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Is it a good idea to add a live class to your certification program? What are the benefits? What should you consider before going live in front of your students?
If you’re contemplating whether or not to add a live component to your program, keep reading. In this guide, we’ll discuss why a live class is likely a great addition to your program. We’ll also share a list of the best practices to follow when offering live classes to your students.
Let’s get started.
What are the Benefits of Adding Live Classes to Your Program?
What will you and your students gain by adding a live class to your certification program? In other words, how can you sell the idea of live classes to your students? Here’s a list of the most compelling reasons to go live
Live Virtual Classes Can Be Taken in Pajamas
There’s no need for your students to dress up to attend a class. Students can wear whatever they like, without breaking the dress code.
Live Virtual Classes Are Location Independent
Thanks to the Internet, live classes can also be accessed through multiple platforms, such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Your student doesn’t need to be tied to a specific location, as long as they have access to a reliable Internet service. Another bonus? Learning from the comfort of one’s own “space” can make the class more enjoyable and less intimidating.
Live Virtual Classes Can Save Your Students Money
When you offer virtual classes, the student will save the money that would otherwise be spent on transit or travel. Plus, there’s no need for a babysitter.
Interact With Instructors in Real Time
Most certification programs are asynchronous, meaning that they’re self-paced. However, including a live class to your program can add more value to your students. Your students will be able to interact with their instructors during the class. They can receive immediate answers to their questions.
Live Classes Help Students Fully Understand the Material
Because of its built-in interactive component, a live class means that the instructor can provide instant feedback to the students. Instructors can also survey the class to determine if the material is resonating, and make real-time adjustments to help students better understand the lesson.
Provides Face-to-Face Communication
You can opt for video classes where the instructor and the students can see each other live. This type of synchronous communication can make the class feel more interactive. Face-to-face communication allows your instructors to transfer their enthusiasm to the students.
Provides a Social Environment
Speaking of interaction, a live classroom setting allows students to relate to each other. Students can build professional relationships that will likely benefit them in the future. Students can learn from each other, too. A live classroom can cultivate discussions and allow students to explore different aspects of the material. The social aspect of a live classroom also increases personal accountability.
In a virtual environment, getting to class is easier than getting across town. For busy professionals who need to balance continuing education with home life, it can be a challenge to find the time to attend classes. Then, there’s the added time of traveling to and from class. This time investment often discourages students from enrolling in a certification course. However, with a virtual class, you can appeal to professionals who are short on time. A live class can offer flexibility to those with demanding schedules.
Demonstrates a Procedure
Most people are visual learners. With a live class, you can show your students how to perform a specific task in real time.
You Can Source Instructors From Anywhere
With an in-person class, you’re limited in your choice of instructors. With a live virtual class, you can work with an instructor from anywhere in the world. Just like the student, the instructor can sign into the classroom from anywhere in the country or world. You can recruit the best instructors for the job, period.
More Likely to Complete the Course
Self-paced programs are only as effective as the student: it’s easy to lose motivation because there’s no one there to hold them accountable or miss them when they’re gone. In a live virtual class, students can develop meaningful relationships with the instructor and other students. These bonds can encourage the student to continue through the duration of the program.
Reach More People in a Virtual Environment
An in-person classroom is limited in capacity. Depending on the size of your classroom, you may only be able to host a few dozen students maximum. However, in a virtual environment, you can scale your classroom and reach more students.In a virtual environment, you can scale your classroom and reach more students. Here's why: Click To Tweet
Students Can Re-Watch
For students who can’t make it to the live class, you can also record the class for them to access at their convenience. The ability to re-watch a live class can benefit students who want to go back and understand a topic more fully.
You can Charge More for This Premium Offering
Although live virtual classes do save money for the student, you can also charge a premium for this offering. Because of the benefits listed above, a live class is well worth an extra charge. Increase the profitability of your certification program by upselling students on a live virtual class component.
Best Practices for Offering Live Classes
Now that we’ve outlined the top benefits of offering live classes, let’s discuss the best practices to follow.
Offer Multiple Class Times
It’s important to offer multiple class times so that you can fit with different schedules. While you don’t want to go overboard by trying to accommodate every student, you can take a survey and choose the three most popular times to conduct your classes.
Chat is a crucial element for communicating in a live virtual class environment. Make sure that your class software includes a chat component.
Open the Class to Questions
Encourage students to interact with the instructor and with each other. Answering live questions can also help students who are struggling with the same problem.
Assign an Assistant to Watch the Comments
The instructor may not be able to teach the class while also reading the comments. Assign someone to read and reply to questions and private messages.
Record Classes for Other Students to Take at Their Leisure
As mentioned above, it’s a good practice to record all of your live classes for your student’s future reference.
Test Your Audio and Video
Before the inaugural class, be sure to test your equipment for sound and visual clarity.
Use Email Wisely
Communicate with your students via email. Even though they should be aware of when class starts, send out a reminder email the day before and also a few minutes before the class starts. Include in your email all of the details for logging into the classroom.
While the benefits of adding a live class to your certification program is undeniable, also keep in mind that online classes require discipline. Your students will only be as successful as their ability to show up on time and ready to engage. Use these tips to create a live class that your students will enjoy.