Online teaching is an art form all of its own. In comparison to in-person sessions, there is a steep learning curve of technology, cables, connections, software, devices and lighting (and angles!). There are many things that could go wrong and that alone is enough to put off the most seasoned of practitioners. But there are also some steps you can take to troubleshoot in advance, and to perfect your tech.
There are some things that we can’t exert much control over, such as pets and children showing up in our participants’ classes, but for those things that are within our control, we can test, perfect and test again. Let’s work through some tips!
Testing Your Connections
The absolute most important element of online teaching success is a strong, stable internet connection. With more and more people working from home, your internet bandwidth might fluctuate more than it used to, depending on time of day or who else is online nearby. Take these steps to troubleshoot your connection:
- If your internet connection fluctuates, run a speed test and talk to your provider if you get a reading lower than your expectations; it could be that you need a new router or an upgrade to your bandwidth.
- Make sure that no other devices are sharing your internet connection during your class time – gaming consoles or TV streaming services can use up a lot of bandwidth so don’t fight them for a good connection. Either disconnect them from the internet or shut them down completely to stop them running in the background.
- Using an ethernet connection will give you the best and most reliable bandwidth and this will reflect in the quality of your audio and video too.
- Check your audio hookup – whether you use a mic or audio on your device, check it is charged up and connected to your device and to your video conferencing software.
- Log in to your meeting (or ask someone else to) from another device to do a quick sound/video check so you can view the meeting as a participant.
- Be ready with time to spare and prepare in all the ways you would for an in-person session. One OfferingTree user shares that she takes a walk before the class, as if she is walking to the studio, allowing time to prepare and ‘arrive’ in the space.
- Start the meeting a few minutes early to give participants time to log in and get ready.
- Consider using the waiting room feature – this adds a level of security to your session, which is worth the extra effort of letting late comers into class.
- Welcome clients into your class, let them know how to communicate with you throughout the class if they need to.
- Encourage videos to be on if your insurance requires it, and ask for cameras to be angled if you need to see your clients.
- Mute all clients upon entry to mitigate the background noise and so that speaker view stays on you.
- Most video conferencing will prioritize voice over music, so consider running music a different way so that you are not competing to be heard. We have an article on ways to legally use music in your online classes here.
Once your session is finished, it can be a good idea to review the recording, if you have one. This gives you an opportunity to step back and see the class from a different perspective, and know whether you need to adjust anything in your set up.
Your OfferingTree site integrates with Zoom so you have an easy connection to your online clients, and with our online payment system, we make the process from sign up to Savasana a simple, easy process for you and your students. Visit OfferingTree.com to learn how our system can help you achieve your goals.