experience easy and fun.
There is no need to install any additional special software. Only to use the online classroom Adobe Flash Player is required.
Yes, you can export lesson information or the whole calendar from BuddySchool to a file in iCalendar standard (file extension .ics). Any application which supports iCalendar will be able to import your schedule. To export your whole calendar, click Export all lessons from your calendar page. To export only new lessons, click on Export new lessons on calendar page.
The condition to use the Service is to accept the Terms of Service and register the following data:
a) User's login
b) User's country of residence
c) User’s time zone
d) e-mail address and
It only takes a few moments to register! Registration will give you access to all the services which are not available to guest users such as private messaging, emailing other users, requesting and booking lessons.
If you are having difficulties remembering your registered password please click on the Forgot your password link at the top of the page. An email with further instructions will be sent directly to your registered email address. Check your mailbox in order to locate the password retrieval link.
To start learning with BuddySchool, follow these simple steps:
- Pick your user name and create a FREE account!
- Find a tutor. You can do this by searching for a keyword e.g. "Math" or browsing through categories.
- Schedule a lesson. Check the schedule of the tutor you have selected and send a "request for lesson" message. In it you will specify the date, time and conditions for the lesson. Check the price offered by the tutor and book the lesson. You can buy credits before or during booking with either PayPal or credit or debit card card. If the teacher offers it, you can schedule a short, free test lesson.
- Wait for the lesson. If the tutor accepts your request, lesson will be scheduled and credits will be reserved on your balance. BuddySchool will remind you some time before it starts. When the time comes, log into BuddySchool account. Ask your tutor for opening a whiteboard which is the best place to hold a lesson (id you don't see it you can use chat or send a private message to your tutor. Enjoy!
- Once the lesson is finished, credits will be taken from your balance, but the tutor won't be able to withdraw them immediately. Of course if your tutor for some reason doesn't show for your lesson, your balance won't be charged.
You can do this by searching for a keyword e.g. "Math" or browsing through categories. Start searching here!
If you scheduled a lesson with a tutor, you can simply send a message from the Message Box.
Sometimes tutors profiles are not active. In this case you can use the Poke a tutor option in the Tutor's profile page so that he or she knows that you are interested in scheduling a lesson.
Remember! If you want to send messages to your tutor or poke him or her you need to be logged in.
To schedule a lesson with a tutor:
- find his or her profile and go to the profile page.
- check a calendar to see when your tutor is available.
- click on a day marked with green and then use the Schedule lesson button.
- in the window with request details specify the time and lesson details. If it is your first lesson with this tutor, you can schedule a short free lesson to get to know them better (Note that not all tutors will allow this option). To schedule a test lesson choose a Free test lesson type in the Lesson type field.
- check the price offered by the tutor and book the lesson. You can buy credits before or during booking with either PayPal or credit or debit card card. Click on Schedule in order to send the request to the tutor. When the tutor accepts your request, the lesson will be scheduled.
- if the tutor accepts your request, the lesson will be scheduled and credits will be reserved on your balance. BuddySchool will remind you some time before it starts. When the time comes, log into BuddySchool account. If you don't see it, ask your tutor for opening the whiteboard which is the best place to hold a lesson.
- once the lesson is finished, credits will be taken from your balance. Of course if your tutor for some reason didn't show for the lesson, your balance won't be charged.
In this case you can contact the tutor by asking him a question from the tutor's profile (option is avalaible for the logged users only). Your tutor will decide if he or she will accept, modify or reject your request.
You can pay for a lesson at the time of booking or top up your balance earlier and the book a lesson.
You always pay in advance, but a tutor can withdraw money only after a lesson is finished. Of course if your tutor doesn't show up for a lesson, you won't be charged.
Remember to log into BuddySchool before or at the latest during a lesson.
At any time you can see all your previous payments in your account Payment History. You can also check the payment status for each lesson in every lesson details.
If a lesson starts, and your tutor is not present, you won't be charged for this lesson and tutor will not be able to claim payment for this lesson.
To start teaching at BuddySchool, just follow these few simple steps:
- Pick your user name and create a FREE account!
- Log-in and complete your settings. Add your photo! Tutors with a picture receive more lessons than those without one!
- Click on Teach from the top menu. Follow the instructions and create your first tutor profile. Tell students about yourself - your experience, fees, if you want to offer free test lessons etc.
