4 min read

Build learner connections with Outschool Groups
Bring learners together in this fun, interactive forum where they can share ideas, complete projects, and form relationships.

Think about something you love to do or learn about. How do you keep that passion alive and continue to build your knowledge? Maybe you belong to a cooking forum where home chefs can share their favorite recipes. Or perhaps you meet up with German-speaking friends once a month to keep your language skills sharp. You might even check in with an “accountability buddy” to stay on track as you work toward a goal.

Consistent, focused interactions with fellow learners and topic enthusiasts are an incredibly valuable way to continue practicing and improving a skill. Outschool Groups allow learners to have this experience in a safe, encouraging environment moderated by an experienced educator. By creating a Group based on your teaching experience, you can maintain longer-term relationships with learners who are excited to stay connected with peers who share their interests. 

The basics

  • You may create a Group by visiting the Groups tab on your educator dashboard. From there, you will submit a class listing just as you would for any other Outschool class. See Groups class approval requirements.
  • Groups are designed to be mostly asynchronous, and no live meetings are required. Engagement should be facilitated via discussion threads, project sharing, and activities or challenges that encourage participation.
  • There is no maximum class size for Groups.
  • Groups are only for learners ages 8+.
  • Learner subscriptions for Group classes are charged on a monthly basis.

Even in this more relaxed learning setting, educators are expected to actively participate in the classroom and ensure learner safety. Review all policies on Group classes here.

Grow your teaching business

Groups can have a strong appeal to your existing or past learners who have expressed a high level of interest in your topic area and/or connect socially with other learners. By enrolling in monthly access to the Group classroom space, learners can choose when and how they interact with different activities or projects introduced by the educator. For families, this is an affordable and low-commitment way for their learners to stay engaged with a subject and the Outschool community.

By adding Groups to your list of class offerings, you gain the opportunity to:

  • Keep your existing learners engaged with your teaching and more likely to enroll in additional classes
  • Reach families and learners who are looking for asynchronous or less structured learning environments
  • Attract new learners who share your passions and prefer to get to know you and their classmates in a less formal setting

How to design Group curriculum

Groups are less about formal instruction on a topic and more about sharing ideas, completing projects, or collaborating. With this in mind, the Group classroom looks a little different from the original Outschool classroom, and Group class listings will have different engagement requirements than other class formats. 

Educators should focus on creating Groups around very learner-driven subjects that won’t require a large amount of direct instruction. You are required to post in any Group you’re facilitating at least once a week, but checking in more often will help you retain learners and successfully moderate activity. Engaging learners in your Group may look like this:

  • Creating a discussion thread
  • Inviting learners to participate in a challenge
  • Asking learners to share a recent project they’ve completed related to your class topic

And don’t shy away from creative ways to engage! Groups are unique among the Outschool class formats in their ability to support learners as they form relationships with one another. Imagine how you might bring learners together with collaborative activities to create an enriching Group community.

We’re sure there’s plenty more you’d like to know about setting up and running a Group class so be sure to check out the Educator Handbook for more insights and tips.

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