Creative Ideas for Student Engagement

Many seasoned teachers have found creative ways for engaging with their students and followers on Skillshare. Check out some of their ideas below!

Collaborate with Other Teachers

Plenty of teachers teach similar topics on Skillshare — including Top Teachers Brooke Glaser and Gia Graham, who both teach a class on finding your illustration style. Rather than compete, Glaser and Graham interviewed each other on their teaching and practice, and posted the videos of each conversation in their respective classes. The interviews were a great way to differentiate the value proposition for each class and encourage students to enroll in both.

Create Learning Opportunities from Student Questions

Building a class around solving a problem is a no-brainer: students want to understand how an expert approaches a problem, which is why narrating your creative decisions is so key to your class lessons. Common questions, whether they are in your classes or on your social channels, can be an indicator that it’s a problem students are seeking a detailed explanation for! Consider ways you can leverage student questions into your teaching — and engage those students too. Some examples:

  • A student in one of Top Teacher Ana Marcu’s classes posted a project that presented an unusual design problem at her home: how to turn a bedroom into a shared office and art studio. Instead of just offering some suggestions in her project feedback, Ana created an entire class about it to show how she would approach the problem: Create a Personalized Workspace: Studio Interior Design for Artists.
  • In response to some students who asked about the best approach to simplifying a complex scene for a travel sketch, Amy Stewart encouraged students to send her a photo of their scene and she’d draw it for them, adding her commentary. Amy chose to engage with her students in her class’s discussion board (see it for yourself: Travel Sketching in Amsterdam with Quick & Vibrant Color) but another solution would be to create a video lesson so your narration can be captured in real time.
Keep in mind that you must have the right to display all content included in your class; if you’re using student work, please ensure you have the student’s permission to display it first. Read more in our article, Intellectual Property Guidelines for Skillshare Teachers.

Incentivize Sharing

In addition to giving thoughtful and constructive feedback on projects, offering an incentive is another great way to prompt students to upload their class projects. One idea is to encourage students to also share their projects on Instagram and tag you (or use a designated hashtag) so that you can feature their work on your Instagram channel. Bonus: not only does the student get a shout-out from you, your class gets extra visibility from their audience!

Add Bonus Content

You can add individual lesson videos or resources to a class after it has been published to re-engage your students and add value to your class. Start a conversation on your class Discussions page to let your students know to come back and watch!

Left: In Top Teacher Mimi Chao’s class, Mindful Growth: Learn a Transformational Approach to a Fulfilling Creative Life, she added some bonus content that provides an introduction to meditation and even a guided meditation. Right: Teacher Charles Cornell invited teacher Thomas Frank to join his music improvisation class, Intro to Improvisation - Fundamentals for Creating Music on the Spot for a bonus video. This long-form, interview-style video plays on the dynamic between a beginner and an expert.