- Declare your availability in BuddySchool Calendar.
- Activate your profile and start to teach!
BuddySchool is totally free to register but will charge you for your tutor profiles activation. To activate your profile just click on green button ACTIVATE in the Tutor profiles section. Activation of each tutor profile costs $1 per month, $5 per half a year and $10 per year. You can extend your profile any time you want to.
If you want to buy credits, please click Buy credits at the top of the page. Enter the amount of credits you wish to buy (1 credit costs 1 US dollar) and click one more time on the Buy credits button. A few moments after a successfull payment, your credits will shown up in your account.
There are no other mandatory fees. Please note that activation can be paid with PayPal or a credit or debit card.
Student pays for each lesson in advance, so you can be always sure that you'll be paid for you effort. You can send a withdrawal request 24 hours after the lesson is finished in the "Buy credits" section and you'll receive money up to 1 business day to your PayPal account.
All your current and previous payment history you'll find in the Check earnings section.
You can declare your availability on the Calendar page from the Tutor's section. Students will see the hours you set when they look through your profile. You can set a one-off time period, such as "2013-08-13 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm" or regular hours, such as "every Monday from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm".
Yes, BuddySchool provides a tool for you to create and store teaching materials which you can use during the lesson.
All lesson materials can be uploaded and stored in your Media library section. Teachers can upload all types of files: texts, photos, pictures, videos and audio recordings. Once uploaded, the materials can be assigned to any upcoming lesson as shared materials. When the lesson starts you and your student will be able to open and use the shared files.
For each lesson you may also add notes or reminders for yourself of the activities to be taken at this point of the lesson. These reminders will not be visible to the student during the lesson.
Here's how you upload a document and assign it to the lesson.
- Start off by accessing your Media profile page at the top of the BuddySchool page and adding new materials. Click on the button Add media.
- Once you upload the material and when a student schedules a lesson, you may share it on the lesson page.
Go to the lesson screen and click on ADD FROM MEDIA LIBRARY. You can simply grab specific files to the Drag files here field.
- When the lesson starts both you and the student will be able to open the shared materials and use it as teaching aids. Please remember that your student will be able to upload the shared materials only during the lesson.
There are 4 keys to becoming a successful tutor in BuddySchool:
- ALWAYS LOG INTO BuddySchool to BUILD YOUR TUTOR SCORE.
This one is the most important! Just like in eBay, students look for tried and experienced tutors, with good feedback from other students. Tutor Score is the measure of your reputation and skills. To make sure you receive feedback after each lesson, ALWAYS ask the student to schedule the lesson in BuddySchool. If the lesson is not recorded in the system, the student can't leave feedback for it. Also, after each lesson is finished, leave your feedback for the student!
- BE ACTIVE!
Log in often, check your email and don't let students wait too long for your reply. If you don't reply before the requested time of the lesson, you will lose that student forever. BuddySchool will send an email to you each time you receive a message from the student, but to make absolutely sure you never miss a new lesson, you can enter your phone number in your profile, and we will send you SMS each time you receive a new request for lesson. Best part - it's free :-)
- CREATE A COMPELLING PROFILE.
Add your photo and detailed information about yourself and your experience. Tutors with a photo receive more lessons than those without one!
- ADVERTISE YOUR PROFILE!
The easiest way to make a quick start on BuddySchool is to create a paid ad. With thousands of tutors registered with BuddySchool, it's not always easy to show up on the home page or in search and category lists, especially if your Tutor Score is not very high yet. With paid ads, you can immediately place your listing on top of the list and only be charged a small fee for actual visits to your profile.
Learn more about creating your ad and gaining instant visibility in the next section Advertisements.
- ALWAYS LOG INTO BuddySchool to BUILD YOUR TUTOR SCORE.
You can simply send a private message from the lesson box. BuddySchool will let you know as soon as your Student sends you an answer. All the messages sent between you and your Student will be available in your Message Box.
The Tutor Score is used to evaluate the tutor's reputation in BuddySchool. It is the most important information about a teacher. It tells the students how well others have rated the teacher in the past. The score is shown as a number and filled circles next to the tutor's name. To see all feedbacks and detailed information about the score just log in a click on the Tutor score in the selected profile.
