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Have you thought about teaching online but have dismissed the idea because you have no experience in teaching? That’s OK! If you have something you are knowledgeable in and want to teach you shouldn’t be limited by lack of experience.  Also you don’t have to have a degree in something to be able to teach online.  A degree helps to verify your knowledge, but as long as someone has left with more value in a subject matter after learning from you than before they have arrived, then you can teach. So how do you go about it? ‘Help!’ you’re probably thinking as the idea of creating an online course overwhelms you. Fear not! We will run through what to do.

I have no personal experience of teaching online so I can sympathies with your worry. However, I am here to tell you it is possible and it can be done.

Planning the Course

First of all, decide what you want to teach.  Lets use an example of someone who is an expert in social media and growing businesses on these platforms. Maybe this person has become an expert through their own discovery and growth on their own social channels.  Once you know what to teach, break down what you want the goal of your course to be. So, with our current example maybe the goal of the first course is to understand what different social channels do and how to set up your businesses on the right one.

No experience teaching online example
Example image of your course on social media?

Planning the Lessons

Great! Look we have already made progress. We have a course goal and possibly a name. The next bit is then breaking down that goal into bit sized lessons.  The first lesson might be an introduction to social media in general and what it is and why people might use it. The next few lessons then might involve understanding  what each social media channel does and how to set up your company page on it, if it is appropriate.  As I am sure you will agree, or maybe you won’t if social media is not your forte that not every social channel is right for a business. This is really valuable information to give your learners as it could allow them to make educated decisions regarding the social media strategy for their business. As we are using social media as an example I have broken down the possible different lessons below.

Example Course to teach online

Course Name : Introduction to Social Media channels and how businesses can use them ( you might want a snappier title then mine)

  1. What is social media and why do businesses and consumers use it
  2. What is Twitter and how can a business use it.
  3. What is Facebook and how can a business use it
  4. What is Instagram and how can a business use it
  5. What is Youtube and how can a business use it
  6. What channels should you use?
Social media with no experience
Simple instructions and images to accompany your teachings.

And so on. You get the point. Now, this of course in this example is an introduction course into social media and how to set up a business on it. Therefore, you will not be expected to go into depth about the many million different things you can do on each platform and how to use them. There are whole courses and books dedicated to just one channel, so don’t think you need to answer every single question ever on these topics. That’s why it’s important to outline clearly what the goal of the course and lesson is.

 

online course teaching
How would you teach face to face? Mimic and adapt for online.

Planning the content  for the lessons

You’re next question is what do you put in each lesson and how to actually teach it? Did I guess right? So, yes next we will want to populate these lessons with beautiful content and VARIOUS content types. It is most important! and I mean very important  that you have different types of content in your lesson/course in order to keep the course engaging. 

There are many advantages to video based learning which we have looked into here before. So think about including some video’s in your courses, this can be a great way to give you more experience as you practice teaching when you record a prerecorded video for your course. In the social media example we are using you could have a recorded video demonstrating how to set up your business profile with accompanying text in the lesson.

Try a live class?

Then for lesson 6, you could have a live class! Do it! I know it sounds a bit intimidating  but I am sure you will find the experience very rewarding for yourself and your learners. Lesson 6 really lends it’s self to a live class as you can have a group of people with likely different businesses discuss with you their experiences with social. This allows you to tailor this last lesson to a Q&A style and run through various examples of businesses using different social platforms.  A live class brings a stronger relationship with your learners because the process is more interactive. You may even find them being advocates for your next course!

 

Teach online in a virtual classroom
Build up your relationship with your online class

Are you feeling a little more confident? Hopefully you are! We have run through how to structure a course and ways to teach online. If you’re still worried about teaching online with no experience, remember that, while you may not have experience in teaching you are an expert in the field you are about to teach. You know more than you’re learners. So any value you provide to them in whatever format will most certainty benefit them. Then after your first course you can go on excited and enthusiastic for teaching your next one!

Teaching online is a fantastic way to reach people from far and wide. It allows a great flexibility for the teacher to teach when convenient and for the learner to be able to fit in the course around their busy lives. Teaching online may be new to some of you or you may be sceptical about how to make sure it’s engaging for your audience and they actually leave the course having learnt something. So here are our 3 tips to creating engaging Online Courses.

 

1. Vary your content types

So as you might recall those teachers at school that really got you to learn used multiple content in their lessons. Having the ability, to listen, read, watch and interact are great for mixing up the learning styles in your Online Courses, giving something everyone can benefit from. You can be sure to keep your learners on their toes by varying your content type, as they use different senses to interact with the content. HowNow offers you the ability to have multiple content per lesson so you can be sure to offer : Audio, video,  live classes, broadcast, text, quizzes, images, assessments.

 

HowNow formats

 

2. Encourage Discussion

Discussions are a great way to interact with your learners and for your learners to interact with each other. Having a Discussion forum will create the environment of a real life classroom with the ability for people to ask questions, share opinions and experiences. You can enable this feature when creating Online Courses with HowNow.

 

People talking about Online Courses

 

 

3. Reward your learners

We all like to feel like there is something we are working towards. We might not be at school anymore but the feeling of having achieved something makes us feel accomplished and also motivates us to continue on our learning journey. Reward your learners with badges and certificates when they have completed courses ( this of course is available with HowNow). You don’t have to wait till the end of your Online Courses to reward your learners, you co do this along the way for each unit they complete. Or offer them something different- maybe special extra content or resources for making the progress they have in your course.

