Author Topic: Teaching online classes as a side business  (Read 6068 times)

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: Boston-ish, MA
    • Nest Egg Chick
Teaching online classes as a side business
« on: March 12, 2015, 09:39:36 PM »
I'd love to hear from people who've taught online classes. I'd like to teach something but I don't have a web site with a large following already, so I need to go through something like skillshare.com. I'm wondering:

1) Which sites should I look at?
2) What has your experience been with the different sites you mentioned in #1?
3) How much have you earned from this? I know everyone is different, I'm just looking for a range so I have some idea of what to expect.
4) Anything else you'd like to share! I'm open to ideas, I'd love to hear what you think, etc.

Thanks!!

lovesasa

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Age: 29
  • Location: The Wild Wild West
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 02:45:45 AM »
Sorry I don't have much to contribute, mostly posting so I can follow this.

What subject(s) would you be teaching?

I've heard of people making extra money teaching English online, but I'm not sure what sites they use. Maybe Dave's ESL Cafe for starters if that sounds appealing (mostly listings for teaching abroad, but it might have some online stuff).

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5319
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2015, 02:51:54 PM »
You need at least a master's degree to teach online at a university.  The private colleges pay bad but some of the public ones pay very well. There is an online group that talks about how to get hired, etc (if memory is not failing) I think you could google Babb group & teaching online & find it.

Lis

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2015, 09:33:45 PM »
Depending on what you're teaching and how saturated the market is, take a look at udemy.com. I know the site takes some of the cut, but they have a large enough following.

Or go simple and post videos on YouTube. I learned Microsoft Access from a great set of YouTube videos. I know he had a site you could download templates and worksheets from but I never checked that out. For the quality of the videos I was happy to sit through the commercials.

NinetyFour

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6255
  • Location: Southwestern US
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2015, 09:27:09 AM »
Following...

Retired To Win

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1494
  • Age: 71
  • Location: Virginia
  • making the most of my time and my money
    • Retired To Win
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2015, 11:10:02 AM »
Do a google search for online course providers.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran onto a blog site whose author was offering several personal finance and business-startup courses through a 3rd party website that specialized in doing so.  Course prices ran between $100 and $300.  Sorry, but I can't seem to find that website again.

But they are out there.

Good luck.

Joan-eh?

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: Toronto
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2015, 12:09:22 PM »
I have taught online and face to face. Online is twice as much work, in my experience.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5319
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2015, 01:18:18 PM »
I don't find online teaching to be more work at all. I also like the freedom it gives you to do it from anywhere in the world.

NoWorries

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2015, 02:05:19 PM »
Following

budgetjones

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2015, 08:21:40 AM »
Why not write your own courses? I plan on developing and offering them on my wordpress blog using http://www.learndash.com/. I'll start with quickbooks as I teach this already. Then you could offer a large-ish cut to affiliates who have a bigger audiences to help you market them.

spokey doke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 513
  • Escaped from the ivory tower basement
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2015, 08:40:35 AM »
Still don't know what you plan to teach - cooking, poetry, calculus?

If it is academic, I think that you need to look at places that provide credit towards degrees to make any money (and as others mention, that can really vary).  It seems that at most universities there is constant pressure there to take more and more of the curriculum online.  You'd be looking at an adjunct faculty position.

I'd look at the discussion fora on the Chronicle of Higher Education website...

4n6

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 70
  • Age: 45
    • Reaching Our Balance
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2015, 04:29:41 PM »
I teach online and face to face as well. I find that online does require more work, but if you aren't going to teach at a university/college (you need certain credentials to do so). I would figure out what you could teach that would translate to something to learn online. You might want to teach a community education course first. See how that goes and then transpose those items to the web.

Joan-eh?

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: Toronto
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2015, 05:51:10 PM »
I don't find online teaching to be more work at all. I also like the freedom it gives you to do it from anywhere in the world.

What's your secret?? I get bogged down with the discussion boards (reading and responding, and summarizing and asking further provoking questions - in a nutshell  trying to facilitate knowledge building) . I'd love to know how you manage that!  My face to face are half the work. (university courses/graduate level)

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4805
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2015, 07:22:56 PM »
I teach online and face to face, and I write the online courses I teach. Online is not necessarily a whole lot more work once the courses are done, but it's not less, and the timing of the work is far less predictable. Courses go best when you work your ass off the first two weeks - doing that buys some time later in the semester. Knowing the LMS inside and out helps, too, so you can use rubrics, intelligent agents, etc. Also helps to teach the same course a few times until you get a good sense of what works well and what doesn't.


Writing and teaching a new online course for the first time is five or six times the work of developing and teaching a new face to face course.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5319
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2015, 12:10:12 PM »
The first semester it was very time consuming. Now I teach the same class 2x's a year and am in my 5th semester teaching it so really have it down pat. I also have saved everything so just can copy & paste. I do a weekly message every week & I just tweak it if I need to. I never let myself get behind & check the messages, etc frequently, etc.  I have gotten exceptional evals from the students every semester.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: Boston-ish, MA
    • Nest Egg Chick
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2015, 09:11:37 PM »
Thank you all so much for responding! I'm sorry I disappeared. The response notifications went to my spam folder, so I assumed no one had responded, but in this forum, I really should have known better!

