How to Run a Kick-Ass Online Class or Workshop (Better Online Events, Part 2)

​In this second lesson of our Better Online Events mini course, we'll cover everything you need to run online classes & workshops successfully.

Make sure you watch lesson 1 first, since we'll be building up on what we covered there.

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​The Setup

The basics of our online class hosting setup consist of:

  • A reliable laptop or computer you can use to run the class.
  • Webcam, audio, lighting and so on set up as described in lesson 1.
  • A presentation tool such as Google Slides, PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi.
  • Depending on your needs, also a whiteboarding app and something for taking and referencing notes.

How to Pre-Record a Lesson

As discussed in the previous video, when teaching online, we should consider whether a lesson or lecture really needs to be held live or whether we are better off pre-recording it and letting studends watch it asynchronously.

To record a lesson, you ideally use a tool that can record both your webcam and your screen at the same time.

I recommend using the Filmora ​Scrn software for this. It's a desktop screen recording tool which also comes with a basic editor and it's available for only $20/year.

There are other tools worth considering as well, although at higher price points. These include Camtasia Studio, Screenflow (Mac only) and Loom.

Once recorded, you can upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and share it with your students. Also, if you want to charge money for your video content, one of the easiest ways to do so is to use the Vimeo On Demand feature in Vimeo Pro.

Host a Live Lesson

If you want to do your lesson live, the setup is basically the same, except that you'll use an online meeting tool instead of a screen recording tool.

​There are various meeting tools that are suitable for the purpose of running online classes. We recommend you consider Google Hangouts, Skype Meetings, Jitsi, Webex and Samba Live.

Advanced Setup

​If you want to upgrade your setup, the best thing you can invest in (after you've covered the audio/video basics) is a second screen. With a 2-screen setup you can dedicate one screen to managing your class and have the other screen dedicated to your presentation.

Another advanced use case we cover in the video is that of ​breakout sessions​. ​​​If you want to run classes in which the students are split into smaller groups for a period and then rejoin the main meeting, there are a few tools that support this:

The links above point you to the relevant resources that show in detail ​how​ to do breakout sessions with each of the respective tools.​​​

​The Trouble With Zoom

​You may have noticed that we've generally not given a lot of love to Zoom, despite it being one of the most popular meeting platforms out there. This is mainly because Zoom has been shown to have notoriously poor security, many times, over many years. In addition, they also don't seem to care about their user's privacy. Before you use Zoom, we suggest you consider these downsides.

Author: Shane Melaugh

Shane Melaugh is a co-founder of Thrive Themes. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he likes to geek out about camera equipment and medieval swords. He also writes about productivity here.

  • Michael Adewale says:

    Thanks a lot Shane, for this 2nd lesson, highly impactful. waiting for the next lesson in the series.

  • Emilio J says:

    thanks Shane! Really didn’t know that about zoom. I am working with getresponse and they have a webinar platform included. I think it is a great tool for a great price you get the autoresponder, the autmation for funnels and webinars. Worth taking a look

    Also, with thrivetheme builder where did image optimization go? Do you recommend any plugin for that? (hopefully free)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      We’re working on a new integration solution for image optimization in Thrive Theme Builder. We’ll have an update about that coming soon.

  • Victoria says:

    Thank you Shane, this is great like always you do. Can you share the link for the laptop stand you use? Thanks

  • Rajan says:

    Thank you, Shane! This is a truly useful lesson, and what’s more, you’re such a good presenter! 🙂

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