Art classes can be successfully taught online. Being an art teacher online requires you to have certain knowledge and use a set of tools. This article will show you everything you need to teach arts online.
To teach art classes online you need to:
- Start An Online Class
- Course Outline
- Required Equipment
- Create Training Content
- Content Formats
- Tools You Can Use
- Host Your Course
- Third-Party Teaching Platforms
- Teach Online Classes
Let’s jump in and take a closer look at everything you have to do to teach art classes online.
Start An Online Class
Before actually teaching online you have to create your online art class. It is crucial to make the right decisions when you start your course as it will have a tremendous impact on your overall success as an online art teacher. To make it easier to understand I have split this process into two smaller steps.
Before anything else, you need to determine the outline of your course. This is the first step regardless of the topic you are planning on teaching. When creating your first online art course you need to define certain aspects of your course. These characteristics are related to:
- Course Title
- Main Topic
- Target Audience
- Delivery Method
- Assessment Techniques
- Pricing Model
Let’s take a look at each factor and to find out how your course outline should look like.
A catchy course title is critical if you want to attract potential students. This happens because the title is the first thing visitors notice about your online class. A great title follows a set of 5 golden rules:
- Less than 60 characters – google only shows this many in search results
- Audience Focused – think of the level of your students in terms of art knowledge
- Specific – choose a narrower portion of the art niche
- Entice the Students – catchy marketing name
- Using SEO keywords – using the google alphabet soup or keyword research methods
Make sure you make a catchy title for your course.
It is clear that the niche of your online class is going to be Art. However, you should narrow it down a little and choose the main topic that describes the skills you will teach during the course. There are heaps of types you can choose from. Yet the most popular arts are:
- Sorted by Purpose
- Sorted by Technique
- Sorted by Purpose
- Sorted by Purpose
- Sorted by Technique
- Pen and Ink
- Sorted by Purpose
If you are unsure what topic to choose you can take a look at the complete list of visual arts by clicking on the following link:
LINK: Complete List of Visual Arts
Who are you going to teach? This is a key question that you should ask yourself prior to creating the content. You should create what is called a student’s persona. It represents a set of characteristics that define the expected type of student that is most likely to enroll in your course.
When determining the target audience of your course you should take into a count 7 distinct features, as follows:
- Age (Young, Middle Aged, Old)
- Gender (Male / Female)
- English Language Skills (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 levels)
- Arts Prerequisites (Beginner, Intermediate, Expert)
- LLS Skills (Language, Literacy, and Numeracy)
- Working Domain (Full-Time Artist, Part-Time Artist, Working in Other Domain)
There are plenty of delivery methods available for online courses. Yet teaching arts online limits your option to a smaller number. Some of the delivery methods you can use as an art educator are:
- Video Conference
- Live Virtual Classroom
- eLearning Training Content
- Web Conference
This section defines how will you assess the progress of your students. Say you are teaching an online course about portrait drawing. You should make up your mind and determine the exact method you will use to assess how much information your students have acknowledged during the course.
For example, you can set certain goals (e.g. draw a pair of eyes, a nose, the hair, etc.) and rate your students’ use of the taught techniques. The assessment methods are up to your creativity. Yet take into account the technological limitations of your online course.
The last part of your course outline should be the desired pricing models. When choosing the price of your services I suggest taking into account the following aspects:
- Creating Content
- Hosting Content
- Additional Costs
- Additional Equipment
- Creating Content
- Your Time (Price per Hour of Work)
- Target Profit (~30%)
To learn more about different pricing models you can use for your online art class I recommend taking a look at the following article:
ARTICLE: 10 eLearning Pricing Models Online Teachers Must Know
When it comes to the required equipment for teaching art classes online it depends very much on the topic of your course. Usually, you will need the following pieces of equipment:
- Laptop or Computer
- Video Recording
- Audio Recording
Laptop or Computer
This is the most important hardware you will take advantage of when teaching online. Its specifications are linked to the complexity of the software tools you are planning on using. For art classes, you will probably not use plenty of resource-demanding applications. Therefore you can complete all the tasks even if you do not have the most performant laptop on the market.
