The Latest from CourseStorm

  1. How a Free Course Can Pay Off for Your Programs

    Giving away classes for free may seem counterintuitive. After all, it costs money to bring in instructors, develop a curriculum, provide supplies, and set up spaces where students can learn. Unless you’re running a non-profit (and often even if you are) it might seem like you can’t afford to offer free classes. Then again, maybe you can’t afford not to. 

    Offering a free course, or even just making some seats in a class free, can help promote your programs. When chosen carefully, these freebies can give students a taste of what you have to offer so they’re more likely to enroll in the future. They can also promote goodwill in the community and help you fill your class roster. All these benefits sound valuable, but you might still be skeptical about whether a free course is really worth it. So before we jump into how to make them work for you, let’s take a closer look at how free courses can help you meet enrollment goals.

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  2. 3 Steps to Create Community in Online Classes

    Online learning brings students together across time zones and geography. But it can also leave learners feeling isolated. Without casual interactions and face-to-face communication, learners may not get the support they need to thrive. It’s up to instructors and administrators to help students overcome the digital divide and create community in online classes.

    Doing so is easier said than done. Every instructor has tricks for community building in a classroom, but those methods don’t always translate to an online space. Fortunately, in this case, the problem contains its solution. If you start early and act with intention, technology can help you create community in online classes. We’ve curated the advice from online teaching experts to provide a few ways that you can build community in your programs and classes.

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  3. In-Demand Classes for the Workforce in 2021 and Beyond

    Even if workforce training is your primary focus, the latest labor news might seem confusing. That’s because we’ve entered new territory. The pandemic disrupted many of the patterns we’ve come to expect from the labor market and accelerated an evolution that would normally have taken decades. Business and industry have increased their reliance on technology, shifted priorities, and placed new emphasis on soft skills in the workplace.

    For administrators of workforce training programs, making sense of the headlines is a vital task. We’re here to help. We’ve sifted through the latest workforce news to find the workforce training classes and skills that are in demand for 2021 and beyond. Offering the following classes can help you grow enrollment and empower students to meet personal and professional goals.

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  4. Why You Should Take That Enrichment Class with Someone Special

    The value of an enrichment class is more than the information gained. It’s more than the skills learned. Sometimes the true value of a class is the experience of taking it, especially if you enroll with someone you love. Learning something together can help people connect and strengthen relationships. It can deepen your mutual respect and improve your understanding. In short, though you signed up to learn how to paint, or ride a motorcycle, or do yoga, the real lesson is the one you learn about each other. 

    A few members of the CourseStorm team shared their real-life experience of taking a class with someone they love. Each one of them found opportunities to deepen their relationships and discover something new about their person. Lifelong learning takes on new meaning when you do it together.

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  5. What is the Future of In-Person Enrichment Classes?

    For in-person enrichment programs, the pandemic changed everything. Classrooms, theaters, and workshops fell silent when in-person classes were paused. Organizations scrambled to enable online learning and experimented with HyFlex learning models. Through it all, enrichment programs stayed true to their mission of enriching the lives of children and adults through educational opportunities. 

    Now, as we look forward to a post-pandemic world, leaders are applying lessons learned during the crisis to future-proof their programs. We turned to members of the CourseStorm community to gather their insight on what the future of in-person enrichment may look like.

    All agree that in-person enrichment classes are too valuable to lose, but remote learning can help meet student needs as well. Like improv performers, administrators of community education programs have learned to say, “Yes, and…” As in, “Yes, we will have in-person classes again, and asynchronous, hybrid, and HyFlex learning options, too.” 

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  6. 5 Features You Need for Better Online Registration Forms

    Online class registration forms can do more than gather information. They’re often your first direct communication with a student. You can use this opportunity to share details about the class, better understand student needs, and tap into their insight. In short, well-designed class registration forms set the foundation for a positive student experience. 

    The trick is keeping your forms focused and relevant. Too many questions or too much information all at once might discourage students from registering. This post will show you how to use class-specific questions and customizable forms to both gather and provide valuable information. The best registration forms do these five things:

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  7. Need Better Marketing Content? Ask Your Instructors!

    Here are 4 ways to get contributions from this valuable resource.

    Creating marketing content can feel like a never-ending task, especially if you have a small team. Marketing your classes with fresh and relevant content takes all of your resources. Yet there’s one valuable resource you might be overlooking—your instructors. They might not be marketing professionals, but they do have insight and knowledge that can help improve your marketing content.

    We’ve talked before about how instructors can help attract students by sending emails, making announcements, sharing on social media, and leveraging community connections. Instructors can also offer a unique perspective to help you create marketing content that feels personal and relevant. Here are four ways instructors can help make marketing content that boosts enrollment.

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  8. Easy Marketing Tricks to Help Students Find Your Classes Online

    Students can only register for the classes they know about. To enroll more students, you have to get the word out about your course, but if you’re not a professional marketer, helping students find your classes online might seem like an overwhelming task. The good news is it doesn’t have to be. 

    Terms like algorithm, search engine optimization, and CTR might make your head spin. That’s okay. There’s still plenty you can do to help make your classes more visible online. It starts with thinking like your student. Where do they spend time online? What do they need to know about your course? Which words and images will capture their attention? These tips will help you answer those questions so you can reach your online class registration goals.

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  9. Boosting Class Enrollment with the FOMO

    Your students are busy people. They have jobs to go to, errands to run, and maybe kids, pets, or aging parents to care for. Even if they’re really excited about taking your class, getting them from interested to enrolled isn’t always easy. If you want to move class registration to the top of their to-do list, you need a motivator. Take a page from the retailer’s playbook and start cultivating the FOMO.

    This cutesy acronym stands for a powerful marketing tool—the Fear of Missing Out. It’s the realization that if they don’t act now, they might miss their chance. A few simple adjustments to your marketing messages can put FOMO to work for your class. 

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  10. 7 Tips for Conducting Online Classes That Engage Students

    If you’re accustomed to in-person teaching, conducting online classes can feel like entering a foreign country. The language and customs are different, and you’re not sure how to find your way around. And you’re not just a tourist here. Your students are relying on you to be their guide. To create the best student experience possible, you’ll need to get the lay of the land and find new ways to communicate. 

    Think of this post as your guidebook to this new country. We’ll share some of the must-do activities as well as what to look out for along the way. Put these seven tactics into practice, and you’ll soon be managing online classes like a digital native. 

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