Since Groups launched in early November, it’s been exciting to see how educators and learners have started building connections using this new class format. We know there have also been a few questions arising in the educator community about developing and effectively leading a Group.
The Outschool team hosted this webinar to help answer some of those questions and provide insights on how to get started creating a successful Group. Here we dive into the highlights from that info session, or you can access the full webinar recording below.
How are Groups doing so far on Outschool?
As of this webinar, there are over 1500 learners enrolled in groups. We’ve observed that a comparatively high number of learners or families who visit a Groups class listing will end up enrolling, which is a great sign that this new class format is something families are interested in exploring! Watch the full webinar recording above to hear Brett from Outschool go over more Groups stats in detail.
What is my role in a Group as an educator?
Educator Kate shared how she’s found success moderating her photography-themed Group that has 60 enrolled learners. Here are a couple pieces of advice she gave:
Create Groups with learners, rather than for them
Kate suggested that before you create a Group, open up a free private section of an existing class where learners can share with you what they’d like to get out of joining a Group. Remember that learners are the true leaders of the Group experience, and investing this time to find out what they’d like to do and see in a Group can be invaluable to the class’s success.
Make space for learners to grow together
While it can be challenging to take a step back from instructing learners as you would in a different class format, it’s important to resist the temptation to be the one providing all the answers in your Group. If there’s an opportunity for learners to work together to answer a question or solve a problem – encourage them to do it! Respect that this is the learners’ space, and you’re there to champion their ideas and guide them as they make connections with each other.
Empower learners to participate
Let learners know that their input is essential to the success of the Group by asking for feedback using discussion prompts or emoji reactions. You can even assign roles to volunteer learners, like posting next week’s challenge or coming up with a discussion question! Find ways to keep learners engaged with their peers on a regular basis.
How are Groups designed to encourage healthy behavior?
The Outschool product team has intentionally designed Groups to address some of the shortcomings that exist in similar forums for kids and teens. A few examples of this include:
- No “like” counts on posts. Instead, learners can offer thoughtful reactions to others’ posts using emoji reactions or comments. (Read more on how counting “likes” can affect kids’ self-esteem.)
- Unique discussion cards. The card-based comment-sharing format helps all learners feel heard and valuable to the Group.
- Multiple ways to engage. Threaded conversations and project sharing opportunities allow learners to engage in whichever way they feel comfortable.
How may Groups change in the future?
Groups are still evolving! This class format will absolutely continue to change and improve as we observe how the learner and educator communities are engaging with these classes. The Outschool team is actively evaluating Groups for insights on questions like:
- How do learners of different ages use Groups?
- How do we make sure that learners aren’t spread thin across too many similar Groups?
- How can we support educators who may need to take a break from leading a Group, even if it already has many consistent learners enrolled?
During the open question & answer session at the end of the webinar, we answer more questions like:
- How are Groups marketed to families and learners?
- What should you do if you create a Group that doesn’t get any enrollments or only gets a few enrollments?
- What new features may be developed for Groups in the future?
For answers to the above questions and more, watch the full webinar recording. If you still have questions about hosting a Group, consider posting in the Educator Hub on Facebook or checking out this guide to designing Groups.