 

Image of badge

Have you thought about mixing up your format of teaching or educating? Whether you are looking at a new way to educate your employees such as through training modules. Or maybe you’re a private tutor looking to educate more people at once without hosting them all in your home. Here are 5 Pros to educating  through Video based learning.

1. It’s more engaging and efficient than reading text

Video is one of the most engaging and efficient way to get information into your audience.  Did you know that the human brain  processes videos 60,000 times faster than it processes text. So it’s literally more time efficient and productive to learn through video than it is reading many documents and text. That’s not to say however, that you shouldn’t support video format with some summary points in a document.  Use video to deliver the core information and a document to hold the summary if they wish to glance back later.  Read more here.

 

2. Video allows you to be everywhere

Using video based learning is far more personal and allows you to either have a recorded version of you teaching without you having to be there physically or a live streamed one.  Using a video style of teaching means you can express yourself in the way you would normally and this can be much more persuasive compared to other formats. This can be great if you’re a private tutor and have a high demand for lessons but have little space to host them in your house. This can also be great for a company wanting to do a mass staff induction where you want to deliver a lot of information quickly and clearly.

3. Video based learning is more cost-effective

As a company or a small business or a solo-entrepreneur costs are important to your business. If you’re looking to save money on the long run and reach more learners without increased location and printing costs, then video learning is the way to go! If you think about the potential printing, location, and travel costs not to mention time- then you could be saving hundreds and if you’re a large business; potentially thousands! if you an individual tutoring you could sign up to HowNow for a year at £22 a month and cut out your £4 return bus and 40 minute traveling to each students house. Savings made easy.

 

4. It’s accessible and portable

There is a rise in micro learning – learning a small unit of something – a bitsized amount.  Video learning can be accessed through a website by a provider such as HowNow- meaning anyone with an internet connection can log into your online school and start learning straight away. This makes it accessible and portable – so you could be taking these small video units on the commute into work or maybe during the holidays at home.

5. Perfect for Visual Learners

Did you know 65% of the population are visual learners according to the social science network. That means not using video format or a picture format could mean you are not teaching 65% of your audience in their best medium. For those learners that are not visual or audio then the supporting text material can be a great way to cater to all your learners.

 

 

 

If you’re starting a business, maybe you’re teaching online and you think your laptop webcam may just not be up to scratch. Or you use a desktop computer which does not have a webcam and microphone and you think it’s time to invest in one. The webcam quality in modern laptops is getting far better but sometimes an external webcam is just a better purchase- giving you more flexibility in the quality you can choose from as well as giving you more freedom in where to position it. We have scanned the shops and internet for the best webcams for under £100. Check out our list below:

 

1.Logitech C922 Pro Stream

£84.99 from Game

 

This is a top of the range webcam designed for gamers which means it has fantastic streaming capabilities.  This one is the highest price point out of the ones we suggest, however, it is worth every penny.In fact, I think it’s probably the best webcam for under £100. This webcam lets you record and stream in HD1080P. It supports 60fps at 720p. This basically means if you are doing any fast action on your webcam such as dancing- it’s going to pick up your moves smoothly without jittering and lagging ( the tech term used for a delay in a video). It has a high functioning mic built into the webcam picking up the sound and transmitting sound from all directions; So if you’re teaching a musical instrument online it’s going to pick up the sound with clarity for you. Bonus feature: Comes with a fully adjustable tabletop tripod.

 

 

2.Logitech HD Webcam C270

£19.99 from Currys PC World

 

Another one from Logitech. This one is very much at the lower price point. It does not offer the same quality features that their more advanced model offer, but still does what most people would consider enough for their needs. This is a good option if you are starting to stream more often as you teach online but are not ready yet to spend nearly £90 on a webcam. It has HD video quality at 720p. It also had a built-in microphone. But don’t take our word for it, check out the average 4.5/5 star review on their Currys website from an incredible 428 people!

 

3. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 USB Port Webcam

£21.95 from Amazon

 

This lovely camera from Microsoft performs pretty well with a built-in mic that can pick up sound from multiple directions as well noise cancelling the acoustics that you sometimes hear on a video call. So this, in theory, should be pretty good for sound quality. I mean it has an average 4.5/5 star reviews from 904 customers, so people must be pretty happy with it. It records and streams videos at 720p HD at 30fps like most competitors.

 

 

4. Hue HD Pro Webcam

£54.12 from Greens Stationary

 

This is definitely a camera that is flexible (in the literal sense) to your needs. It’s super bendy neck makes it easy to position the camera where you want, so you are getting the best angle for streaming or recording in HD. It features full 360 rotation so you can share all of your surroundings.

 

5. Logitech C170 HD webcam

£16.99 from Currys Pc World 

 

This is a great camera for those with a very tight budget; coming in at the lowest price on best webcam under £100.  It’s the cheapest camera we have found but the best at this budget price. Logitech is the market leaders I believe in webcams. So if you’re going to go budget, then go with them. This webcam has a built-in mic meaning you don’t have splash out more for an external mic. It records in 1024 x 768 resolution. The universal clip also means you can attach it to a shelf or something else as well as your monitor.