The points are awarded for performance during lessons. Each time a lesson is finished, the student has the ability to leave feedback about the teacher's performance, which can increase or decrease the Tutor Score. It can be positive, negative or neutral. Positive feedback increases the Tutor Score by one point and negative reduces it. Neutral feedback has no influence on the score.
The Tutor Score is calculated for each teacher profile separately. Let's say Anne has 2 teacher profiles - Math (Teacher Score: 20) and Spanish (Tutor Score: 300). Anne is a very good Spanish teacher, has lots of students who leave positive feedback after each lesson. Her Tutor Score as a Spanish tutor is pretty high. Anne also started teaching Math recently, but she hasn't given many lessons yet and her Tutor Score is low - 20. The Tutor Score from Spanish profile has no influence on the Math profile.
The stars in Tutor Score are awarded for achieving points:
- 10 - 24 points
- 25 - 50 points
- 51 - 99 points
- 100 - 199 points
- 200 - 500 points
- more than 500 points
The Tutor Score is calculated basing primarily on the feedback from students. Each time a lesson is finished, the student has the ability to leave feedback about the teacher's performance. The Tutor Score is increased by +1 point for positive feedback, and decreased by -1 for negative. Neutral feedback has no influence on the score. Students can give their opinion on different Tutor and lesson features.
In some cases the score does not increase. It can happen if the teacher continuously fails to respond to requests from students, lesson is shorter than 15 minutes or a tutor and a student have the same IP address.
NOTE: Every 5 requests outdated within three months makes that your score is lower by one point.
On the rating details page, you'll also see some other numbers:
Positive feedback - the percentage of positive feedback left by students.
Lessons given - total number of lesson given by the teacher, including the lessons, for which the students did not leave feedback
Students who left positive/negative/neutral - the number of unique students who left their feedback. If the student left more than one positive feedback, it will only be counted once here (but it will be counted as 2 points in the Tutor Score).
The Student Score is used to evaluate the student's reputation in BuddySchool. It is shown as a number and filled circles next to the student's name. Points are calculated basing on the feedback from tutors: +1 point for positive feedback, -1 for negative and 0 for neutral.
The Student Score reflects student's performance during the lesson, but also reliability with schedules and payments, timelines and so on are rated so that when the student contacts a new teacher, that teacher can be assured the student had been responsible in his contacts with other teachers before.
Unlike the Tutor Score, Student Score is calculated as a single value for all student profiles of the user.
The stars in Student Score are awarded for achieving points:
- 10 - 24 points
- 25 - 50 points
- 51 - 99 points
- 100 - 199 points
- 200 - 500 points
- more than 500 points
Let's face it, there are thousands of tutors here on BuddySchool, all competing for the attention of the students. If you want to start receiving tutoring requests, first you need to be visible, and this is not always easy, especially if your Tutor Score is not very high yet. Paid ads are an inexpensive way to get instant visibility throughout BuddySchool, including home page and top positions on search and category lists. You have two types of ads to choose from:
- Sponsored listing, which look just like regular listings, are placed on each page in BuddySchool including in the central area of home page and on top of search and category lists. You are only charged if the student clicks on the ad and visits your profile.
- Highlighted listing, which makes your regular listing stand out visually from the rest on search and category lists. You are only charged once and during a 30 days period your listing is highlighted, no matter how many times it is displayed or clicked on.
You can use both types of ads at the same time for maximum effect!
Sponsored listing ad is the fastest and easiest way to advertise your Tutor profile. It uses the information from your profile and looks much like a regular tutor listing. It has a photo, and information about the subject you teach. Sponsored listings are displayed throughout BuddySchool: on the home page, on top and on the right side of search pages, category listings and in the right side area of most other BuddySchool pages. Their key benefits and features are:
- Instant visibility. By creating a sponsored listing ad you can make your profile visible in key places across BuddySchool in seconds. There are thousands of tutors in BuddySchool and competition can be stiff. Sponsored listing ads give you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd!
- You only pay for visits from students. You will only be charged for actual clicks on your ad, no matter how many times it is shown.
- You control your spending. While setting up your ad you decide how much you want to pay maximum for one visit to your profile (maximum cost per click), how much you want to spend on the ad overall (budget) and how much you can spend in one day (daily expense limit). Detailed reports give you full insights into your ad's performance on daily and hourly base.
