Reviews are a critical tool in helping parents decide which classes are right for them, and in sharing feedback with educators. At Outschool, our customers--parents (sometimes incorporating their learners’ insights)--write reviews. Although low reviews may frustrate educators, it is critical that even low reviews stand in order to protect the integrity of the review system. Customers want to know they can trust reviews and use them to inform their decision to enroll in a class.
You may not attempt to artificially inflate your ratings for any reason. Examples of this might be: giving discounts for reviews, enrolling friends or family to leave reviews, or preemptively removing students whose parents have left other teachers low reviews, etc. Likewise, teachers should never “game” the authentic Outschool review system. Examples of this might include (but are not limited to) asking parents to change reviews, suggesting parents leave 5-star reviews in return for refunds/discounts, or archiving classes with lower reviews only to list similar classes for the intent of making reviews less visible. Such actions as these or above, may result in restriction or removal.
Outschool is committed to sharing all feedback that our parents provide. However, there are instances where our team will investigate and determine if it is appropriate to remove all or part of a review, including its written feedback and/or star rating. If a full written review is removed, the star rating will also be removed (see below for more information on removal policies). See the bottom of this article for our policies around review disputes.
How to get the most out of reviews
Reviews can help you build your business and get better at teaching online. Keep these points in mind:
Reviews are a growth opportunity. Focus on the solution to remedy the issue that led to the lower review. We encourage you to review the class recording to see if there is something you could have done better, talk to other professionals about their tips and tricks, and give yourself time to process the feedback. Do remember that every class isn’t the right fit for every learner.
Constructive parent feedback helps educators find specific solutions, or ideas to help guide educators to create an even better learning experience in the future.
Share reviews on social media to promote your classes.
Responding to reviews
If you want to thank a parent for or respond to a review, you may leave a public response to each written review.
If you have questions about a parent's review, you can send them a private message. We encourage you to listen and perhaps address their issues. We suggest using professional language in your communication. Outschool's policy bars responses that demand reviews removed. We suggest that you send these types of messages rarely, as it is inconvenient for parents and time consuming for you as a teacher. If you are unsure about what kind of reply is appropriate, please contact email@example.com and we can help you through it.
Our general policy is to not alter class reviews; instead, parents can update their reviews, and teachers can respond to reviews. However, there are instances where our team will investigate and determine if it is appropriate to remove all or part of a written review. If a full written review is removed, the star rating will also be removed.
Outschool only removes or edits reviews for the following reasons:
If a review is based on complaints that are unrelated to a teacher’s actions. Examples include:
Missed class reviews - If a negative review is about the class instruction and the learner never attended class.
Outschool tech issues - When Outschool can definitively determine that a negative review results from an Outschool outage or bug (including the inability to watch a recording).
Following instructions - When the parent didn’t follow clearly written instructions to prepare for class. An example of this would be a review that states that the learner did not have access to the class materials when our team can confirm that the teacher did provide the parent with instructions beforehand and/or that materials were clearly posted in the Classroom prior to the class’s start time.
Adhering to Outschool policies (ie: multiple learners, sharing ZOOM links, unverified learners, etc.) - If a negative review results either from a teacher adhering to Outschool policies OR or a parent violating Outschool policies and/or community standards. We would additionally remove a review if we determine that a learner wrote it, for safety and privacy reasons. That being said, we always welcome learner input and strongly believe that their experiences can inform improvements to classes – we just ask that parents write the reviews and submit them. This applies, provided that the educator handled the conflict in a professional manner and proactively reported the incident to Trust & Safety in a timely manner.
If the threat of leaving or removing a poor review was used as a tool to extract refunds, i.e. a customer threatened to leave a review if they did not receive a refund.
If a review contains inappropriate content, we will typically edit the inappropriate section out, but may remove the entire review if the review cannot be rendered ‘appropriate and comprehensible’ with minimal editing. Examples include:
Safety and privacy concerns - The review divulges any personal information about a teacher, learner, or others that participated in class (including photos of learners, class materials, lecture slides, etc) or disparages other learners in the class.
Libel or offensive language - The review includes personal attacks or insults that are targeted at characteristics of the teacher that the teacher cannot control and/or the teacher’s identity (including, but not limited to gender identity, sexual orientation, race, national origin, or socio-economic background).
Where a review is based on issues that are not the direct responsibility of the educator, but are within the educator’s control, we may review these reviews on a limited basis. In these situations, teachers may request review removal, but Outschool will monitor the frequency of such requests and will not delete reviews if we receive an excessive number of removal requests from that person. Outschool will limit removing these reviews because we believe strong attention to the customer experience by educators will dramatically reduce the frequency of negative reviews of this nature.
Learner has technology issues the teacher could not control.
Product functionality & features confusion - The customer clearly misunderstood what Outschool is and how it works
Customer did not understand clear aspects of the class description - The complaint is about an aspect of the class that is clearly outlined in the class description, prior to the review. Examples include:
Class requires use of an outside server (i.e. for gaming and coding classes) and the family complains about using a server or fails to access a server that the majority of class is able to access.
The complaint is about potentially controversial content, however, Parental Guidance clearly states that controversial topics may be discussed in class.
The review states that they thought the class was solely about baking one type of food, but the class description clearly states that learners would bake two foods and included the ingredients list for each.
If you get a negative review that doesn’t fit into the criteria for deletion, consider it as an opportunity to grow! Even the most popular teachers get occasional negative reviews and continue to be successful on Outschool.
How to Dispute a Review
If a teacher would like to dispute a review please do the following:
Make sure that it falls into one of the examples of what constitutes a review inquiry.
If it does, fill out this form to provide our Support Team with more detailed information about the review. Make sure to fill out all required fields and provide as much specific information as possible.
The teacher will be notified of the outcome of the inquiry. We aim to resolve all disputes within two weeks.
Upon completing its investigation, the Escalations Team’s decision is final.
Please note: Review Disputes must be submitted within 30 days of the posting of the review.