I want to share a little about my shift to on-line teaching.
I'm an independent visual arts instructor in the small community of Revelstoke, BC teaching adults and young adults in drawing and painting mediums. When the pandemic hit, the first thing I did was offer free mini classes testing out Zoom to help people who were struggling under the first restrictions with fun short projects to get their minds to play. Experiencing the on-line classroom potential, I decided to shift my regular weekly classes to the platform for my Fall to Spring sessions.
By shifting my marketing approach to social media directed at communities across Canada with a safe, at home approach to learning, my returning regular students were joined by newbies from diverse communities. The students were generous enough to give me honest feedback on my slideshows and improvements to my class structure which evolved into full class demos where I did the assignments along with the students describing the process and pitfalls along the way as well as answering their questions and giving feedback. Short feedback during class of student work was supplemented by detailed critique e-mails exchanged privately with students who wanted it.
I found on-line teaching beneficial for more than just to reach a larger audience and the co-creation during assignments, but the convenience of having a video to share with students who missed a class or just wanted to review it, and to easily catch up students who wanted to start the class late.
The feedback from the students was that these exact benefits enriched their experience as well. Several students returned for 2nd and 3rd classes, exploring other mediums and becoming very comfortable with the platform as their classroom, often logging in early just to socialize before class. One student even shared that she was so engaged while watching a catch up video, that she mistakenly started talking to me as if class was live.
For me, the experience of the switch to online has been positive and I will continue on-line instruction in the future. The classes felt more intimate as we all saw each other's faces and were comfortably in our home, we could mute each other if we wanted and listen to our own music. My demos were easy for all to see, different from how it would be during an in-person crowded classroom. I feel I made some friends and know I will have many returning students and their friends as I get more known in the online community. For me, the lemonade from pandemic lemons has been sweet.
Here is a one minute demo of one of my classes