- You control your ad's performance. Sponsored listing ads compete for visibility in a way similar to an auction. You can place your ad on top of the page and maximize effect by increasing the cost per click. The higher you bid, the higher your ad is placed. If you prefer a more cautious approach, start low and watch the results. Try out a few settings and pick the strategy that works for you!
- Contextual matching to maximize effectiveness. In most cases your sponsored listing ads will only be placed on pages which match the subject you are teaching. If you teach English for example, your ad will not show on a page listing tutors in Chinese category, or in search results for keywords like "physics" or "computer science". That means that you don't need to set the price of a click to compete with all tutors on BuddySchool, you only need a good position in your category.
To better understand how sponsored listing ads work, please analyze this example:
Let's say you had 100 credits in your account and you have created a sponsored listing ad, setting the overall budget at $25, daily expense limit at $10 and maximum cost per click at $0,5. On the first day your ad will stop showing after reaching maximum 20 clicks (max $0,5 x 20 = $10), the same on the second day. By then the ad would have spent $20. Because the budget was set to $25, on the third day there are only $5 left and the ad would stop showing after maximum 10 clicks. You have used up 25 credits from your account and are left with 75. You can continue running the ad by editing it and setting up a new budget.
By creating a highlighted listing ad, you make your regular listing stand out visually from the rest, increasing the chance the students will notice it. Highlighted listing is a simple alternative or addition to sponsored listing ads. You don't need to select cost per click, budget or daily expense limits. Instead you only select the number of months (30 day periods to be precise) during which you want your listing to be highlighted. You are only charged once, a fixed price of 10 credits ($10) per month. During this time your listing will be more visible, no matter how many times it is displayed or clicked on by students.
Before you create an ad, the first thing you need to know, is that ads cost credits and in order to launch an ad, you first need to buy credits to fill your account.
To buy credits, please click on Buy credits at the top of the page. Enter the amount of credits you wish to buy (1 credit costs 1 US dollar) and click on Buy credits button. A few moments after successful payment, your credits will show up in your account.
Please note that you can buy credits only with a credit/debit card or PayPal.
1 credit costs 1 US dollar and each ad you create will use up your credits. With sponsored listings, for example, you are charged for actual clicks on your ad. If you set your price for 1 click at maximum $0,10 and you have 10 credits (equal to $10) on your account, then your ad will run until maximum 100 students click on the ad and your balance is depleted. It is similar with highlighted listings. If for example you have 100 credits in your account, then when you create a highlighted listing for one month, which costs $10, you will use up 10 credits and your account will be left with 90 credits.
You can use your credits for any number of ads and for multiple tutor profiles.
Here's an easy step by step guide to setting up your ad:
- Start from the page with Tutor profiles. Select the profile you wan to advertise and go to My Ads section.
- Select the ad type. Click on Create sponsored listing ad and/or Add highlighted listing ad.
- Enter settings for the ad you have selected. For sponsored listings it is the amount you want to pay for a visit to your profile (cost per click), budget for your ad and daily expense limit - the maximum amount you want to pay per day. Setting up highlighted listing is done by selecting the number of months you wish the ad to be active.
- If you have enough credits in your account, clicking the Save button will launch your ad.
There are three main reasons why your ad may not be showing:
- low cost per click. All sponsored listing ads are assigned priority, based on their cost per click setting. Ads with higher priority are displayed more often and are placed higher on the page. In other terms ads compete in an auction. The more you are willing to pay for a click, the better the chance your sponsored listing will show, and it will show higher on the list. If the cost per click is too low you may not see your ad at all or it will show very rarely.
- budget depleted or daily expense limit reached. While setting up the sponsored listing ad you are asked to specify the budget and the daily expense limit (optional). Your ad will not show if the budget is depleted or if, on this given day, enough students clicked on your ad to reach the daily expense limit. Please read the entry for sponsored listing ad for more information about the relations of cost per click, budget and daily expense limit parameters.
- context matching. As a general rule, in most of the places we use context matching to show sponsored listings. Put simply it means, that in most cases your ad will show on pages where your regular profile would have a chance to show. For example if you teach English, then your ad will not show on category list pages for Spanish, or in search results, for keywords like "math" or "sociology". There are also pages on BuddySchool which are not directly assigned to any context, and in these places all sponsored listings have a chance to be placed. One such example is the home page - ads from all categories are displayed there.