Inside Scoop: Tips from Skillshare on What Makes a Great Class

It comes as no surprise that everyone who works at Skillshare watches a lot of Skillshare classes.

We turn to Skillshare classes to decorate our homes - Macrame for Beginners: Make a Large Macrame Wall Hanging as well as take our professional skills to the next level - Excel 2016 Bootcamp - Zero to Hero Training. We crowdsourced Skillshare employees to hear what they think makes a great class. From showing vulnerability to creating a project that’s easy to start, check out our tips for creating a fantastic class!

Foster a Relatable Presence

You don’t have to be a skilled public speaker or even a natural extrovert to cultivate an authentic and genuine presence in your class. Teachers make themselves relatable through a number of different ways - personal anecdotes, speaking directly to the students, and sharing failures and vulnerability.

Nic Squirrel has an approachable and relaxed style in her class, Travel Sketching: Capture a Favourite Place in Watercolor

Nic Squirrel has an approachable and relaxed style in her class, Travel Sketching: Capture a Favourite Place in Watercolor

Make the Complex Simple

The best classes take a complex technique and break it down into digestible and easy-to-follow steps. To keep your students on track, consider the following ideas: utilize graphics for key ideas, include prompts such as “let’s step back” or “here’s why this matters”, repeat key phrases, and create lists for easy understanding (e.g. 5 Things We’ll Cover).

In Introduction to Coding with Ruby, Dan Draper breaks down Ruby on Rails by walking the student through a series of simple exercises to help them build their confidence.

In Introduction to Coding with Ruby, Dan Draper breaks down Ruby on Rails by walking the student through a series of simple exercises to help them build their confidence.

Immediate Gratification

Projects are the most straightforward way to make class lessons as actionable as possible. Mention the project throughout the class to keep students motivated. For example, when introducing a new technique, tell students how this technique will come in handy when they are working on the class project. Projects that are simple to start and directly related to the class content also tend to do best.

In Ohn Mar’s class From Everyday to Extraordinary: Paint an Object 3 Ways, the class is directly related to to the class project and Ohn Mar further engages her students by commenting on their projects. 

In Ohn Mar’s class From Everyday to Extraordinary: Paint an Object 3 Ways, the class is directly related to to the class project and Ohn Mar further engages her students by commenting on their projects. 

For business and tech teachers, you can think of your project as a way for students to share an outcome or spark a discussion. For example, a teacher who is teaching a class on designing an onboarding plan for new employees may create a worksheet that students can download and use to create their own onboarding plan. Alternatively, a teacher helping students learn to code could create a series of exercises that students should be able to complete after taking the class. 

Try out these tips by starting your next class! With every additional class you create you have the opportunity to attract more followers and earn more revenue!