Outschool, the online learning platform that offers kid-friendly academic and interest-based classes, announced today the launch of its AI Teaching Assistant, a tool for tutors to generate progress reports for their students. The platform -- mainly popular for its small group class offerings -- also revealed that it’s venturing into one-on-one tutoring, putting it in direct competition with companies like Varsity Tutors, Tutor.com and Preply.
Outschool partnered with OpenAI to power the AI Teaching Assistant, co-founder and CEO of Outschool Amir Nathoo, told TechCrunch. OpenAI has been the center of an intense debate among educators ever since it launched ChatGPT in 2022, with many fearing that the technology will promote new cheating and plagiarism techniques. However, others see its potential to help teachers complete administrative tasks more efficiently.
Outschool’s new AI tool is designed to help teachers save time on writing progress reports as well as encourage better communication with the learner’s parent or caregiver. After every learning session, tutors enter bullet points into the AI Teaching Assistant detailing how the learner did in class. The AI then generates a few paragraphs that give parents an overview of what the student did that day and how well they performed. Tutors can choose from either a descriptive message or a concise version.
We spoke with Melanie Pauli, a piano teacher with over 25 years of experience who joined Outschool in 2020. Pauli was among the select educators who tried the AI tool when it was in beta. She found that creating a few paragraphs took less than five minutes, helping her save time between lessons.
“[Before] I was communicating these things directly with students,” Pauli told us. “Sending messages directly to parents may, in turn, keep them as customers longer. They feel like they’re part of the learning process.”
One caveat is that the feature is only available for tutors that offer private lessons. However, the company told us that Outschool may adapt the tool for its group class format if there’s enough engagement.
Image Credits: Outschool
The platform also launched one-on-one tutoring, which is a smart move since online tutoring continues to surge in popularity post-COVID. The market size is anticipated to reach $23.73 billion by 2030, per Grand View Research.
“It has been a challenge for parents and teachers to help students to close learning gaps after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nathoo said. “One-on-one tutoring is a powerful tool for parents to get their children the academic support they may need.”
Since Outschool launched in 2015, the platform has had more than one million learners attending over 100,000 live online classes. Its learners range from ages three to 18 years old.
The new offering will allow Outschool tutors to earn more revenue because they can charge a higher price for one-on-one sessions. Outschool boasts over 4,000 educators who teach various subjects, from English, reading and writing to math, art, music and vocal lessons.