Drafting Your Class Outline

Filming a Skillshare class is quick and easy when you prepare ahead of time by drafting a class outline. Outlining your class is one of the best ways to ensure your video lessons are well-organized and engaging.  

Use our outline template to map out your video lessons. The most popular classes on Skillshare include 10-25 minutes of total video content, broken down into a series of short 1-5 minute videos. Remember, short classes with bite-sized video lessons create the most accessible and digestible learning experience for your students.

While constructing your outline, you'll need to think about the video format you’ll use for each lesson. Here are some video formats to consider (many teachers use a combination):

Next, sketch out your main talking points for each video lesson. Some teachers prefer to write out a full script for each video, while others are comfortable with detailed bullet points. Whichever method you choose, follow these best practices to ensure your video lessons are organized and engaging: 

  • Set the right expectations. In the first video of your class, start with a quick 10-20 second overview of what your class will cover so that students know what to expect. From there, dive straight into teaching your project or skill so that by the end of your first video, students already feel like they've learned something new! The first video of this class is a great example. 
  • Keep it simple and direct. Stick to one major concept per lesson so that students aren’t overwhelmed with too much information, and reinforce key points by repeating them throughout your lessons.
  • Vary your visuals. Find a balance with your visual style. For example, if you’re using a talking-head format in your video, cut to an image every so often to demonstrate your points. Especially with your first video, which students can view before enrolling in your class, aim to refresh what students are seeing at least every 20-30 sections. As you outline your class, think about where you’ll cut away to example images or slides to illustrate your points.
  • Fill the gaps. The goal of your video lessons is to give students all the skills they need to successfully complete the class project. As you go through your project demonstration, be sure to cover all the necessary steps in the process so that students are fully equipped to get started.
  • Be relatable. Reference examples and anecdotes wherever possible to avoid dry content and keep students engaged. For example, tell students how you got into your field or about a favorite project you’ve done. Don’t be afraid to show your personality!
  • Explain the why. Narrate your creative decisions. Tell students why you make particular choices with your project or use certain techniques so that they can get to know your process and style.

Once you’ve drafted your outline, feel free to email it to our Teacher Support team at teach@skillshare.com, or share it with our teacher community in the Skillshare Teacher Center to get helpful feedback before you launch into filming.

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