ClassBento's privacy options allow teachers to use secret venues, and gives students marvellous new ways to experience classes. So what's this all about, how would it be helpful, and how did we apply lessons from psychology research? Let's run through these options one by one and see.
We allow teachers to mask their teaching venue.
In this case, a circle is shown on a map, with the venue’s real location hidden somewhere within the circle. The exact location is only revealed to paying students.
This allows teachers to use private venues like their home or private studios for classes, while allowing prospective students to know their rough location without compromising their privacy. These venues tend to be more convenient and cheaper for teachers, since they tend to be owned and used by teachers for other purposes. I’m personally uncomfortable with revealing my home address to strangers (strangers who pay me to be my students are the exception), so I use this option myself (1).
There are of course other reasons why teachers may choose this option. For example, photography teachers may want to take students to their secret spots with the best angles, lighting and subject matter, and don’t want to reveal these to the general public.
We offer private classes to students for intimate learning.
Specifically, students can book some classes privately (where enabled by the teacher), which will immediately make the class unavailable for future bookings by members of the public. Students can book private classes either just for themselves, or also on behalf of others. Teachers can offer their own venues and/or to travel to students. We can imagine some ways that this would benefit students (there are probably more):
- You want to take a date out to something a bit more interesting than dinner and a movie, and want an intimate experience (you may know the song ‘Tennessee Waltz’; it’s both a great song and a cautionary tale (2))
- You don’t want outsiders intruding on your company team or family bonding time
- You are an introvert and don’t cope well in bigger groups (between a third to a half of us are introverts (3), including me)
- You are don’t want to be judged for your currently amateurish skills (like me with dancing, singing, painting, skateboarding, Spanish … okay basically everything). After all, if you think that you're being judged negatively, you'll often perform worse, compared to if you were by yourself or with just trusted others (like a patient teacher) (this has been proven by scientific experiments) (4)
- You want to express your creativity fully, especially in open-ended subjects like the visual arts; you want to minimise the 'peer pressure' to produce conformist output (5)
- You don't want random other people who aren't quite as advanced as you slowing down your learning
Of course, we offer 'public' options as well. Teachers can specify where their venues are to the public if they wish, and students can join public classes and meet new people if they wish (and if the teacher's class allows). Each option has its own advantages.
We hope you love our privacy options. Try them out, tell your friends, and as always, let me know what you think by contacting me on my profile page.
(1) Yes, I’m actually also a teacher on ClassBento. As to which one … that’s a secret for now
(2) Listen to Patti Page’s lovely rendition at: youtube.com/watch?v=_Ek3eCbfqp0
(3) From "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking" by Susan Cain. A great read, highly recommended
(4) The technical term from this is 'Evaluation apprehension'. It's a well researched theory in psychology. It's remarkably pervasive; a famous study showed that women perform worse in maths tests when their gender was implicitly brought to their attention, due to the women recalling the stereotype that they should be worse at maths than men (in this specific case, it's referred to as 'Stereotype threat', but now I'm going quite a bit off topic) - see Inzlicht, M.; Ben-Zeev, T. (2000). "A Threatening Intellectual Environment: Why Females Are Susceptible to Experiencing Problem-Solving Deficits in the Presence of Males"
(5) This is related to the concept of 'Social desirability bias', which again is well established in psychology. Interestingly, studies suggest that this effect explains why men tend to artifically inflate the number of sexual partners they've had in self-reports, while women under-report theirs, to conform with the participants' view of what is socially acceptable. See Smith, T. W. (1992). "Discrepancies between men and women in reporting number of sexual partners: A summary from four countries", and Tourangeau, R.; Yan, T. (2007). "Sensitive Questions in Surveys"