Are you an independent Tutor?
FMELearnOnline is here to support you and your students in your learning journey. FME was created by, and is owned and operated by Mark Ingram, originally to support his own Treasury students, but then as a service to other independent tutors. Mark wants FME to support independent tutors to ‘be their best’. FME supports experienced classroom tutors to get online, does some of your basic admin, but leaves you to run your own business as an individual. FME is a service for tutors: students contract with their tutor.
So how do we do all this? FME provides a cheap, efficient eLearning platform for your IP, eCommerce services, technical assistance, and aspires to create a mutually supportive tutor community. Your IP remains yours. FME works with tutors to ensure you offer an excellent service to students. We are an ACCA Platinum ALP, and have our own area on the ACCA CBE practice platform (TestReach).
Our commitment begins on day one. We help you get online, by investing heavily in your course, even though you own the associated IP (and no, you do not grant FME a perpetual license!). We think you’ll stay with us because you’ll have no reason to leave: unlike most platforms in this space we are not building our own brand at your expense.
Do you want to be a film star? (Really?)
When an actor makes a movie they give the owner of the film the right to use the actor’s name and image forever (a perpetual license). A similar thing happens to an author when they sign to a publisher.
There is a ‘tuition’ business model that specialises is getting a tutor to do a recording ‘to advertise a course’. The tutor may even work with the platform for a while. But eventually, sooner or later, they ‘part company’. (In the worst cases, the tutor may be paid a minimal sum, or nothing at all, to make a ‘taster’). But, to the tutor’s surprise, the tutor’s image, name and reputation continues to be used to market a course the tutor is no longer associated with. The course is ‘supported’ by anonymous ‘tutors’ of varying quality. That’s perfectly legal – but rather frustrating for the tutor, whose name/brand is now associated with a less than perfect course. So be very wary of companies looking for you to record ‘tasters’, or firms to which you give a license ‘in perpetuity’ to use your name and image. It’s a mistake you may regret for a long time.
FME only has the capacity to onboard a small number of tutors each season. We cannot, sadly, say yes to all. So who does Mark say yes to?
You’ll be enthusiastic about ‘building your own brand’. Being a tutor on FME (or an associated site) is a business, not a job, and marketing via social media is a big part of this. You’ll recognise the marketing commitment needed. You will be active on social media. You are likely to have your own website (or if not, you soon will).
You’ll have excellent classroom training skills: you will have been teaching at least 5 years and have a solid reputation with your students evidenced by your social media and/or by your reputation in the industry. You’re committed to teaching development and rapid, high quality student support. You’ll know the professional exam(s) you train like the back of your hand. You’ll either have, or want to have, your own notes, as ‘standard’ notes don’t always bring out the best in your students. You’ll feel ‘limited’ by the standardised approach of the big providers. You’ll already have big ideas about how you can make learning better.
You understand there’s a lot of new skills to learn, plus lots of plain hard work to do when setting up your course and the supporting infrastructure. You’ll see that as an exciting opportunity.
What FME does
We take care of a large number of your online headaches. FMELearnOnline:
- maintains a ‘study site’ using Moodle. For Moodle’s functionality, see here. Moodle is used by many Universities, so will be familiar to many of your potential students. It is designed for easy use by tutors. You’ll barely scratch the surface of it’s potential, which stretches from simple hosting of pdf docs, videos and quizzes to gamification and the like. Moodle doesn’t lock you in to FME. Your IP remains yours, and you can download a backup of your course at any time (indeed, we encourage you to do so).
- offers basic IT support to your students to access your courses.
- offers basic video editing and hosting services, unless / until you choose to do this for yourself.
- offers eLearning support to you, particularly in your first couple of seasons. We’ll help you with hardware choice, video recording and editing, course structuring, product development etc. etc.
- maintains an eCommerce site with auto enrolment on your Moodle course via Stripe / auto-notification to you of all sales. Your courses are delivered under our standard student terms and conditions, which includes a standard complaints procedure.
- collects student feedback for your courses.
- maintains the FME ACCA ALP status, to ensure that you (and we) meet the ACCA’s standards.
- offers a guarantee to your students that you will deliver the course you supplied to a reasonable standard, by acting as your ‘stakeholder’ for some or all of your student fees until course completion.
- acts as arbitrator in case of conflict between you and a student (this is a rare event, but when it happens we have a 100% success rate).
- maintains a personal presence for you via your tutor page / product pages: but remember, you’re building your own brand, so most tutors also have their own website.
What we don’t do
We don’t market on your behalf. FME is designed for independent tutors wishing to build their own brand / retain their own IP / offer top quality tuition to a high standard, so it would rather defeat the purpose if our primary objective was for us to compete with our tutors to build our brand. We do share information on how to market, and we can co-ordinate collective marketing by tutors who use our services at their request.
We don’t tell you how to teach, although if you ask we’ll make suggestions: Mark has been a lead BPP course material creator, ACT lead classroom material creator, and a respected tutor for 30 years. We know every top tutor is unique, so we encourage you to innovate and do what you do best. FME requires that you achieve ACCA accreditation targets (including pass rates), and provide all data needed to maintain our ALP accreditation.
Our introductory offer
Setting up your first online course involves heavy investment. So our introductory offer covers our ‘manual services’:
- advise on your training options, course configuration options, hardware needs and detailed delivery choices,
- helping you set up your first season’s Moodle courses,
- edit, render, host and embed your training videos into your course,
- onboard you to the FME eCommerce site (setting up your tutor and product pages, contact page, comparison page, any discount coupons etc.),
- manually intervene to complete sales, create discount coupons, etc.
- offer you a couple of practice sessions and attend your first live webinar to deal with technical issues where possible (depending on your webinar software)
We do all the above for free for your first diet (as long as you launch within 6 months). This involves us in dozens of hours of work for each new tutor that launches. This limits the number of tutors we can launch at any one time, although as the site grows we hope to expand.
We do not charge for advice on your training options, course configuration options, hardware needs and detailed delivery choices. We charge:
- 10% of your gross (before any discounts) class fees. After 12 months you must meet minimum revenue / marketing targets or this % increases
- any direct costs you incur via us: primarily Stripe collection fees, at cost.
- after your introductory period, charges for the ‘manual’ services covered in our introductory offer (e.g. video editing).
- TestReach services: uploading questions, enrolling your students, creating/maintaining paper windows, resolving marking issues, at cost.
- agreed fees for any additional work such as extensive video editing: we have a close relationship with a TV production company if needed.
Once your course goes live, you are auto emailed each booking immediately. You have access to the names and emails of all students enrolled on your courses, and are responsible for VAT/issuing VAT invoices (where relevant) to your students. We issue students a non-VAT receipt on your behalf and provide you with monthly statements. For your first year we remit what is due to you 10 days after the end of the calendar month in which your course exam is sat. Thereafter we remit fees monthly.
We offer a low-cost hosting and support service so you can contract with your students directly / undercut the major brands. Equally, FME tutors should offer a top, responsive service to students, which is impossible to do ‘on the cheap’. FME does not support ‘fully automated education’: the tutor/student relationship is seen to be core. So whilst pricing is primarily your decision, FME reserves the right to deline to host courses whose pricing / service levels do not accord with the FME philosophy.
- record live classes live, or help you do this yourself, including ‘green screening’ in the classroom
- ‘green screen’ studio quality training videos at our Reigate Studio,
- edit (‘slice and dice’/add text/intro/logos etc) your videos/webinars,
- create video question banks, video text books etc.,
- our sister company, Alleycats Films, can create marketing/broadcast quality content.
- we have a digital marketer who works with our tutors on their websites, social media, designs etc if needed.