Hello tutors! Hope you’re being productive and staying home. These are very troubling times but rest assured that we’ll find a way to get through this! As all educational institutions come to a halt, we must find a way to spread knowledge other than the physical means.
Hosting courses on your eLearning platform is excellent, but they lack the interactivity of a classroom. If I want to ask a question to the teacher, I would have to post it in the Q&A forum, and then wait for the teacher to respond. Quite an arduous process if you’re the kind of student that asks a lot of questions!
So, we’ve figured that it’s better to just host a live class with YouTube’s live broadcast feature. To start creating live online lessons, you will need a few tools as well as configuring some of them to your liking. Yes, it might be a bit challenging at first but, if you get the hang of it, it’s easily worth the efforts.
So, let’s take a look at the tools you will need:
- Tutor LMS – For organizing your courses.
- Eligible YouTube Channel – For hosting live videos.
- OBS Studio – For screen record and streaming.
- Facebook groups/Email Chains/BuddyPress – For announcements.
Step 1: Create a Course
To create a course optimized for live classes, first, create the general structure of the course but leave the lesson video links blank. We will add the video links later when we start the live classes on YouTube. The video links are embedded inside the lessons, so for the time being, keep them blank. Add all the other necessary text and image content along with the preview video. For now, you can publish the course so that your students can enroll.
Step 2: Configuring Your YouTube Account
To host live videos, you must have an eligible YouTube channel. This will need you to verify the YouTube account using a valid phone number (usually through an SMS) from your respective country. After that, you can start tinkering with the live video settings by clicking on “Go Live“.
Step 3: Initiate the Stream on YouTube
Let’s give the lesson a relevant name, description, and set the video as Unlisted if you’re creating premium or paid content.
After that, you will be greeted by the live streaming dashboard of YouTube. This is where all the magic happens! Change the latency settings to Low-latency, and copy the Stream key.
Step 4: Basic OBS Studio Configuration
OBS Studio is an open-source streaming software that you can use to stream to YouTube. This application can practically do anything when it comes to live-streaming, and although it might seem difficult at first, you can use the Auto Configuration wizard to go through the basic settings. Make sure you’ve selected “Optimized for streaming” followed by an FPS of “60“.
Then you will have to copy the stream key (probably copied already?) from YouTube Dashboard and paste it in OBS’s Stream Key field. Bitrate is a more nuanced setting and you should do some internet speed tests to find out your stable upload speeds so that your live lesson does not lag during the session. The default bitrate is 2500kbps, and it is fine for most teaching content, but if you have a good internet connection, I recommend going as high as 5000kbps. Then, on the Audio Mixer, make sure both your microphone and desktop audio levels are healthy.
Step 5: Setting the Scene
After that, we need to add at least one source to OBS. A source is what OBS will “see” and broadcast to all your students. To add it, right-click on Sources, or click the “+” icon. Then select Display Capture. This will capture the contents of your whole display.
Step 6: Add the Live Video Link to Your Tutor LMS Course
Click on “Start Streaming” to start the stream, and then check your connection health on both OBS and YouTube Dashboard. If everything looks okay, you’re ready to click “Go Live” on YouTube. After you are live, click on the share icon to find the URL for this live video session. Paste this URL to the corresponding lesson, and then click on update lesson.
Step 7: Give Students Access to Live Chat
Go to the live video link and click on pop-up chat, and then copy the window’s URL. Then paste it in the lessons description and the students will be able to chat with you using this URL.
Now you’re pretty much set to start taking your first live lesson online! Let’s go and fetch all our students for an exciting new frontier.
Step 8: Announce Your Live Lesson
Once you’ve created your live video and are ready to start taking the lesson, you have to let the students know. The easiest way is to use a Facebook group or an Email chain that notifies when you’re live on YouTube. You could also use BuddyPress to schedule or notify the students as well, as Tutor LMS integrates with BuddyPress.
It’s best if you start this whole process at least 15-20 minutes before the schedule to make sure everything works properly.
Starting a live lesson on your Tutor LMS powered site can be a little daunting, but it’s really worth your time. Students will surely appreciate the live experience and thank you for taking these lessons. It becomes so much more effortless to take Q&A sessions with your students as they can quickly ask questions and clear out confusions. So, we really hope you’ll try this out and take live classes with Tutor LMS. Let us know if you have any confusions, and we’ll clear it out ASAP!