Virtual events give your learners an opportunity to connect socially and add to the value of your course.
Online courses allow educators to create material and then resell it numerous times to multiple learners. However, courses are rarely sources of passive income. In reality, they require a lot of time to develop new material, market to new learners, moderate and support.
Because of this, it can often be a pleasant surprise to run a virtual event that often requires less preparation, but can draw a higher price. Your personal attention is valuable—not only because your time is a finite resource, but because learners like meeting the person behind everything. Beyond this, virtual events give you a chance to promote something new for your course and generate excitement.
It may not have been the first thing you thought of when you started your online course, but if you’ve overlooked this option, it’s time to reconsider. Here are seven ideas for virtual e-learning events—which one fits your course?
1. Host a group discussion as part of your course.
For many courses, one of the most beneficial aspects comes from meeting other learners in the group. When learners network with their peers, it gives them an opportunity to learn from each other, introduces new points of view, and builds a sense of community among the group. This is an element that is often missing from online courses, but it’s one you can recreate through a virtual discussion.
Consider this for: writing critique circles, professional development courses, and reading groups.
2. Offer a one-on-one training or consulting session.
Individual lessons are a premium offering, and one that many learners are willing to pay extra for. While groups can be great for lively discussion, some learners are inevitably more shy than others. They may also be reluctant to ask questions, or may want more personal coaching. Not everyone wants to share personal details with the group, nor is a group the best format to deliver individual feedback. One-on-one lessons provide the opportunity.
Consider this for: professional training, life coaching, mentorships.
3. Teach a live class for physical training.
Most of us only think about physical training as something that is done in a studio or a gym. But to think of exercise that way is to forget about how popular workout 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 companion to keep us motivated. And if you can provide that coaching while also taking learners through new exercises each week—or offering special training in a new skill—that can be a major 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 by video, a live master class lets you respond directly to audience questions as they happen. It also gives you a chance to vary up your demonstration, or make some extra income by demoing a task you might have been doing anyway.
Consider this for: sewing, cooking, gardening, woodworking, art.
5. Invite a guest to join you for an interview and audience Q&A.
Live events are of course excellent PR opportunities—all the more so when you have another known person in your industry to join you for 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 responding to audience questions.
Consider this for: live conferences, networking sessions, joint product launches.
6. Run a live demo for a new product or feature.
Are you releasing a new product, or do you have a feature of your current product that gets a lot of questions? Running a webinar to demonstrate to your audience how this feature works is not only an excellent way to respond to customer requests, it’s also an opportunity to create more content for your courses or social channels. We do this ourselves for our training webinars, which we post to YouTube, and they’ve proven very popular with our users.
Consider this for: product launches, how-to demonstrations, live tutorials.
7. Lead a language session for conversation practice.
Although we already covered both group and one-on-one training, language practice deserves a special mention because it can be both. I’ve both lead online discussion groups in Russian and taking individual tutoring, and both are excellent ways to improve language use. It’s also possible to create language sessions for more than just conversation practice. You can work with a tutor to improve any language skill you like, and groups offer a lot of creativity, from basic conversation to language games and exercises.
Consider this for: foreign language conversation skills, pronunciation coaching, writing feedback.
Virtual e-learning events are repeatable and give you something exciting to share about your course.
Events are wonderful education tools for several reasons. They provide personal contact for learners who might otherwise suffer from isolation, they give you a real-time opportunity to engage learners, and they’re easy to reproduce. And at a time when in-person events aren’t 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 high time you considered hosting a virtual e-learning event. It may just get you the attention you’re looking for.