Free tools and rapid best practices

Free tools and rapid best practices

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends


Tisha Parker Kemp
ShiftED Academy Inc.
Founder and Principal

COVID-19 has jarred our way of life and created a fork in the road for business. Have you landed on a well-paved path with continuity plans or hit speedbumps and spike strips?

Roadblocks, although disruptive, can push us to innovate. Among many challenges, bricks and mortar businesses have had to adapt to virtual ways of operating, selling products and services, and connecting with clients.

Perhaps you’ve been forced to move your training programs online, or you’re considering webinars or online courses as a way of marketing or adding a new revenue stream.

If you are navigating these waters, you might be experiencing the same challenges as our clients - they know their stuff. They just don't have the time or mindshare to sort through it all.

Like you, they are smart, driven and could quite likely have figured out their next step. But it got overwhelming.

Some spent hours trying to bring order to the chaos, with little progress. Others struggled with where to start and what to do next.

Being thrust into virtual learning can be bewildering at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic.

Many of us have overloaded cognitive resources. We’re sharing workspaces with play areas, homeschooling and pets.

There’s technology, platforms, methodology, format, adult learning principles, content, budget, timelines, scope and myriad other elements for teaching online.

You have no budget and need to move swiftly into the online learning space? Leverage these free tools and a few best practices for rapid deployment.


Live Sessions: Use Webex; similar to Zoom, it’s free and you can record up to 50-minute sessions and up to 100 participants.

File Sharing: Leverage Google Drive to share links to training content (handouts, guidebooks and videos).

Payments: Put course contents behind a ‘pay’ wall; accept payments on your website and email links to content afterwards.

Screen Recording: Use Loom to record your monitor as you complete an online form or walk through processes.

Best Practices for Live Online Learning Events:

Internet: Make use you have a hard-line connection. If you must use Wi-Fi, reduce the active gamers and Netflix streamers sharing your connection to optimize the quality of your video/audio.

Confidentiality: Remove bulletin boards or white boards from your background. Close applications such as calendar and email to eliminate pop-up notifications, reducing the risk of revealing private information during screen sharing.

Webcams: Position at eye level or above and two feet away. If necessary, raise your laptop or purchase an external webcam for best positioning.

And to create a sense of eye-contact, look at or near your webcam. Place a sticky note with your agenda items just below the webcam to keep you on track, rather than looking down at notes.

Lighting: Ensure a source of light is in front of you – sit facing a window or a lamp with the shade removed.

Timing: Arrive early to ensure your setup is functioning properly and to welcome participants. Start and end on time. Take a few moments at the beginning to orient people with the online meeting functions.

Ask for help: A moderator can manage your technology, monitor the chat box and moderate questions from the audience.

Does the idea of designing, building, and launching an online course – live or on demand – induce both excitement and perplexity?

Sure, you can pay for enterprise-wide learning management systems and e-learning software. But with a little creativity and a know-how attitude, your online learning toolkit may already be full.

Start small, but start. Roadblock? Innovate.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

Stay Connected

Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter and receive important updates on Halifax Chamber events, Member benefits and advocacy news.

Need recovery support?