5 min read

Choosing the right class format for your course
Which Outschool course type is best for your topic and teaching style? Read this overview of different class formats to find out our tips for creating great classes that meet your scheduling and curriculum needs.

Outschool currently offers several course formats to choose from when creating your class listings. Most educators conduct live meetings with one-time, short-term, semester, or ongoing classes, but others find success with asynchronous “flex” classes. Each format offers its own advantages when it comes to providing excellent instruction, designing your teaching schedule, and meeting learners’ needs. Let’s explore tips and resources for creating classes best suited to each course type.

Live Online Classes

Outschool offers the unique capability for every class to be taught live, allowing you the invaluable opportunity to engage with learners in real-time. Meeting “face-to-face” with learners encourages strong educator-learner relationships that help you build a sustainable, successful teaching business. Live classes can be structured to meet once, for a set number of days, or indefinitely (in the case of ongoing classes). Which is right for your topic and teaching style? Read on!

1. One-time Classes

Classes that meet once are a great way to get started on Outschool and lend themselves well to a curriculum designed around a project or singular skill. Classes like “How to Draw Captain America” or “Bake the Best Apple Pie” can help a learner reach a goal in just one session. We recommend teaching a one-time class when you’re new to Outschool, both to help you get familiar with the platform and start connecting with prospective families.

2. Multi-Day Classes

  • Short-term Classes. Short-term classes meet at least once a week for 2-7 weeks, and they’re a great format for courses designed to build a more complex skill. With this type of course, you’ll be able to use multiple weeks of instruction to teach a concept, review assignments, and help learners grow in an interest area. Classes like “Introduction to Meditation: Breathe Work” or “Animate Your Own Short Film” would likely be a good fit for this schedule. Some camp-type classes, if based around completing a project or learning a skill, would also fall into this category!
  • Semester Classes. Does your topic require continuous study in order to truly develop skills and see results? Then a semester-long class may be right format. Things like language learning, core academic study (math, reading, etc.), or collaborative learning classes based on developing relationships with fellow learners could all fit the bill for this course type. Semester classes meet at least once a week for 8 or more weeks, and they offer a great opportunity to complete interactive projects and dive deep into your subject matter. Learn more here.
  • Camp Classes. These classes meet 2 or more times within the same week, allowing learners to engage with a topic and classroom group more frequently. They may include different weekly themes or even help learners and parents fill school breaks with longer, regular meeting times.

3. Ongoing Classes

These courses meet weekly with no set end date. Families pay a weekly subscription for ongoing classes, and the curriculum must be designed so that a learner could easily attend any session, at any time, without having attended previous sessions. This format works well for themed clubs, art and music classes, social groups, and academic study. Courses like “Cat Lovers Club,” “6th Grade Algebra Practice,” or “Astronaut Profiles: Who Went to Space and When?” would all be appropriate for an ongoing meeting format. The most important distinction between ongoing classes and other live meetings is the focus on a learner’s ability to join in at any time, as opposed to a curriculum that builds on itself with each class. Learn more about how you can make 1-on-1 classes part of your teaching business.

1-on-1 Classes

Instead of a group learning experience, you may choose to offer any of the class formats above as a 1-on-1 tutoring course. These types of classes allow you to personalize the curriculum for a single learner, and can either complement or expand on your existing group courses. Learn more here.


Groups offer the opportunity for less formalized, more collaborative learning experiences on Outschool. When learners sign up for a monthly subscription to a Group, they receive access to a special classroom where they can interact with peers who have shared interests, participate in activities or challenges, and share their work. As an educator, you will actively monitor and guide learner participation in the group by facilitating discussions and inspiring participation. Groups have different age, engagement, and approval requirements than other classes – so make sure you do your research before submitting a Group class listing. Read all Groups policies here.

Flexible Schedule Classes

Flexible schedule courses, or “flex” classes, are a unique alternative to live meetings. Educators creating a flex class will provide asynchronous learning opportunities consisting of recorded video sessions, classroom discussions and assignments, and additional learning tools to encourage interaction and provide feedback. Since these classes don’t include any face-to-face learning time, your curriculum must clearly outline how learners will interact with you and the material in order to be approved. Every flex class must also last for a minimum of 4 weeks. Get the full scoop on flex classes in this article.

Additional Resources

Now that you have an overview of all the available class formats on Outschool, explore these resources to ensure you’re ready to write an excellent class listing that meets all approval requirements and will attract interested learners.

More from Outschool

From the classroom to the campfire: Offering summer learning with camps

Learn how to increase enrollments on Outschool by offering engaging summer camps to learners in the United States, the U.K., and East Asia.

The top 10 reasons why you should offer Self-Paced classes

Find out why creating Self-Paced classes is a win-win situation for you and your learners.


Teach on your terms

Set learning free