This is article #3 in the skillshare experiment.  You’ll find the previous article here. You may find further articles of this series by selecting the tag “skillshare-experiment”.

In this experiment, I take a look at the skillshare platform from a newcomer instructor’s point of view. I want to find out how much effort you need to invest to be successful on skillshare, and what the potential rewards can be. In order to do that, I’m documenting my progress as well as the time investment on this blog.


Let’s do a quick recap of last week’s milestone.

Recap and Afterthoughts

Last week’s milestones were

  • Milestone 1: Start your class draft (create a skillshare class)
  • Milestone 2: Creating a class project (and sharing it for discussion)
  • Milestone 3: Creating a project outline and submitting it for review.

Skillshare also asked to participate in the community forums and help fellow course creators. They announced they’d be giving away a $25 amazon giftcard to 5 instructors who left at least 3 comments.  Naturally, I had a go at it, but I didn’t win. It seemed like the ones with the most comments were selected, and I guess that’s ok.

Week 2

I proceeded to create my first lessons before the next milestone was announced, expecting we’d be asked to start video production. I started with a slide based screencast as I was waiting for my brand-new lighting equipment to be delivered before having a go at the talking head videos.
Screenshot 2016-04-17 21.10.19

The slide based video took me about 1.5h to create, resulting in a 5 minute video. In the screencast I showed what the class project result would look like, how to install the software we were going to use and what other resources would be useful for the project.

I hadn’t done any video production in the previous month as I was busy setting up this blog and publishing my course hosting platform guide, so I was struggling a little to get back into the video production workflow. I also was tired after an entire work week, and wasn’t doing so well speaking in front of the camera. I had to redo a lot of attempts because I was making mistakes and cutting out the mistakes proved to be quite a bit of work afterwards. I guess there’s middle ground to be found between always pushing for immediate results and leaving it be when you’re not having a good day and compensation for mistakes will end up being inefficient. I ended up uploading the result, but didn’t ask the community for feedback yet since I wanted to add a talking head video.

Milestone 4 was announced soon after I completed the video, and as expected, Skillshare asked for a sample or introduction video to be uploaded and discussed on the group. Each milestone announcement arrives via email, and looks like this:

Screenshot 2016-04-17 21.06.32

On Saturday morning, my lighting equipment was delivered (just in time, considering Milestone 3 was due on Monday), and after a day “away from the office”, I proceeded to set up my recording studio and then immediately recorded a 1.5 minute talking head video on Saturday evening. This took me about 2h overall, but it’s hard to tell how much of it was actual video production. Due to the new tech involved, there was a lot of trial and error involved. Since studio setup won’t be part of the regular recording process, I’d estimate about 45 minutes for production, including writing and learning a short script. I’m not yet sure whether I like scripted videos or not. When I deliver corporate presentations, I don’t have a script, but a video that’s going online and will be available “forever” needs a higher level of perfection than a talk delivered to a room full of bored executives 😉

Screenshot 2016-04-17 21.09.56

Effort Evaluation

If we extrapolate from the production time of the slide based video, we’d end up with about 7.5 hours of production time to get to the 25 minutes the entire class is going to have. Let’s add a few more hours for administration/communication, and we’re at a long workday to create a complete course. That wouldn’t be so bad.

However, if we use the talking head video as an indicator, we’ll end up with about 12.5h of video production time, and therefore almost 2 workdays for the total project. Although that still doesn’t seem too bad, it’s a considerable difference and I’m anxious to find out which estimate holds up.

The next milestone hasn’t been announced yet, but considering there’s not much time left in the month of April, I expect it’s going to be something along the lines of “push through all your video production within the next week”. We’ll find out soon.

Time Investment so far:

Week 1: 1h30

Week 2: 2h15

Total: 3h45


3dsmallInterested in alternatives to Skillshare? Download my free PDF eBook to 19 online course platforms!