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.
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.
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.
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.