With the growth of online courses and training programs, many would believe that the vast majority of them are one-person shows. However, this is often no longer the case.
Developing and executing an online course can be incredibly time-consuming. It relies on many specialized skills in addition to mastering the course material that you will be teaching, and competition from other courses is high.
Many online course creators outsource a lot of this short-term work to freelancers on sites like Upwork, but others build a team to help run the course from ideation to final exam.
Today we will share our top tips for supporting your team and keeping them on track. Finding good teaching staff team members who stick around will save you time and money in the long run, and most importantly, can allow you to scale your course to bring in more students at a higher rate.
Read on to learn how to support your online teaching staff.
What Does an Online Teaching Staff Look Like?
In some online education settings, your teaching staff will be made up of a single instructor who handles everything from running lessons to preparing course materials. However, many are finding this to be a pretty tough job, so they are looking for supporting staff to take some of the load off their plate.
Teaching assistants (TA’s) are common in many online learning settings. This role often involves helping out with course design, tracking student participation, assisting with feedback and grading, and much more. Good TAs are like a swiss army knife: able to help out with a variety of tasks and situations.
Other online teaching staff positions are more specialized and can include a course creator who is skilled at building course content or a salesperson/marketing specialist who is tasked with promoting and selling your course or training program to new students.
Other roles like these exist, and many can be done by freelancers to save you time and allow you to focus on what is most important: providing a great in-class experience for your students.
Supporting Your Online Teaching Staff
Regardless of the size or format of your team, there are several key principles that you should keep in mind to support them and ensure they are able to get the job done to the best of their abilities. Here are our recommendations.
Ensure They Are Comfortable With Tools
There are many good reasons why your staff could run into technical difficulties when starting with a new remote teaching platform or video conferencing software.
Glitches and bugs happen. Training takes time and costs money. Staff may prefer another competing tool, and show an unwillingness to become proficient in the new one.
However, the way that your staff handles themselves with the platform will have a direct impact on how your students value your course. Invest in a platform that prioritizes onboarding and training, and leave plenty of time for your team to get familiar with the tech before your lessons begin.
Provide Feedback on In-Class Activities
Don’t wait until you receive feedback from your students to make changes to your course. Watch recorded lectures and class exercises so that you can see your staff in action and offer constructive feedback when necessary.
However, don’t overvalue this method of evaluating course effectiveness. A college professor wouldn’t deliver great lectures if their dean was seated in the front row of their class. Leave room for your staff to make mistakes and improve at their own pace, and focus on lesson structure and engagement.
Offer Professional Development Opportunities
The key to online teaching staff retention is offering opportunities for growth and development. This goes beyond training for software and tools that you are using in the classroom environment. True professional development will come at an additional cost to your company and will teach them skills that can be used in a variety of situations.
The best way to implement this is to cover the costs of other online courses for your team. Teaching assistants can benefit from public speaking courses that help them progress from a support role to running the classroom themselves.
Your sales and marketing staff need to stay on top of the rapidly changing world of digital marketing. Even designers/course creators are always brushing up their skills.
It is tough work finding reliable and talented staff to help you run your online course. When you do find the right people, you will need to invest in keeping them around.
Give Your Team the Tools to Succeed
Providing the best possible tools for your online teaching staff is instrumental to getting the most out of them. This all starts with your virtual teaching platform or learning management system (LMS), where your entire online course lives and breathes.
You should be looking for a platform that is easy-to-use, powerful, and provides excellent support for training and troubleshooting.
Sure, there are plenty of “big players” that can tick some of these boxes, but with these benefits come costly services and impersonal, hard to reach support teams.
With DaDesktop, you won’t need to worry about these problems.
DaDesktop features a quick and easy setup along with the full range of features that you need to execute your online course. Breakout rooms, unlimited video and messaging, and free course storage are all provided.
Also, pricing is transparent and reasonable.