Why Live Classes Are Better For Online Schools

October 6, 2020

While finding the right online school builder and creating the curriculum is the first step, helping your students complete the coursework is an ongoing issue many course creators run into. Historically, course completion rates are significantly lower than course enrollment rates.

According to a recent study, the average completion rate for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is approximately 15%. As a course instructor, this is worrisome because your students are less likely to reach their goals and see the full transformation promised by your program. They are also less likely to refer others to your school (word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool) or purchase additional products or services. Several factors contribute to high dropout rates - the lack of live interaction, the absence of a tight-knit community, and accountability. However, live classes can improve course retention. Here are four reasons why live classes are better for an online school.

Strengthens Community

While students initially come for the content, they stay for the community. Creating a supportive community around your coursework encourages students to interact with one another. Also, offering opportunities to network and collaborate can increase the value of your course or membership while improving learner outcomes.

Private Facebook groups, Slack channels, and even built-in forums within your learning platform will encourage participation and engagement week after week. Consider hosting social hours where students can get to know you and one another in a casual setting. Ask ice breaker questions to get the conversation flowing.

Built-In Accountability

By hosting live classes and offering real-time Q&A sessions, students publicly commit to doing the work and getting results. As an instructor, sticking to a consistent schedule and letting your students know when they are missed can help them stay motivated to cross the finish line.

Higher Engagement

Live classes offer direct access to instructors and real-time support when students get stuck. Sometimes getting stuck and feeling like you aren’t making progress may be enough for some to abandon the course. Live classes and office hours coupled with the support of a peer group can significantly improve engagement and retention.

Increased Earning Potential

Lastly, students place more value on live online classes, and so, they are willing to pay more. Depending on your program, you may be able to charge 3x more for live classes than asynchronous courses where students complete them at their own pace. For those who are interested in memberships, offering live lectures every month sets you up for recurring revenue.

Overall, live learning offers a sense of community, keeps students focused, and boosts your earning potential. If you have a self-paced course that you want to turn into a live course, or would like to create your online school, try Virtually. Virtually offers built-in support for payment processing (Stripe or PayPal), a robust student management dashboard, video conferencing integrations for live classes, and more.

Next, learn how to run live classes with Zoom.

Danielle Desir

Danielle Desir is an author, freelance writer and the host of The Thought Card, an affordable-travel and personal finance podcast. (danielledesir.com) Follow on Twitter: @thethoughtcard