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
During the class
- 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. This is not required, since not all computers support video, or parents may prefer to disable video for privacy reasons.
- 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.
- Ask your students (and their parents) to leave you a review, so you can build your reputation on Outschool.