Transitioning your in-person learning program to online can be time-consuming and overwhelming. With a slew of tools and tech, you may find yourself paying for all the things yet still piecing together how you run an online course business. After speaking to several course creators who have successfully transitioned their education programs from in-person to virtual, we’ve identified four challenges you may face and how to address them.
When you're running an in-person program, it's easy to see who's in attendance. However, with a virtual program, it takes more effort. While a physical classroom is easy to find, what happens when you're dealing with different Zoom links for various student groups? It would be best if you had a way to manage them and make sure learners end up in the right rooms. While you can create invites in Google Calendar, set up unique Zoom links, and copy and paste these links into emails, Virtually saves you time by creating events in one step. Auto-create Zoom links and auto-send invites to all participants.
Furthermore, identifying which learners are engaged and actively participating can be challenging, especially when they keep their cameras off. Video conferencing tools like Zoom have a chat feature where learners can communicate with others, which can be distracting.
To encourage participation and engagement in an online setting, we recommend asking all participants to keep their cameras on. If you’re using Zoom, ask them to toggle to “Gallery View” so everyone can see each other simultaneously. Also, decide if you prefer to enable or disable the chat feature. Lastly, don’t be afraid to call on learners and ask them to contribute to the conversation. For more helpful tips, learn how to run live classes with Zoom.
When you're running an in-person program, learners hand in their assignments directly to you; however, when you're running online learning programs, there needs to be a hub where they can submit assignments. Ideally, you want the submission process built into your course platform. At Virtually, we've created a centralized place where you can grade assignments and provide helpful feedback that students can use to improve.
As online course creators, technical difficulties are inevitable. Weak internet connection or problems with any of the tools you’re using can prevent you from running classes on any given day. If this happens, we recommend communicating the issue with your learners and keep calm. You’ll find that they anticipate troubleshooting issues on your end and theirs.
Suppose your online program requires managing resources, assignments, and calendar management. In that case, you're likely going to end up using dozens of different tools to run your online course or cohort-based course. All of this can confuse and ultimately overwhelm your students. From calendar to communication management, you can use hundreds of tools to manage your online course, but if you want everything built into one platform, check out Virtually.
While most learning management systems aren't built for small businesses, we understand that course creators are looking for comprehensive solutions to manage their course creation business's back-end. Virtually helps course creators spend fewer resources on tools while still delivering on their course promise. Accept payments, upload content, and manage students all in one place.
If you’re ready to transition your in-person education business online, get started for free with our 7-day free trial or book a 15-minute demo call with a Virtually team member to see if our learning management system is right for you.
Read next: How To Set Up Your Online Course with Virtually.
Danielle Desir is an author and the host of The Thought Card, an affordable-travel and personal finance podcast. (danielledesir.com) Follow on Twitter: @thethoughtcard