Today I would like to share with you how imtchr.com will solve the problems students have when looking for a teacher online these days.
I will focus on language learning in this piece as it is still the biggest part of the online learning market and also the most complicated but the general process is the same for any kind of subject matter.
To fully understand this, we need to step back and think about the general motivation of a student looking for a teacher because I believe that there is not enough focus on that today. A student who starts searching for a teacher has most likely a different mindset and goal than a student who is generally looking for ways to learn a language. If you decided to search for a teacher you are taking the language learning to another level because you either reached a level where self paced learning is not getting you much further in your process or you simply want to learn with a human being. Those students already know what their level is, they have a fixed goal in mind they want to achieve and therefore they have a certain requirements that need to be addressed.
Three key factors
And of course there are totally different criteria in choosing an actual teacher compared to choosing books or software. The keyword is: relationship. Like in any relationship between humans emotions will play a major role. You might say that choosing the right teacher is like choosing your spouse as in the best case the teacher and student will work over a longer period together. This will eventually lead into some kind of emotional bindings as you get to know each other more and more over time. Therefore, a key factor for building a long lasting relationship is if the student and teacher actually like each other.
Another important factor is the reason why a student wants to learn a language. It all boils down to expression. A student wants to express feelings, opinions, ideas etc the same way as he / she would do in his / her native language. Sharing all of this with other people is very important to humans. Therefore it is important to have a teacher that has the same interests or knowledge that I have in the language I want to learn.
The third factor is the underestimation of conversational classes today. Often cited as “mere” conversational lessons without structure they are seen as being ineffective compared to slide based classes. That is absolute non sense. Conversational classes are actually the hardest classes to prepare as they are highly interactive and the teacher needs to adapt the topics to each of his / her students and sometimes even in an ongoing class. As described above, students in higher levels want to talk in the language they learn about things that are interesting to them and they actually care about. This could be a spontaneous conversation on any given topic and the teacher then needs to have the vocabulary at hand to mix it in the lesson or at least the teacher needs to know where to find it quickly enough. But I won’t get to far into the mechanics of a good conversational lesson here, as it would get us side tracked.
To sum this up: students are looking for teachers who are able to discuss with them topics of their interest and help them to express their mind in the language they want to learn. This can only be based on mutual interests and a general sympathy between the two.
If we know look at the platforms which are currently on the market and how they match students with teachers, we can see where one of the major problems is. Platforms are matching students and teachers like they match students with courses, videos, exercises etc., only based on topic, level, rating of the teacher and pricing.
imtchr.com and mytchr.com will of course also use those criteria but we will go a step further. Like I said, finding the right teacher is like finding the right spouse. Therefore, we need to use proven mechanics that work on the Internet to match students and teachers. And those mechanics are partnership websites.
Every student and teacher will fill out a profile that takes the factors described above into consideration when finding the best teacher. Of course the result will also be filtered by ratings, pricing and availability but we will focus on the emotional factors.
That said let me give you the second problem we will solve for students. If a student is looking for a teacher today he / she needs to visit and search every platform on the market and chances are rather high that the students does not know all of them. Therefore the chance of finding the best teacher are once more minimized.
As imtchr.com will enable teachers to link to all of their existing teaching profiles on the web, the student will see all of them on one site. This has two advantages. One is that the student gets a better idea about the reputation of the teacher as the different ratings on the platforms will be displayed next to the links and secondly the student can choose the platform he / she likes best and book a lesson with the teacher there.