I should have been more clear. I guess since online college classes weren't an option when I was in school, it didn't occur to me that it was an option now. I'm not looking to do that, nor am I qualified to do that. I'd like to teach a personal finance course to start (and maybe others in the future) on a site such as skillshare.com. I don't have a blog with a big following, so I feel that using a site like this would help me to build an audience. But is it worthwhile? What other sites are out there to teach a course of this style?

Thank you all so much for your responses! It's interesting to hear about the workload you've all experienced. I thought the biggest amount of work would be upfront, in planning and recording the lessons, but it sounds like for some of you, handling questions and such is also time consuming.

Retired To Win

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1494
  • Age: 71
  • Location: Virginia
  • making the most of my time and my money
    • Retired To Win
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2015, 06:01:34 AM »
... I don't have a blog with a big following, so I feel that using a site like this would help me to build an audience. But is it worthwhile? What other sites are out there to teach a course of this style?...

How would you establish your bonafides with a forum audience like this one?  How would you motivate someone to spend money on your offering?

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: Boston-ish, MA
    • Nest Egg Chick
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2015, 06:21:27 PM »
How would you establish your bonafides with a forum audience like this one?  How would you motivate someone to spend money on your offering?

Since they'd be paying a monthly fee for unlimited classes already, I think it's a matter of making my class appealing enough to be worth their time. As for establishing bonafides, I'm still figuring that out.

TheBuddha

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 237
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2015, 01:58:48 AM »
I know this thread is 7 months old, but has anyone had any financial success teaching a class at Udemy?

I'm writing an ebook about a specific blue-collar topic that I'm knowledgeable about, and I just stumbled across Udemy and realized my topic could lend itself to that format (moreso than a book, in fact).

From what I gather online, there are at least some course instructors who make decent money.


FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 953
  • Age: 42
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2015, 07:37:16 AM »
I did this years ago (2008) for TalkBean (looks like they're still around).  It was actually pretty great.  At the time (again, 2008) I think they were just starting, and I got paid $20 an hour to be available, whether or not I had a student.  I did 4 hour shifts every day, and probably taught for about half the time.  I suspect the business model has changed.

It was very little work (in terms of prep / grading) because the classes were mostly conversation classes with Korean office workers.  They'd get to their desk 30 minutes early and we'd chat.  I'd prepare a couple of PPT slides of conversation topics / questions / vocab words, but these were very reusable w/ other students.

To be clear, though, I'm an ESL / EFL teacher by trade.  Prior to getting this job, I'd taught for 6 years overseas and 2.5 in the US, and I had an MA.  Incidentally, if you've got qualifications like that, another great online side gig is rating TOEFL exams.  Again, it's about $20 per hour (or was in 2008) and requires no prep or grading.  I'm not looking for extra income right now, but if I was (or when I want to go to PT work) that is the first thing I'll look into.

TheBuddha

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 237
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2015, 09:46:06 AM »
To be clear, though, I'm an ESL / EFL teacher by trade.  Prior to getting this job, I'd taught for 6 years overseas and 2.5 in the US, and I had an MA.  Incidentally, if you've got qualifications like that, another great online side gig is rating TOEFL exams.  Again, it's about $20 per hour (or was in 2008) and requires no prep or grading.  I'm not looking for extra income right now, but if I was (or when I want to go to PT work) that is the first thing I'll look into.

Interesting, thanks. Both my parents are ESL teachers, but are semi-retired and may be looking for extra income. I'll tell them about it.

elaine amj

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2946
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Teaching online classes as a side business
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2015, 10:16:28 AM »
I did this years ago (2008) for TalkBean (looks like they're still around).  It was actually pretty great.  At the time (again, 2008) I think they were just starting, and I got paid $20 an hour to be available, whether or not I had a student.  I did 4 hour shifts every day, and probably taught for about half the time.  I suspect the business model has changed.

It was very little work (in terms of prep / grading) because the classes were mostly conversation classes with Korean office workers.  They'd get to their desk 30 minutes early and we'd chat.  I'd prepare a couple of PPT slides of conversation topics / questions / vocab words, but these were very reusable w/ other students.

To be clear, though, I'm an ESL / EFL teacher by trade.  Prior to getting this job, I'd taught for 6 years overseas and 2.5 in the US, and I had an MA.  Incidentally, if you've got qualifications like that, another great online side gig is rating TOEFL exams.  Again, it's about $20 per hour (or was in 2008) and requires no prep or grading.  I'm not looking for extra income right now, but if I was (or when I want to go to PT work) that is the first thing I'll look into.

That is interesting. i know some people with ESL qualifications and a side gig like that would be helpful.

DH used to teach an online course at a private college. They paid peanuts - $1000 for a semester...but it was good for a side gig to get experience and to add to his resume (he landed it just after he got his Masters). They are still asking him to come back but he is teaching full time at a local college now and apparently it's a conflict of interest. It's a pity - it took a lot of time to develop the course, but after he taught it a couple of times, it was pretty easy and not much of a time suck.

Good to hear that public colleges pay more for online courses. We hope he can move into this later as a side gig/partial retirement and with his current full-time work at a local public college...that should help when it comes to applying for those adjunct positions.