Research shows that one-to-one personal interaction between teacher and student can have a huge impact on academic success.
In 1999, recognizing that the nascent Internet could connect people across space and time, Trylonix incubated and launched TopTutors.com, the world’s first realtime one-to-one tutoring system.
Two-way audio communication would be a key ingredient in matching the effectiveness of face-to-face tutoring. Not finding an existing off-the-shelf solution, Trylonix developed its own platform called TutorDesk, with VOIP (voice over IP) capability.
The lack of high-bandwidth in the marketplace meant that video was out of the question, so to help foster a personal connection between student and tutor we developed an innovative system of animated avatars (called “toons”) whose mouths moved in sync to the realtime voice audio. TutorDesk also included a virtual chalkboard, with tools for creating, augmenting, and highlighting educational content.
In addition to technology development, Trylonix was responsible for designing and deploying all of the required business systems, such as:
- Pedagogy for one-to-one online tutoring sessions
- Curriculum selection and development
- Tutor recruitment, screening, and training
- Subscription and billing system for customers
- Session scheduling and payment system for tutors
- Points-based reward system for students, with real physical prizes
Here are just a few of the many notes of appreciation sent by the parents of TopTutors.com students:
“The sessions are going wonderfully. Stacy is a super teacher and Paige has been very motivated by her lessons. I am very pleased with how the lessons are progressing.”
“Kayla is doing well with the tutoring. I think she is gaining a lot from it. Her tutor, Ms. Amber Miller, is very personable and an excellent representative of your company. If your other tutors are as qualified as she is you should not have any problems growing your company based on quality. I’ve recommended your service to several people and will continue to do so. I’m very pleased with the service and your commitment to detail.”
“I just wanted you to know that we had our first session tonight and it went great. Despite a very long day at school and dive practice, Amber’s activities, coupled with his interaction, held his interest. It is obvious she is an excellent teacher by day and night. The written follow-up right after the session was very helpful. Thank you. We look forward to the next session.”
“First of all I would like to thank you for your unyielding patience and persistence as you extend the excellent level of tutoring to Teryn. I have noticed as I am sure you have her progress and confidence in her math skills. She genuinely enjoys math and has a very positive attitude towards expanding her knowledge. Thank you once again.”