Generally any computer less than 4 years old of around $500 will do for this style of training. For most training online an i3 or i5 Intel processor with 4 gigs of RAM with a solid-state disk (SSD) or 8 gigs so RAM with an older style hard drive is more than enough.
When you teach online arts you will definitely need to include a visual component in your course. That is why you need a webcamera. If you use a laptop then it probably has an integrated camera.
Due to the poor quality footage I strongly advise against using the built-in webcam for teaching purposes. I suggest taking a look at the Recommended Tools page to find out what type of camera worked the best for me.
When it comes to recording your voice, you should spend some extra money and buy a dedicated microphone. This will result in high-quality audio recordings and will turn any web conference into a pleasure both for you and your students.
You should take a look at the Recommended Tools page to find out my recommendations in terms of audio recording equipment.
Create Training Content
The next step if you are planning on teaching arts online is to create training content.
There are plenty of training content formats you can take advantage of when teaching an online course. When it comes to online visual art classes, the most commonly used formats are:
- Text (eBooks and How-To Guides)
- Graphics (Photos, Instructions, etc.)
- Video (Demonstrations, Animations, etc.)
- Interactive (Gamification, Games, etc.)
- Offline (Assignments)
To learn more about the training content you can use in your online art class, I recommend taking a look at the following article:
ARTICLE: The Ultimate Guide to eLearning Content Types
Tools You Can Use
There are heaps of software you can use to create eLearning training content. Below I have listed the most popular applications that allow you to create and edit different types of materials.
- Google Docs (free)
- EditPad Lite (free)
- Microsoft Word (paid)
- LightShot (free)
- GreenShot (free)
- ScreenShot (free)
- GIMP (free)
- Adobe Photoshop (paid)
- Paint.NET (free)
- OBS Studio (free)
- CamStudio (free)
- Active Presenter (free version/paid version)
- Movie Maker (free)
- OpenShot (free)
- Adobe Premiere (paid)
Host Your Course
After creating your training content it is time to host your course online. At this point, you have two distinct options. Each method features a set of advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you which one you consider being suitable for your requirements.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
A Learning Management System (commonly referred to as LMS) is an online tool that allows educators to deliver and guide their students’ training. The core features of an LMS are:
- User Security
- Content Storage
- Scheduling Events
- Assessment and Tracking
- Teacher-Student Interactivity
- Payment Handling Methods
- And more.
To learn more about the core features of learning management systems I recommend taking a look at the following article:
ARTICLE: What are the features of a Learning Management System?
The most popular LMS are:
Moodle is one of the most popular open-source LMS available worldwide. It can be used without paying for a subscription. You can choose between self-hosting and cloud-based Moodle. The latter involves paying for a hosting service provided by Moodle.
Google Classroom is one of the most popular learning management systems. It is available worldwide and can be successfully used by individual educators, schools, and private training organizations.
Third-Party Teaching Platforms
Online teaching platforms allow educators to offer tutoring services and gain new students without having to pay for additional advertising. This type of hosting enables you to upload the training content and use the teaching tools included in the platforms’ toolkit.
The most popular third-party teaching platforms are:
Each platform features advantages and disadvantages. For example, Skillshare advertises your course for free but you have to literally fight your way to the top of the leaderboard. This happens due to the acerb competition and inflexible schedule. If you are planning on teaching using Skillshare I suggest to take a look at the following article:
ARTICLE: Is Teaching on SkillShare Worth it? Here’s the Truth
Teach Online Classes
After you have got everything set up it is time to teach your online classes. You can do so by meeting your students using a web conference tool. Some of the learning management systems include built-in audio-video capabilities.
For example, if you are planning on teaching using Moodle then you can use the BigBlueButtonBN web conference plugin. Make sure you spend a fair amount of time learning about all the features you can use during the classes.
To learn more about online live classes I suggest taking a look at the following article:
ARTICLE: How To Teach LIVE Online