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July 18, 2023

How Our Subject Offerings Support the Best Learning Outcomes

Over the last several years, the field of education has undergone seismic shifts. As such, the importance of research and data analytics in shaping tutoring solutions has become increasingly apparent. Subject offerings that support the best learning outcomes are hard to come by. Recent news headlines highlight the disappointment of many schools and districts with the quality and level of support they receive from other on-demand tutoring providers. Low usage rates, quality assurance issues, and practices such as tutors simultaneously juggling multiple students are not uncommon. 

At Pear Deck Tutor (formerly TutorMe), we view these issues not as market failures, but as opportunities to rise above and lead by example.

Schools, colleges, and organizations in the US need a reliable partner to meet the specific personalized learning needs of their students and staff. As a response, we've embarked on extensive research to understand how we can effectively enhance our services to meet and exceed expectations. This research has led to exciting developments, helping us align more closely with student needs and the priorities of schools, districts, and universities.

Using data to improve student experience

Our research team embarked on a comprehensive journey to optimize our offered subjects for K-12 and Higher Education learners. We reviewed Request for Proposals (RFPs) content requests, actual student lesson requests, post-lesson data, and direct tutor feedback. Through this, we aimed to better understand the subjects in highest demand, both from the perspective of students seeking assistance and administrators looking to boost assessment scores.

To corroborate the data derived from RFP analysis, our research team also analyzed the summative assessment plans for districts across the nation. This additional layer of analysis allowed for us to align our platform and subject offerings to key district priorities. 

The end goal?

To identify the most requested subjects and subjects linked to the highest learner outcomes. By correlating these two data sets, we were able to determine the subjects that were in high demand among both schools and students, ensuring our updated subject offerings would effectively address market needs.

Pear Deck Tutor's subject catalog

The TutorMe Subject Catalog with the subjects listed in each column

Improving user experience for all 

Feedback from tutors played a pivotal role in our research, providing us with insights into their preferences and needs. The desire for tutors to connect with students who have identified a need in a clearly defined curriculum area allowed for us to create a model to lead to more efficient matching, improving the experience of both students and tutors on our platform. 

Streamlining our subject list to maximize student outcomes 

To maximize the impact of our platform on engaging and supporting students, we have streamlined our subject list by removing subjects that historically had low demand and overlap with other subject areas. We also streamlined our subject offering to match data on which curriculum areas had the most impact on student outcomes – including special attention to underserved student populations, such as English Language Learners, who may need to access additional support beyond the core subjects.  

Improved tutor availability

By concentrating tutors’ expertise across fewer subjects, we streamlined our matching process and increased the likelihood of tutor availability within every subject area. For our students, this leads to faster access to the exact support they need. 

Greater tutor expertise

By directing our focus towards a more refined range of subjects, we are able to allocate greater resources into a detailed vetting, training, and onboarding process catered to the tutors' specific areas of expertise. 

This approach extends to our ongoing support of tutors as well. Our goal is to cultivate an environment where tutors consistently grow their teaching skills, which in turn boosts their careers and enhances the quality of learning support available to students on our platform. The specialized approach we've adopted in subject selection opens the door to a wealth of possibilities for providing curriculum-specific assistance to tutors. Not only does this allow us to communicate and engage with tutors more frequently, it also gives us the opportunity to implement quality assurance measures and introduce product features tailored to the RAISE Approach within each subject's tutoring interaction.

This heightened level of specificity in tutor onboarding and support is aligned to supporting  tutors to better identify and navigate the common challenges within their fields. As a result, tutors are better equipped to prepare for sessions, making every tutoring experience on our platform as impactful as possible.

Enhanced matching process

Our optimized subject offering is accompanied by a new and improved user-centric interface for students. Our enhanced request flow is designed to benefit everyone, but it could truly revolutionize the learning experience for younger learners. 

By grouping subjects into curriculum areas, we anticipate an improvement in the tutor-student matching process. With fewer subjects to navigate, students can easily find a tutor best suited for their learning needs. This streamlined process also boosts the amount of information included in a tutor request, allowing tutors to get a better understanding of what to expect even before the session begins. This ensures students get the most from each session. 

Addressing student needs 

Our data-driven approach to subject optimization ensures this subject offering addresses 96% of our current tutoring requests. Once we adjust for outlier data – those unique accounts that veer from our typical school, district, or university partner – that percentage is much higher. 

Our selection is a result of thorough research and a renewed focus on subjects aligned to key priorities of districts that address high-impact learning areas. While students may initially notice some subjects are no longer directly available, the subject areas we've chosen to concentrate on are designed to provide significant value, enhancing academic outcomes and enriching the learning experience for each and every student. This change underscores our commitment to always prioritize our learners and maximize the value we bring to their academic pursuits.

Supporting the learning journey one step at a time

We understand learning is a journey, and every journey is unique. Our mission is to empower each student to take the next step on their path, irrespective of where they are or where they want to go.

Our dedication to continuous improvement is not just a company slogan, but the foundation of our commitment to our students, districts, and campuses. We appreciate that needs evolve, priorities shift, and the only constant in education is change. That’s why we've committed ourselves to evolve and adapt, guided by the compass of data and research.

The recent changes in our subject offerings underscore this commitment. Informed by extensive data analysis and feedback from our community, we've refined our focus to deliver enhanced support in the areas most in demand. 

Our promise to you, whether you're a student seeking assistance, a tutor looking to share knowledge, or an administrator eager for improved scores, is that Pear Deck Tutor will always strive to serve you better. We're not just responding to today's needs, but anticipating tomorrow's challenges.


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Eline Millenaar de Guzman
Product Marketing Manager

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