Taking classes online? Here are the top 3 tips to ensure a great experience!

Taking classes online? Here are the top 3 tips to ensure a great experience!

Covid-19 has pushed all of us to re-imagine what learning, discussion, engagement and communication could look like.

With the tools we have at hand, while it may be easy (especially if you use Smol Coach) to seamlessly start setting up online classes and discussion events, the effort involved in ensuring a successful interaction is different and requires a change in your usual approach.

As listeners, teachers, students, hosts, organizers and community managers, we are all striving to be part of a thoughtful, and productive online experience. How can we achieve this?

A Video Meeting in Progress

At Smol Coach, our experience and discussions over the past few months have led us to these three mantras that are certain to boost the outcome of any online activity.

The 3 mantras of online classes and events:

1. Set clear expectations

With online communication, it is important to let listeners know (as early as possible), what they can expect and how they should react within the online session you are setting up.

Are you going for a casual chat-and-learn session (a book club discussion), or will you be guiding them through a deeply structured activity (meditation or yoga), will participants need tools (a cooking class) or prior preparation (some reading or prepared questions) or nothing at all.

With Smol Coach - you can get a handy list of all your clients and email them in advance. You can even automate your enrolment email with instructions, reading material and so on! Try it now!

Letting attendees know how their time will be structured and how you will lead them forward is key to building a successful online experience.

Remember, we are not trying to replicate the in-person experience, where we can can rely on visual cues and non-verbal feedback!

to do list
Use a checklist to ensure that you've communicated all the key expectations to your clients ahead of your session

The medium of online instruction and communication requires the listener and the host to adapt to an entirely unique way of receiving knowledge, and a good way to progress through the uncertainty is to include structure and set expectations.

2. Focus on pre- and post session community engagement:

There's ample research to suggest that spontaneous discussion and learning in a group setting can be beneficial. Even if you focus on one-on-one interactions, making sure that you can direct people to an active community on the subject of choice ensures that you are creating a space for vibrant engagement and differing perspectives.

With Smol Coach, you can either set up your own forum, or rely on external tools to invite your clients to a safe and productive space to engage in community-building both before and after your session - try it now!

If you desire moderation and streamlined discussion, making use of by-invite only forums can make a big difference in the nature and frequency of discussion. Such a space can also help people focus on the content and nature of your online communication, instead of having them drowned out by the noise on social media or other channels which make productive conversations difficult.

together now
Photo by John Schnobrich / Unsplash

3. Show empathy to your listeners: This is an unprecedented time for the world, with people learning to adapt to changing conditions rapidly, while trying to stick to their regular routines. Acknowledge that this is a novel experience, and think ahead about the challenges that listeners may face.

Make allowance for listeners unfamiliar with video technology, for nuance lost in the absence of a physical guiding hand, or even for the demands of a busy family adapting to work-from-home.

Planning for some of these external factors, and putting yourself in the shoes of a listener can help you structure your content such that even if an attendee has a few moments of poor connectivity or drops their phone while on the treadmill - they can be assured that your planning will help them pick up and continue easily.

Your empathy and patience is a powerful weapon against uncertainty. Use it well!

With Smol Coach's ability to analyse the drop-off and re-join patterns of your clients, plus with deep data understanding of their joining and purchasing times, you can begin to understand the best times to reach your customers. Try it now!

What is Smol Coach?

Smol Coach lets you run your business entirely on Zoom. At Smol Coach, we strive to build the tools that help you achieve a stress-free, elegant and optimized experience as you meet, teach, and engage with your community online.

What did you think of our 3 mantras? Have any tips you'd like to share with our community? Go ahead and leave a comment! Stay safe, stay peaceful, and don't stop coaching!

online church macbook laptop
Photo by Samantha Borges / Unsplash