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Wyzant

Learn to answer like an expert.

Now that you’re in the know about Ask An Expert, where do you start?

To find Ask An Expert from your dashboard, head up to the Toolkit drop-down menu, then select Wyzant Ask An Expert.

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When you land at Ask An Expert, you’ll see Featured questions relevant to your approved subjects. The most recent unanswered questions will appear first, since we want to help tutors locate students who need the most immediate help. That means you get the opportunity to make the first impression on that student, a great first step towards converting your Ask An Expert answer into a lesson. You can also further filter the results to display the Newest subject-relevant questions, which may include questions with previous answers.

You can adjust how questions are filtered by using the drop-down menu at the top of the page, which has options to filter by Unanswered Questions, Answered Questions, and All Questions.

Students and tutors can Follow a specific question. When a new comment or reply is posted, anyone following the thread will receive a notification. By following a question, you’ll know instantly when a student replies, so you can reply quickly to maximize your engagement with anyone participating in the thread.

Once you’ve found a question that fits your skill set, you can get down to showcasing your expertise using two reply options: a text response or a recorded video answer.

How to answer a question

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Some questions are best answered using a simple text reply. The field where you can input a text reply has all of the standard formatting options available in most word processors (alignment, indentation, etc.).

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The text editor also has options to add certain mathematical notation (subscripts and superscripts), as well as other symbols and operators (you can find them by clicking the omega symbol “Ω”). Using this allows you to give a student a step-by-step breakdown of an equation, or to list a few points of information needed to address a particular problem.

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If the question is about programming, use the code editor! While it cannot compile or run code, this feature can format a text response as plain (default), Bash, C++, C#, CSS, Diff, HTML/XML, Java, Javascript, Markdown, PHP, Python, Ruby, or SQL.

How to create a video answer

Sometimes it’s easiest for everyone if you show a student how to make their way to an answer. Demonstrating your prowess in both a specific subject and with the Wyzant online tool is a perfect opportunity to convince students to choose you over another tutor.

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This may look familiar; ‘Record a Video Answer’ is similar to what’s displayed before you join your online lessons. Included here are tips for creating effective responses in Ask An Expert. Click ‘Continue’ to begin recording your video answer.

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When you’ve reached the online tool, you’ll see the Ask An Expert question listed at the top left, with the option to view it in a separate tab, located where you would otherwise have the live chat feature with your student.

Don’t worry - you haven’t begun recording yet, so feel free to prepare anything you think might be helpful for your answer (adding material to the whiteboard, uploading documents, working out steps in advance, etc.).

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Once you’re ready, select the option to ‘Start Recording’ at the top of the screen. This might take a moment. Once the system is ready to record, that green button will appear in the top-center of the interface.

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A countdown to the start of the recording will display, and then you’re off! Feel free to get creative with how you present information. Over the course of creating video answers, you might develop certain preferences or even your own style, which will help you stand out from other tutors!

For some questions, you may want to familiarize yourself with a few of the specialized tools in Wyzant online tool ahead of time. You can find more detailed information about the tool by visiting the Help Center.

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Once you’re ready to post your video answer, click the ‘Stop Recording’ button up at the top (where you originally clicked ‘Start Recording’). Then, you will see the above option to preview what was recorded before you post. If you want to take another shot at the question, just select the ‘Re-Record Video’ option along the bottom.

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If you’re ready for students to see your video answer, you’ll need add a title (20-100 characters). This title will be attached to the final video so make sure it properly represents the topics you covered during your answer. When complete select ‘Continue.’

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Your video will then be posted as an answer to the student’s Ask An Expert question! In addition, the video answers you provide will automatically be uploaded to the Wyzant YouTube channel. Your video answers will include a customized intro that shows the Ask An Expert question, as well as your profile picture and title. You can view these videos, as well as those posted by other tutors for other questions at the Wyzant YouTube channel.

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A record of all your Ask An Expert answers is easily accessible from the main page of your Wyzant account from the menu at the top right. And remember: students can see all of your answers by visiting the “Examples of Expertise” portion of your public profile.

How to leave a comment

You can leave a comment on any piece of Ask An Expert content. This is a separate process from providing a text answer, and should be reserved for asking clarifying questions, addressing feedback, or other non-answer related communication.

And, of course, Wyzant always expects that tutors and students will treat one another with respect and courtesy, so you will want to make sure that you are abiding by the Ask An Expert rules and guidelines, found here.

An expert video example

Here’s how Doug C. approaches a pretty complex math problem. Melanie S. asks:

“Use two rectangles of equal width to estimate the area between the graph of f(x) = x − cos(πx) and the x-axis on the interval [1, 5]. Evaluate the function at the mid-point of each rectangle to find each height. 8 12 16 20”

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Doug begins his answer already equipped with a graph, and begins with the relevant info the student needs to solve their calculus problem displayed clearly. It’s easy to hear and understand Doug as he provides a complete explanation of the student’s question using his own materials in concert with the online tool’s whiteboard.

Take note of the end of the video answer and the description of the video! Anyone who’s viewed your answer from Wyzant’s YouTube channel will find a link that takes them back to Ask An Expert, and prompts them to ask a question of their own, as well as giving them the opportunity to see your profile.

If you’ve wondered about how you can broaden your reach as a tutor, or be more proactive in acquiring students, Ask An Expert was built for you. The more help you give, the more visible you become to countless potential students.

Read our next article for more advice on tailoring your Ask an Expert experience as a business growth tool.