Last month, we launched the Staff Picks badge as another way to celebrate high-quality and engaging classes on the platform. While there's no exact formula for creating a class, we have found that teachers who closely follow these principles create exceptional learning experiences for their students.

Read on to find actionable ways to incorporate these best practices into your next class. 

1. Demystifying

To make sure your content has something unique and valuable to offer to students, we recommend delivering content that is insightful and accurate, never superficial. You can share your unique perspective through a wide variety of helpful tips, examples, and frameworks.

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Dylan truly takes students behind the scenes of what it takes to manage a project with a client in her class Watch Me Work: Real Design Client Projects. Not only does she show her thinking behind her design decisions, she takes you step by step through the nitty gritty business details like setting a rate, creating a contract, and more.

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Rose shares a variety of design principles that can be applied to interior decorating in her class Interior Design: Interior Decorate like a Boss. Through each principle, she shows an example to illustrate how that design element can impact a physical space. She also infuses personal examples of how things like her evening routine informed what furniture she purchased.

2. Actionable

Make your class actionable for students by offering insights in a wider context, teaching students not just one new thing, but a new kind of thing. Show students how to apply their new skills in their daily life or work, giving them new ways to approach multiple problems and questions. 

Ira's class Illustration by Design teaches students to apply principles of design theory, learnings from the Art Nouveau movement, and other frameworks to create stronger emotions in their illustration. His class goes beyond how to create an illustration, but gives students a new lens to approach their future illustrations. 

Jessica takes students step-by-step through her pattern design process in Pattern Camp, allowing them to build their confidence as they progress through the content. She covers not only the technical aspects of transforming an illustration into a repeat pattern, but includes helpful lessons on creating custom color palettes, finding inspiration, and recoloring a piece of work. 

3. Organized

Keep your content organized by using clear signals and sequences to guide students toward success. Consider the level of your class content and structure your class at a pace appropriate to your target audience, making it easy for students to follow along. 

Kimberly's class Develop Your Own Calligraphy Style starts by giving students an overview of the purpose of the class through her video "The Why, What, and How".  She then structures her class through a sequence of five steps, so students know exactly what to expect throughout the class. 

Dale's use of descriptive video lesson titles in his class iPhone Photography | How to Take Professional Photos On Your iPhone inform students of the individual skills they will be able to learn within the class. Naming your lesson titles to reflect the main skill of each video lesson gives students context and allows them to focus on content that is most relevant to them. 

4. Personal

Connect with your students by speaking to them directly with warmth and respect. Share personal experiences and examples throughout the class to create an authentic experience. 

Amarilys provides students a raw and authentic portrayal of what it takes to develop a sustainable creative practice in her class Stick To It. Her down to earth approach helps students feel comfortable, even if they are just starting out. 

Mimi's class Mark Your Memories: Illustrated Maps guides students through one of her favorite and most popular pieces of illustration work. Using her own life milestones as a template, students are encouraged to document meaningful memories in this unique format. 

5. Clear Value Proposition

Invest students in your content by setting clear expectations around who the class is for and what they will learn. Provide context for why these skills are important and how they can apply them to their own work. 

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Jen offers students a deep dive into the use of oil pastels in her class Oil Pastels Boot Camp: A Missing Manual for Success. She guides student through multiple techniques and applications of the material, setting them up for success in the class project.

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Aga highlights clear outcomes in her class Boost Personal Branding by Coding Your Own Website. Her intro video includes visuals that indicate what students will be able to create and calls out a template they can use to follow along with her. 

6. Polished

Make a great first impression with students by ensuring your title and description are both accurate and compelling. Avoid any typographical errors and make sure links are clean for easy user navigation. A/V quality should always be clear and free of distractions. 

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Everett’s class How To Brand Your Business immediately builds credibility among students through his use of crisp audio and well-lit talking head videos. 

Dan's use of consistent slides creates a cohesive learning experience in his class Adobe InDesign CC - Advanced Training. He utilizes a brief intro slide to share the main skill for each video lesson, creating an added professional quality to the class. 

7. Relevant

Attract a variety of students by choosing a topic that is relevant to a wider industry or audience conversation. Pay close attention to any details that are relevant within your particular field, use an up-to-date aesthetic and consistent design throughout the content, presentation and resources.

Evgeniya and Dominic combine the ever popular skill of pattern design with a current and trendy design aesthetic in their class Organic Abstract Patterns. In addition to taking students through the design process, they show how to optimize your patterns for printing them on products of all kinds. 

Peggy tackles common challenges for new and aspiring freelancers in her class Pricing Your Work: How To Value Your Work as a Freelancer. While she works as an freelance artist, her tips give freelancers across a variety of fields a framework for setting fair rates and communicating with clients. 

8. Compelling

Offer students an experience that inspires them to take action through the use a varied visuals, insights, and examples.You will be setting them them up for success to not only create the class project, but incorporate their new skill-set into their own lives and work. 

Tabitha presents a unique approach to portrait photography by encouraging students to use themselves as their subject in her class Self Portraits: Telling Your Unique Story. The class topic makes learning photography even more accessible and offers students a creative exercise in expressing themselves. 

 

Vanessa hooks students in the intro video of her class Intro to HTML Email Development by offering them the opportunity to go behind the scenes of how email campaigns are built. Her video lessons then build on one another, breaking down the class project into easily digestible steps for students. 

Ready to put these principles into practice? Get started on your next class today!