Skillshare’s application process for first-time teachers helps ensure a high-quality learning experience for our member community. Anyone who is looking to teach their first class on Skillshare must apply and be approved by our team in order to publish their first class. This article will guide you through everything you need to know about how the process works and what we look for in applications.
In this article:
- How the Application Process Works
- Tips for Submitting a Stellar Application
- Our Approach to Ensuring Fairness and Equity
How the Application Process Works
Prospective teachers can access our application form at any time by heading to skillshare.com/teach. The form includes a series of ten questions. Many of the questions will ask you to share information about the first class you’d like to teach on Skillshare. While you definitely don’t need to have your first class fully planned out in order to apply, you will need to set aside some time to think through what your class would cover, what you would have students do for the class project, and what some of the key lessons would be. You will also be asked to submit a short sample teaching video.
If you’re new to Skillshare, be sure to check out our article, How Learning on Skillshare Works, for a high-level overview of how Skillshare classes are structured. Our goal through the application is to assess your ability and potential to create a class that is digestible, actionable, accessible, and fulfilling — the core elements that we think make Skillshare classes unique and impactful.
Please note that while the application will require you to present your idea for your first class, it is not a requirement to carry out that exact class concept once you’ve been approved. For example, if a different class topic comes to mind after you’ve already been approved, you’re welcome to shift to that new topic as long as it adheres to our Class Quality Guidelines.
Our team carefully reviews submitted applications, and we’ll aim to get back to you over email within two weeks to let you know whether you have been approved. Once you’ve been approved, you’ll receive access to our class upload tool that will enable you to publish a class at any time. You will also be invited into one of our programs for first-time teachers to support you through the process of creating your first class.
Applicants who are not approved to teach are welcome to apply again in the future.
Tips for Submitting a Stellar Application
Our application will ask you to share information about what you are interested in teaching in your first class, and the experience and approach that you would bring to teaching. You will also be required to submit a short sample teaching video. We want to help set you up for success, so below we’ve compiled helpful tips to keep in mind based on what our team looks for when reviewing applications.
Your Class Topic
The first thing we assess when reviewing your application is whether your class topic is permitted on Skillshare. Head to our article, What categories and topics can I teach on Skillshare?, to learn what we currently accept, and check out the article Class Content & Topic Restrictions to see what is not permitted.
We also want to see that your class topic idea has a clear value proposition for a potential student. Be sure to explain who your class would be geared towards, what impact the class would have on them, and why the topic is important or relevant. Head to our class planning article, Choose Your Class Topic, for more strategies for choosing a great class topic and making sure your class has a clear value proposition.
Your Class Project
We believe in active learning and want to see that your class project idea would encourage students to practice what they are learning in a hands-on way. A great way to ensure your project is hands-on is to think specifically about what students would create and share to the class’s Project Gallery. Be sure to clarify exactly what the final deliverable would be.
Add a bit of extra color to your class project description by including any guiding steps you would give students for completing the project, requirements or constraints that they’d need to consider, or additional elements you’d ask them to include with their final deliverable. Head to our class planning article, Craft Your Class Project, for more tips to keep in mind when brainstorming your class project.
Your Key Lessons
Skillshare classes, on average, include 20-60 minutes of pre-recorded video content, broken down into a series of short 2- to 8-minute videos, which we call lessons.
Your key lessons give us insight into how you organize information. Using bullet points, list out at least 5-7 lessons that are related and sequential. Your lessons should follow a logical progression.
You don’t need to write a whole paragraph to describe each lesson — a sentence or even a descriptive phrase works great, but make sure we can get a clear sense of what you plan to cover.
Head to our class planning article, Outline Your Class, for more tips on how to think about structuring your class around key lessons.
Your Video Sample
You’ll be asked to share a link to a 1-2 minute sample teaching video. In this video, we recommend you speak directly to the camera and touch on:
- Who you are
- The topic you’re planning to teach, and
- What students will do for the class project.
While you don't need to be a video expert to teach on Skillshare, we are looking to get a sense for your ability to record and teach content that meets our minimum standards for audio and video quality.
Make sure your video resolution is clear and that the lighting is bright and even. Be sure to film your video in a 16:9 aspect ratio (horizontal). Make sure your audio is free of distracting background noises, such as hums, fuzziness, crackling, or echoes. Head to our article, Film Your Class, for more tips on capturing high-quality audio and video.
In addition, we’ll be looking to get a sense for your ability to present content in a succinct way. It helps to prepare talking points in advance so that you can stay on message.
We’ll also assess your delivery style — students connect most to teachers who present in a natural and conversational way, almost like they’re talking to a friend. Head to our article, Teach With Confidence, for some helpful tips for getting comfortable on camera.
Lastly, an organized and well-composed background set helps draw students in. Head to our article, Set Up Your Space, for tips on styling your background. Feel free to keep it simple but intentional.
Our Approach to Ensuring Fairness and Equity
At Skillshare, we believe in building a diverse and inclusive community — this applies to our team, our partners, our teachers, and our community at large. Ensuring that teaching on Skillshare remains accessible to people from a wide variety of backgrounds — regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, and economic status — is a top priority.
Here are the steps we take to prevent selection bias and ensure fairness in the application review process:
- We utilize a detailed, content-based scoring rubric so that all applications are assessed against a shared standard by our team.
- We ensure that multiple team members are involved in the review of every submitted application that proposes a permitted class topic before a decision is made to deny the application.
- We maintain ongoing quality assurance processes to ensure applications are being scored appropriately.
- We provide our application review team with ongoing training and close support and supervision.