I'm interested in trying an online course and would love to hear experiences of others who have tried this option. I'm interested in comments on any online courses but also intersted if any BEGINNERS have taken any City & Guilds or School of Stitched Textiles online courses. Thanks for sharing any insights you can offer.
I have taught and taken a few online classes. You have to be motivated and have to have the time to do follow it through to the end. Make sure you carve out some time every day or a chunk of time each week to work on the assignment. You should also take advantage of the forum that is made available to you. If there is no forum or discussion available, then I would not do it. I would also see if there is a gallery available so you could see examples. You also want to check the availability of the instructor. Some online instructors are better than others and are better at answering questions. Some online courses have their written information available only during the course so make sure you get all the information you need during that time even if you decide you want to do it later or you will lose that information (you have paid for it afterall). I save the written information on a jump drive or print it out so I have it for later in case I fall behind or I don't have the time.
I have taken an online quilting class and several technique classes (mixed media). I also did a journaling class. I didn't finish the journaling one because that isn't really my thing. That is the good thing about an online class, too, If you discover that you really don't like it, you have the information for later on in case you want to go back later and revisit it.
The one online class I did take that I remember the most was on design theory. It was okay, not great, but it got me motivated to learn more about it on my own. I did a lot more research because I had a bit more foundation. I actually had a clue what I was doing and it has helped me tremendously in terms of what I do not in my artwork. Just wanted to add that in.
Belinda aka crazyartgirl
Check out Quilt University. I have taken a couple of their online classes and recommend them. Many others on my various internet lists also recommend them. <wwwQuiltUniversity.com> Their dean is Carol Miller. They have a monthly online newsletter . Betty in Colorado
I have taken 5 classes at QuiltUniversity.com. It's terrific! They post new lessons every friday so you can begin working on your new homework that weekend. Most classes run from 3 to 6 weeks. They have a forum where you can post questions and interact with other students which is very helpful. Most of the lessons are in written format with photos and an occasional video but not much video. I thought at first that it would be frustrating not seeing an actual video all the time but the classes I have taken have all been very informative and successful at teaching me a new technique. I highly recommend it and their prices are hard to beat!
Sally- I would encourage you to take an online class. I have taken several at Quilt University, and enjoyed each one very much. I like the discussion area, and felt I learned a great deal. The biggest plus to me is the convenience of working in my own sewing room so that all materials were within reach... no toting supplies, or forgetting them! By the time my classes were done, I had the equivalent of a book on each of the subjects and believe that it was a good value for the money spent.
I've also taken classes at Joggles.com, and again found them to be well worth it. I like that the classes vary in length of time, but all are relatively short term and manageable within the timeframe.
The other approach to learning something new that I enjoyed was via an online book study. It was the Stitch Alchemy study group on Yahoo. Each participant purchased the book, and then our leader Belinda established a course outline. We read and studied a section of the book, and then shared the results of our work along with questions and tips for each other. Very helpful, and a good way to meet like-minded folks. We also held several swaps which were fun.
Let us know what you decide. Nancy
I love taking online courses. I've been doing it for years and have explored everything from classes given by individual artists to video classes. Some classes and teachers are great, others not so much. I took a with artist Paulette Insall on creating organic backgrounds, which it turned out I didn't really need but enjoyed so much that I later took the companion class, Painting Faces and really enjoyed that.
I've taken a lot of classes with Joggles.com and have been, for the vast majority of them, very happy and satisfied with my experience. I've also used LQuilt, which offers videos of various quilting, sewing and surface design techniques. I'm a very visual learner, so videos are particularly helpful for me (note for fairness: I have something of a vested interest in promoting LQuilt- I host one of their discussion forums). PDF-based classes can be fun or disastrous, depending on the instructor, students participating, and back-up support (are there forums? an email list?)
I say if a class sounds like fun, go for it- but you have to put yourself and your time into it to make it worthwhile! :D Have fun and let us know what you chose!
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I have taken several online classes, too (though no textile classes), and have had an overwhelmingly positive experience.
For me, the big issues in online classes are accountability and keeping up. Because of that, I probably would do better with hands-on classes for most topics, but I still feel as though I've gotten what I paid for in each of the classes I've taken.
My advice would be to start small. Pick a class that isn't very expensive and has a short running time to see if you enjoy the experience!
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