Grant Gregus · June 22, 2021

Trusting the process

At SocraTeach, we understand that the most important metric of success for the ed-tech industry is not revenue or profit. The most important metrics are ones that quantify learning outcomes in a standardized, consistent way. By widening students’ access to reliable help, we provide a way for students living in under-resourced and under-invested communities to maximize their potential, leveling the playing field and achievement gap. However, at this point you may be thinking “How exactly do you, SocraTeach, ensure reliable help is received at all times by a student using your platform?” It’s a great question, and what this article is all about.

Think about this. We use the ride-hailing Uber service every day. Ultimately, we trust random individuals to drive us to a desired destination, and we pay for that service before it’s actually rendered to us. In essence, we’re telling Uber and its operations heads that we trust not only their platform, but the independent contractor sitting in the driver’s seat – someone we’ve never met or seen before.

You can view SocraTeach similarly, but with slick and simple mechanisms that significantly reduce the risk of having a bad encounter with a tutor (or if you’re Uber, the driver).

A self-vetting teaching process

Traditional tutoring companies, whether brick & mortar or online, conduct a vetting process to select their tutor base. Typically, this vetting process is based on some set of standardized criteria (GPA, degrees, test scores, specific subject grades, etc.). This process works, but it is not necessarily required.

As a society, we’ve convinced ourselves that help can and should only come from “verified” individuals, someone with a high GPA, fancy degree or 20 years of experience in a certain industry. But when it comes to maximizing access to help, numbers matter. And at SocraTeach, we get that to maximize accessibility, we need to create a platform that is frictionless and easy to adopt. By making our teaching process self-vetting, we reduce the gap between the knowledge actually required to help someone and the knowledge actually possessed by the helper – removing the friction that exists in the tutor-tutee matching process. This ultimately enables students to quickly, easily, and cost-effectively receive help from someone with just the requisite knowledge to address their exact doubt.

So what exactly is the self-vetting process? It is pretty straightforward and can be understood in two simple ideas:

  1. Everyone who downloads SocraTeach can teach others on the platform.
  2. Everyone who downloads SocraTeach will see students’ posts before they send offers to help students

The first point is what makes SocraTeach truly democratized; the second point is what significantly reduces the chances of a poor outcome for the learner, a potential result of a truly democratized system. Just like you trust your Uber driver to safely drive you to your desired destination, we hope, through the self-vetting nature of our platform, you trust that the individual who has offered to teach you has the requisite knowledge and ability to teach you – otherwise, they would not have swiped right on your post.

And if that’s ever not the case, it is why we have a robust ratings system and 100% refund guarantee on all sessions!


Ratings on SocraTeach are very similar to other P2P platform rating systems – think Uber, Lyft, AirBnb, etc. At the end of each problem-solving session, learners rate their teacher out of 5, and that rating sticks with every SocraTeach teacher wherever they go.

Visible to students once they receive an offer from a teacher are the teacher’s average rating and rating across all subjects they’ve taught in. This puts the learning process ultimately in the student’s hands. As a learner on our platform, YOU get to decide who teaches you and the quality at which you get taught. If you only want the best, you can accept offers from only 5-rated teachers.

However, teacher and session quality are absolutely critical, so realistically we want to incentivize all teachers to be at their best and leverage the platform correctly. To do this, we restrict earnings transfers for teachers on our platform with an average rating below a 3. This does not mean that as a learner you will not potentially get offers from teachers below a 3 rating, but it does mean those teachers will be incentivized to increase their rating; otherwise they will not be able to liquidate any of their earnings rendering the cash untransferable and unusable until they improve.

Through this simple restriction, we not only incentivize high-quality teaching, but also honest and well-intentioned decision-making.

100% refund guarantee

And if all of the above mechanisms fail, we will always fully refund learners for sessions they were not satisfied with. As a learner, all you have to do is tap a couple buttons within the app and before you know it, you will see an extra session available on your profile page. It is easy. It is simple. It is 100% guaranteed.

And there you have it. We believe it is a balancing act to maintaining a truly democratized system and promising and delivering on positive and lasting learning outcomes. However, we also believe without trying, we lose out on a potentially disruptive solution to a pressing problem.