A real-time course event like a Google Hangout or a Twitter Q&A, or a live video stream is a great tool for bringing your course to life and reaching new learners.
An expert could even do a Reddit AmA (ask me anything) to promote your course.
Live events can allow learners to take part (on camera or sending in questions) getting to ‘meet’ educators and other learners all over the world. Even learners who can’t join in at the time, it can be a rewarding experience and strengthen the sense of community watching the video afterwards.
1. We recommend live streaming on YouTube. Note that YouTube may not be available in every region or network. We recommend it because it is widely used even so.
- Users watch the video on YouTube, and can post in the chat alongside the video. Once the live stream ends, the video is then automatically archived on YouTube for watching later. To prepare consult: Live stream on YouTube, streaming tips and YouTube Live's FAQs.
2. Publicise the event well in advance
- Create a step in your course that contains all the necessary information. Suggested copy.
- Schedule a one-off additional email to remind learners that your event is coming up. Include a link to your video stream step in your additional emails before the live stream, but please do also reassure your learners that, if they can't take part, it won't count against them on the course. Don't link directly to the (YouTube) event page in case you need to change this before the event goes live.
- Do not use weekly emails for time-specific information such as this. Weekly emails are sent relative to when a learner starts a course.
- Tie in your event with a topical event or global occasion. If your video stream could have an audience beyond the learners on your course, think about where else it could be publicised.
3. Give learners the opportunity to submit questions in advance
- Provide a method that does not require a YouTube account i.e. within a step of the course or via your course hashtag on Twitter.
- Learners will be able to submit text comments next to your stream if live chat is enabled.
4. Give your event a meaningful title and description
If you plan a live video stream goes live, unless it is 'unlisted', it will be seen by other (YouTube) users!
- Include a link back to the course on FutureLearn.
- Most people don't know what a 'MOOC' is, dont use this acronym, use 'open online course'
5. Once the video is complete
- Make sure that the link to the video works correctly on your in-course step/email(s).
- Update any copy in the step to make it clear that the event is now over.
Terminology on this page that you aren’t familiar with? Check out our glossary.