Online Classes – why do them?

Shirley left a good comment the other day – she hasn’t enjoyed any of the online courses she has taken and didn’t complete them, so clearly online classes are not for everyone.

So – why do them?

The reasons I have done them so far are as follows:

1. Most local workshops are on Saturdays around here and I have the kids at home and find it difficult to get to them. This is the main reason.

2. I don’t have to lug lots of supplies plus sewing machine around!

3. The types of courses I do aren’t offered around here.

I think they’re a boon if you are housebound or live miles from anywhere or have family commitments. You can do them a bit at a time, don’t have the distraction of other people chatting while you’re trying to work, you print out the extensive notes and have them for posterity or until the dog chews them…. In these cases they are a lot better than nothing.

They can take a bit of getting used to, it usually requires more discipline to get down to work, and of course you don’t have the stimulation of other people to talk to and bounce things off in quite the same immediate way as you do at a workshop. And, especially for creativity classes or ones requiring the tutor’s critique or special help, it is more difficult to have the same sort of attention. Although presumably you can – I know the City & Guilds courses would require this sort of attention and people do find them to work. I’m going to feature C&G courses in the next few days so if anyone has any experience of this, please comment freely!

So – comments please!! Do you agree? Any more points to consider??

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8 Responses to Online Classes – why do them?

  1. MargaretR May 3, 2006 at 3:51 pm #

    Even though I have almost finished my 2 courses and have been slacking. I do agree they are a very good idea for the reasons you mentioned. I will get down to letting you know what I think of mine when I have recovered from my Chester outing.
    One thing comes to mind. Maybe shorter online classes would be better, say 6 lessons? I have been feeling the same thing with my RR book. There were 16 of us and I felt quite tired by the end.

  2. Shirley Goodwin May 3, 2006 at 8:03 pm #

    Just to expand on what I said Yesterday, Liz – I did a whole business studies diploma by distance learning (4 years), so I agree with all your reasons. The classes I took at QU were all quite different – two were design classes, the other making something. In particular, I just couldn’t connect with how the design teachers worked, and what they did I found confusing and uninteresting. Obviously, my brain designs in a completely different way.

  3. Anonymous May 4, 2006 at 12:46 pm #

    Your series about online classes is most interesting. I have been tossing around the idea of taking one because, although there are many quilters and classes in my area, most are very traditional. I am looking for something a bit more in the area of art quilting. It is interesting to read the comments with other peoples’ experiences in online classes. I look forward to the rest of your series. Thanks.

  4. joyce May 4, 2006 at 12:48 pm #

    Sorry, I forgot to fill in my name before sending the last commen.

  5. Valeri May 4, 2006 at 3:09 pm #

    I have to agree with Shirley especially with regard to Quilt University. I found that the subject matter was very boring and didn’t really teach me anything I didn’t already know. Half way through my server packed up and I couldn’t access the lessons except at work so I couldn’t get to the forums. I could still get email but the tutor didn’t email me once to see if I was coping in a difficult situation even though I had mentioned the problem! Other courses I’ve taken have been on another page to the one I’m on so it could be me! However educational courses have been really good….that is long year plus courses. It is very true when they say ‘horses for courses’….I’m obviously the wrong kind of horse! Grin!

  6. MargaretR May 4, 2006 at 7:42 pm #

    My course with Maggie Grey is fantastic and she is a wonderful tutor. Her comments on the work are so helpful and detailed. She really did help to build up my confidence with her remarks. I seemed to loose all my umph and found everything creative hard going for the last couple of years, but I hurry to say it was no fault of the course.
    My course with Rosemary Muntus was a Computer Textile course. She is a very clever lady, maybe the follow up here was not as good or as regular as the other course, but good enough for me to have paid for a second course with her. The reason for not continuing are exactly the same as before. Maybe doing 2 long online courses was too much for me and that is why I seemed to burn myself out for a time. I feel a lot more creative now so I may finish Maggie’s course first as she has given me until June to finish. I’m not sure she is doing these online courses any more.
    I shall then finish Rosemary M’s course.

    I hope these comments are useful Liz?

  7. Jill Smith May 4, 2006 at 8:14 pm #

    I have done 6 City and Guilds course in the UK plus the teaching one so as l am disabled and cannot walk very well and need some income as now what help you get has gone so far down in the last 6 years l had to think how l could earn to get some paid help to survive, l was married in 1999 and my husband died in 2002 so there were no savings or anything.
    My courses have one difference there taken when the student wants to take them and to finish in the same way so there is no pressure and as l am always using the pc l am around a lot for giving help as Liz knows l rang a group for 5 years and every week l did a free workshop and would give advice freely. I was once told that you have to be brave to do distance classes as the person isn’t in front of you and the teacher isn’t but l hope l have overcome this and l just want to help others to learn what l have and my two part course is the same as the City and Guilds part one and two but a lot easier to take and a lot of extra’s and also a lot cheaper.
    I needed to answer as first it was a shock as l was just reading Liz’s blog and second some times l don’t tell people about myslf but l needed to give the other side of the coin why some have to teach things just to live.
    Jill Smith

  8. Micki May 6, 2006 at 5:43 am #

    I have taken a few courses from QU to learn some of the more arty techniques as there is nothing near me for learning these things. Granted it’s not like being in an actual class with other people to interact with, but they do have the forum for discussion, and frankly the prices are more within my budget.