And now, what you’ve all been waiting for: Packages!

Packages are bundles of sessions that are sold together at one time. We hope this makes it easier for teachers and long-term students to schedule their sessions on italki.

Teachers can offer packages for both their courses and one-on-one sessions. As always, teachers set their own prices for both individual sessions and for overall package prices.  We recommend offering a discount for students who choose to purchase your sessions in bulk. In order to start offering packages, teachers should go to edit their teaching profile.

Teachers can set packages in bundles of 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 sessions.  All the sessions within a package must be the same length, for example, 30, 45, 60, 90, or 120 minutes.

Packages1

For students, when you purchase a package, you can schedule as many session as you want (with a minimum of one).  You can reserve the same time every week with a teacher by checking the box “repeat weekly.” By purchasing the whole package at once, you can generally get a discount from the teacher, so make sure you have enough italki Credits (ITCs) in your account for the whole package.

Packages2

The idea behind packages is to make it easier for long-term students and teachers to transact on italki. By prepaying for a course, and scheduling multiple lessons at once, students and teachers can spend less time on the system, and more time on learning the language.

We’re still improving the system, so if you have suggestions about packages or what other features you’d like to see on italki, please send those to us through our feedback form or via email at (feedback at italki dot com).

Over the last few months, we’ve taken in feedback from both students and teachers about how the Language Teachers and Language Courses work. We’re now releasing a set of changes, based on your feedback, to make the system easier and more useful. In the next two blog posts we’ll tell you what you need to know about these changes.

New Scheduling System
We have made a number of changes to the scheduling system with the goal of making it easier for students and teachers to match up.

Scheduling

When requesting a session, students are required to select an available time from the teacher's calendar.

Teachers now set a schedule which shows when they are available. When students try to book a session with the teacher, they must choose from those times. This helps avoid the situation where students schedule a lesson for a time when the teacher is asleep. Therefore, it is critical that teachers update their calendars with all possible available times. If a teacher has no available times, students will not be able to request a lesson with them.

In addition, students must request sessions at least 24 hours in advance. This gives teachers enough time to respond and prepare for a lesson.

Teachers will allow be able to set “vacation times”, or dates when they know they will not be able to teach classes. (We will be sending a message to your inbox with a full list of changes.)

Language Courses
We have also made some initial changes to the way Language Courses are handled. Eventually, we hope Language Courses will give teachers a way of showing off specific classes or skills that they can teach. Likewise, we hope it is a way for students to find a specific teacher or structured teaching plan that fits their goals. Notably, if a student wants help on test preparation, translation, or business vocabulary, this would be the place for students to browse.

We are still making many improvements, and we are definitely interested in hearing your suggestions about how to improve Language Courses, the scheduling system, or anything else about the website. Please feel free to send us ideas through our feedback form or via email at (feedback at italki dot com).

Unwrap the Joy of Learning

November 30th, 2009 | Posted by Toffler in promotion - (0 Comments)

Throughout the month of December, italki is offering everyone, both teachers and students, the opportunity to Unwrap the Joy of Learning with special promotions.

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For Students – Give Yourself the Joy of Learning and Get a Bonus

When you buy 200 or more ITC in a single purchase during the month of December, italki will give you 10% bonus on that purchase.  This applies to each and every single purchase of 200 or more italki credits you make during the month of December.  So that means, Buy 200 ITC and you will receive a total of 220.  Buy 300 ITC and you will receive 330, and so on.  If you haven’t bought ITC yet or tried finding a teacher online, now’s the time to start! More learning, more lessons, more time with a teacher to improve your foreign language skills.

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For Learners of English – Give the Joy of Learning English to a Friend

When you buy the 1-year SpeakENG multimedia course, you can give the same 1-year package to a friend for free!  The SpeakENG 1 year course gives you full access to the premier online teaching program from our Marketplace Partner Eleutian.  Also included is one 15-minute videoconference with one of Eleutian’s American certified ESL teachers. Give a friend a gift this holiday season and let him or her learn English too!  Please provide the person’s email address when purchasing this package.

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For Teachers – Bring the Joy of Learning to New Students

No Commission on New Students:  For all *new* students you start teaching during the month of December, italki will waive its commission for those students. That means extra money in your pocket. That is, any students you’ve never taught before (for paid sessions) that begin lessons with you during December, there will be no commission on all of those lessons.  We highly encourage teachers to look for new students and try to get some lessons taught throughout the month of December.

These promotions are not exclusive and may be combined.  Promotions lasts from December 1, 2009 12:01AM until December 31, 2009 11:59PM China Time (GMT+8).

Finding a teacher that’s right for a student can be a time-consuming process. Every student has different goals, and comes from a different background. Right now, students have to take the initiative to find a teacher. However, shouldn’t there also be a way for students to post what they are looking for, so interested teachers can contact the students?

That’s why we’re trying an experiment that we’re calling Learning Requestshttp://www.italki.com/teachers/learning_request.htm (you must be logged in)

With Learning Requests, students can submit information about their:

  • Background in the language
  • What type of lessons they want
  • Their budget
  • Time availability

After a student submits a Learning Request, italki will try its best to match up teachers that would be the most capable of helping the student to achieve his or her learning goals. italki will contact those teachers. Finally, italki will return a list of suggested teachers back to the student.

Only students that have purchased italki Credits (ITC) can use this feature.

Learning_Request

We hope that this feature will be helpful for students who need help finding a teacher. We think this feature will eventually evolve into a system where teachers can easily view the demand for their services. If you’re a teacher and would like to be on a recommended list for students, please send us an email to teacherhelp at italki dot com.

If you have suggestions about how we can help match students and teachers, please feel free to send us ideas through our feedback form or through our email at feedback at italki dot com.

Language Marketplace Explained

October 15th, 2009 | Posted by Toffler in feature | marketplace - (0 Comments)

It seems a number of people are still not familiar with the Language Marketplace, including how to choose a good teacher, and how much it costs to learn online.  We have a few tutorial videos (English, Español, Deutsch, Italiano, and Français) explaining how the Language Teachers section works.  But for those of you who prefer the text form, here’s another explanation.

Click on Language Teachers in the left-hand navigation box.

First, choose your search criteria:

LanguageTeachers

Teaches: Choose the language you’re looking to study. This lists the language the teacher will teach you.

Professional Teacher / Language Tutor: Do you need a teacher with professional teaching experience, or is a language tutor more suitable for your learning? More explanation of this here.

Native Speaker: Do you wish to learn from someone who speaks that language as their mother tongue? If you’re an advanced learner of the language, this may be more important to you than for beginners. Check this to find native speaking teachers of the language you’re learning.

Free Trial Available: If you want to have a trial session with the teacher before you pay for lessons, mark this option and you will only be shown teachers who offer Free Trial.  (You must have ITC in your account to be a Free Trial.)

Price (ITC per hour): If you only want to be shown teachers who fit within your budget, you may select it here. ITC are italki’s internal currency, known as italki Credits or ITCs.  US$1 = 10ITC.

Then click Browse to search by your specified criteria.

Second, after your new personalized list has loaded, choose which order in which you want to view the matching teachers.

Ratings: Sorts from highest to lowest (none) the level of positive feedback ratings the teacher has received from other italki students.  Shown by 1-5 Gold Stars.  More details here in our FAQ.

Price: Sorts from lowest to highest price in ITC per hour.  ITC are not US$.  1 ITC equals US$0.1

Once you find a few teachers that match your criteria and interests, click on their picture or name to few their profile.  Here you can learn more about them, check their availability schedule, and book a session with them.

Learning online is very quick, easy, and affordable.  Get started today!