Update on Engagement Earnings and the Skillshare Teacher Fund (January 2023)

Read on for an update about the next iteration of engagement earnings and a general update about the Skillshare Teacher Fund.

Skillshare announced a new teacher payment model in Fall 2022 that would be based on the Skillshare Teacher Fund, an amount Skillshare sets monthly that goes primarily toward minutes watched, with a small portion going toward engagement earnings. As shared previously, engagement earnings are a new way to earn based on what our members love most: meaningful engagement with our high quality teachers. To identify the best ways to reward teachers for engagement, we embarked on an adaptive approach designed to evolve over time, as we learn what works best for teachers and students alike.

What is the next phase of engagement earnings, who is eligible, and how long will it last?

As mentioned above, all teachers can earn for minutes watched in their classes from the Skillshare Teacher Fund, with a small portion of the fund allocated for engagement earnings. The first phase of engagement earnings, which ran from November 2022 through January 2023, was designed to empower all teachers to try out our engagement best practices and share about that experience back with us, so we could learn while teachers earned.

Based on survey learnings and teacher feedback, the next phase of engagement earnings will be based on positive student reviews (a rating of “exceeded” or “met” expectations) and available to teachers in our programs for established, quality teachers — Top Teacher and Rising Teacher. This phase of engagement earnings goes into effect February 2023 (to be paid out on March 16) and will continue through much of 2023.

If you are not yet a member of one of these eligible programs, and aspire to level up your teaching success on Skillshare and unlock this phase of engagement earnings, we invite you to explore this article about our teacher programs and take advantage of the many resources in our Teacher Help Center about quality and engaging teaching. Regardless, you can continue to earn each month for minutes watched in your classes and referrals; for more information, refer to the current article Earn From Your Teaching, as well as Earn From Your Referrals.

This next phase of engagement earnings will continue through much of 2023, so that we can learn, iterate, and also provide teachers with predictability. We plan to continue iterating on how engagement earnings are structured, depending on what we learn along the way. If we do decide to make any changes, we will inform teachers in advance.

Further details on how engagement earnings in this phase will be calculated and distributed, including which teachers are eligible and how much they can earn, are outlined in the Earn From Your Teaching article.

Why is the next phase of engagement earnings designed this way?

This next phase of engagement earnings is based on what we’ve learned through the engagement promotion survey and from teacher feedback. Here’s some more context on how the next phase will work and why:

  • We know that meaningful engagement with classes leads to higher rates of member subscription, renewal, and satisfaction, but only when that engagement is with high quality classes.
  • We learned through the survey and feedback that there is some amazing and innovative engagement happening across the platform (to learn more, check out the latest “engagement round-up” blog post). But we also heard from teachers and learned through data that the success of engagement practices could vary widely based on a number of factors including a teacher’s tenure, their audience size on and off Skillshare, and the quality and topic of their classes.
  • We also discovered that many of these factors seemed to ladder up into one simplified measure of meaningful engagement, positive student reviews, but specifically for quality teachers. For newer or lower quality teachers, it was harder for the teacher to meaningfully engage students and it was not reflected in positive student reviews.

Based on these insights, we decided to simplify the next phase of engagement earnings and based it on a student’s reported experience engaging with an established teacher and their quality class content.

An Update on the Skillshare Teacher Fund

In addition, we want to inform teachers that the Skillshare Teacher Fund will be $950,000 in February 2023 (for the March 16 payment). However, there will not be a significant drop in the overall amount paid out for minutes watched. This is because engagement earnings will become a smaller portion of the overall fund, since it will now be limited to a much smaller group of teachers. As a result, we anticipate there should be limited impact to the amount in the minutes watched pool.

We will continue to publish the monthly fund amount in the Teacher Help Center, but in the spirit of transparency and predictability for our teachers, we’re estimating it will stay at $950,000 per month for much of 2023, based on our forecasting for the year. However, if sales trends do not align with our forecasts, the fund may increase or decrease accordingly.

We understand teacher payments and earnings are an important and sensitive topic. As with the initial changes announced in late 2022, updates to teacher payments are not taken lightly and are made to ensure Skillshare and its community thrives long into the future. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we’ve navigated these changes. If you have any questions about this update, please email teach@skillshare.com and we’d be happy to help.