Virtual e-learning events can offer students the opportunity to connect socially, adding value to their course. Online courses allow educators to create materials and then resell them multiple times to multiple learners. However, in-person courses are rarely sources of passive income. In fact, they require a lot of time to develop new materials, market to new students, moderate, and support.
Because of this, it can often be a pleasant surprise to hold a virtual event that usually requires less time to prepare, and may cost less. Your personal attention is valuable as your time is a finite resource. In addition, virtual events offer the opportunity to promote something new for your course and generate enthusiasm.
It may not have been the first thing you thought of when you started your course, but if you’ve forgotten about this option, it’s time to reconsider. Below are seven ideas for a virtual e-learning event. Which one fits your course?
1. Promote a group discussion as part of your course.
For many courses, one of the most beneficial aspects comes from getting to know other students in the group. When students network with their classmates, they have the opportunity to learn from each other, present new points-of-view, and create a sense of community among the group. This is an element that is often missing in online courses, but can be recreated through a virtual discussion.
Consider this for: writing critique circles, professional development courses, and reading groups.
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2. Offer a one-on-one training or consulting session.
Individual classes are a premium offering, and many students are willing to pay more. While groups can be great for lively discussions, some students are inevitably more shy than others. They may also be reluctant to ask questions, or may want more personal training. Not everyone wants to share personal details with the group, nor is a group the best format for providing individual feedback. Individual classes offer that opportunity.
Consider this for: professional training, life coaching, mentoring.
3. Give a live class for physical training.
Most of us only think of physical training as something that is done in a studio or gym. But to think of exercise that way is to forget how popular exercise videos are – and continue to be. Many of us don’t want to make the trek to the gym, but we still want a workout buddy to keep us motivated. And if you can provide that training while leading students through new exercises each week, or offer special training in a new skill, that can be a big draw.
Consider this for: yoga, dance, martial arts, meditation.
4. Create a master class to demonstrate a special skill.
Many online courses are used to teach hobby skills. While many skills can be shown on video, a live master class allows you to directly answer audience questions as they happen. It also gives you a chance to vary your demonstration, or earn extra income by demonstrating a task you would be doing anyway.
Consider this for: sewing, cooking, gardening, woodworking, art.
5. Invite a guest for an interview and audience Q&A.
Live events are definitely excellent PR opportunities, even more so when you have another well-known person in your industry to join the discussion. These events can be excellent opportunities for both parties, while sharing some of the workload when it comes to preparing for the event and answering audience questions.
Consider this for: live conferences, networking sessions, joint product launches.
6. Run a live demonstration of a new product or feature.
Are you launching a new product, or have a feature of your current product that generates a lot of questions? Running a webinar to demonstrate to your audience how that feature works is not only a great way to respond to customer requests, but also an opportunity to create more content that can be use for courses or your social channels. You can re-purpose this content in your trainings that you post on YouTube, for example, especially if they are very popular with users. Why re-invent the wheel?
Consider this for: product launches, how-to demonstrations, live tutorials.
7. Conduct a language session for conversation practice.
Although we have already covered group and one-on-one training, language practice deserves special mention because it can be both. You could conduct online Italian language discussion groups, for example, or give private lessons as both are excellent ways to improve language skills. You can also set-up language sessions for more than just conversational practice. Besides working with a tutor to improve any language skill you want, groups offer a lot of creativity from basic conversation to language games and exercises.
Consider this for: foreign language conversation skills, pronunciation training, commentary writing.
Conclusion regarding virtual e-learning events:
Virtual e-learning events can be repeated and offer something interesting to share about your course.
Events are wonderful education tools for many reasons. They provide personal contact for students who might otherwise suffer from isolation, offer a real-time opportunity to engage students, and are easy to replicate. And at a time when face-to-face events are not an option, virtual events offer a viable alternative.
So if you’re looking for a way to expand your offerings and attract new learners, it’s time to consider hosting a virtual e-learning event. This may just attract the attention you are looking for.