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Abuse of Verbling functions and policies

5 years ago
Being a good teacher means being prepared for your lessons, giving your students encouragement and feedback and doing the best you can for your students.

I understand that there are certain teachers who do not follow this rigorous code. They're often late to their lessons or don't do their utmost to make the student successful in learning a language. This happens in education whether the lesson is online or in-class.

It goes without saying that there are incentives for good teachers and punishments for violators.

I have come to realize that there are a lot of students who scam (lead on) teachers and certain Verbling functions and features contribute to those scams.

One of those features is the fact that students can book classes with a teacher, but initially they are unscheduled bookings, thus the student has no obligation to schedule the class.

This policy may be good for student enrollment, but is not good for teachers' wallets. We depend on teaching for our survival, whereas students do not depend on their learning for survival.

Policies should be made to protect the employees and the organization, not pander to the customer for meager profits.

Several times, I have had students book 5-lessons, scheduling one lesson and then moving on to another teacher without removing the booking.

I thought this was related to my teaching style or some complaint, but the students rated me highly, gave me good feedback and told me themselves that they loved my class.

So, I decided to change the disparity between my single and multi-lesson pricing, setting them to the same price.

My students ended up booking only one lesson at a time, rather than the 5-lesson booking.

So, it seems to me that this feature is contributing to students leading on teachers.

Verbling gets all the money upfront, so they don't have to deal with this issue at all. As long as the students keep paying, then Verbling maintains profits.

However, I think a better policy is to combine the booking and scheduling functions, so that if students want to get the better deal by booking 5 or 10 lessons in advance, then teachers aren't left hanging when students want to change teachers. They shouldn't have to explain their reasoning for wanting to change teachers. They should just get a rebate on the classes that they booked, similar to the way it is now.

That is why English centers around the world require the student to pay upfront AND commit to a schedule. The purpose of this policy is not to cheat the student (although scamming does happen).

This policy is in place because students as a whole are wishywashy and irresponsible, and would take advantage of their teachers who are trying to educate them.

Students are not required to commit to a definite schedule, which allows the students to jump around like frogs on lilypads, pretending that they're studying. It makes the platform less professional and more of just a hobby-site, rather than an actual platform for teachers to make a living.

If students can't be responsible enough to study properly, then they just have to face losing a bit of their cash, and that's that.

In my private online teaching, the scheduler receives the full payment for the classes from the student in advance, then sets the schedule for the duration of the transaction. If the student does not adhere to the schedule, then the teacher still gets paid for the lesson, and the student doesn't receive a rebate or a refund.

So far, I haven't had any cancellations or complaints, and the students have progressed well. They pay $150 for ten hours of lessons and a $100 commission to the scheduler. Everyone's happy.

It's obvious that Verbling needs to change this policy to better reflect the practices of educational institutions, especially if those policies are grounded on the realities of education.