We've watched a lot of online class recordings, and seen a lot of parent feedback. Here are elements that make for a good class experience:
Before the class
Think about lighting. Make sure your face is well-lit, and that you are not back-lit (for example, having the sun on the wall behind you will make it hard to see your face)
Plan how to make your class as interactive as possible. Outschool learners have signed up for a class with a real teacher and other students. Ask frequent questions; facilitate discussion; and encourage questions from the learners. Outschool classes should be more interactive than watching a lecture - there are plenty of those on YouTube already!
Get familiar with the Zoom interface
Enter the video chat early so that you are there when students arrive and they aren't left waiting. Note that you should not start the meeting more than 90 minutes before your class’s start time, as this will lead to inaccurate data in your attendance record. Your camera needs to be on while you teach and as kids filter into the classroom.
During the class
To help ensure learner safety and privacy, all live classes are required to meet on Zoom through the Outschool platform.
At the start of the class, take a few minutes for introductions (both teacher and students) and have the students share their level of experience with the topic
Keep your video chat enabled for the entire duration of the class so learners and parents know who is teaching the class.
Encourage students to enable their video camera so the class feels like a more social experience. Enabling video throughout the class is not required, since not all learners feel comfortable on camera, but you should be sure to connect with each learner via video at least once for safety. This can take place at the beginning of class for just 10-20 seconds.
Ask all the learners to keep themselves muted, unless they are speaking. This dramatically improves the audio quality. As meeting host, you are also able to mute students.
Have students use the raise hand feature to signal they want to ask a question
If no learners are present at the start of class, wait 10 minutes for learners to arrive. If no one joins the meeting, exit the meeting and post a message in the Outschool classroom to let learners know that you have left. You can offer to reschedule or direct the learners to enroll in a future section.
Gently encourage parents to stay off-screen during class. Some learners may require extra supervision or hands-on assistance by a parent, and we ask parents to reach out before class if this is the case to let you know.
Ask your students (and their parents) to leave you a review, so you can build your reputation on Outschool.
Check out our handy Quick Tips for New Teachers guide here!