Flex Classes

How to offer classes that do not have scheduled meeting times.

Rachel avatar
Written by Rachel
Updated over a week ago

What is a flex class?

While the vast majority of Outschool classes feature scheduled, live meetings using our video classroom, we also offer the option to create flexible schedule (“flex”) classes, which don’t rely on live meetings. In a Flex Class format, teachers conduct the class by posting in the Outschool classroom and engaging with learners asynchronously. Flex classes run for a minimum of one week.

Who can teach a flex class?

In order to be eligible to teach a Flex Class, a teacher must have already taught at least one live class with a positive rating.

What is required in a flex class?

Keep it in the classroom!

For learner safety reasons, all materials must be accessible to Outschool staff without a login or password, and shared in the classroom. Please note that directing students from the Outschool classroom to a Learning Management System (LMS) that houses all class information is not allowed in Flex Classes. Outschool needs access to all educator-learner communication to ensure safety, plus keeping your class information within the Outschool platform helps provide a consistent user experience for families.

Here’s what to share in the classroom:

  • Pre-recorded lessons

  • Announcements

  • Assignments and deadlines

  • Additional learning materials or links to approved third-party tools

Please do not use the Start Live Meeting button in the classroom to record a solo lesson of yourself, as this will not produce a viable Zoom recording on the Recordings tab. Instead, you can use the Add a Video button by clicking the paperclip icon below Add new post. This will give you the option to record a video directly, or you can upload a pre-recorded video in another format from your device.

You may use third-party tools for Flex Classes, as long as they are in line with our policies on Third Party Tools Available for Outschool Educators to Use with Learners. You can also read more in the Educator Library about Using External Tech Tools in Your Classroom and Approved & Unapproved External Teaching Tools.

Design an asynchronous experience!

Because Flex Classes don’t meet live, it’s especially important to clearly outline in your class description what families can expect from your class. Use your class description to explain what type of content you will provide, how often content will be shared, what assignments (if any) will be included, and what learners will be asked to do in class. It’s a best practice to include the time zone if you are specifying when exactly you will be sharing content.

A Flex Class is not entirely self-paced (where teachers essentially sell learning content to parents) nor can it be an exact replica of an existing live (multi-day/ongoing) class. Educators should create their own content, assignments, and deadlines for learners to follow throughout the course, while still providing timely encouragement, guidance, and feedback to learners. We want to ensure that students are given a rich learning experience, and not left to learn content on their own.

Follow existing policies!

As always, be sure to follow our class content policy and all other Outschool policies when running a Flex Class.

In keeping with our Community Standards, post content and respond to learner messages and questions on a regular basis. If you do not post in the classroom or communicate with enrolled families within the first day (24 hours) of your class start date, parents are eligible for a full refund upon request. If we are notified of repeated failure to provide content and respond to learners and families, we may restrict your ability to list flex classes in the future.

Can Flex Classes make use of live meetings?

Yes, some flexible schedule classes do make use of live meetings. Some teachers arrange 'office hours' with their learners depending on need. Some classes also include optional group video chats that are arranged on a weekly basis, as opposed to being scheduled in advance.

Whether they’ve pre-scheduled a meeting or set up an open time for office hours, teachers should be aware that all meetings are recorded. Live safety protocols such as checking the enrolled learner list, visual learner verification, and normal classroom procedures must be followed. The teacher must be in attendance for the full duration of the meeting time.

How do teachers handle refunds for Flex Classes?

Flexible schedule class refunds follow the flexible refund policy. As a result, all refunds will be prorated based on the length of the class that has occurred. By creating a Flex Class teachers agree to this refund policy.

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