Friday, April 22, 2011

Taking an online course

I internet-know a lot of amazing people offering their wisdom in online course form. I always thought that sounded completely cool but had no idea what it meant. When I went to school there were no computers, all my classes were in real classrooms where I was surrounded by actual human beings scribbling notes with pens on paper and missing phone messages being left on their answering machines back at the dorms.

But this being the 21st century, things have changed! I shed my fears and signed up for an online class taught by Diane Gilleland. Diane is a crafty powerhouse; not only does she teach online classes, she produces a popular podcast called CraftyPod, has a lovely website, publishes e-books and has written a beautiful book on the art of fabric flower folding.

I follow her on Twitter and knew her to be friendly and encouraging to crafters. So when she offered a 3 week online course on how to make a PodCast, well, I could not resist.

And I am totally thrilled with the results! Even though over 20 people signed up for the course, Diane helped me personally learn my way around the online classroom. Once I signed in I had access to class forums where discussions could be held amongst the students and teacher. The lessons were broken down into manageable sections with each week's lessons released at the beginning of the week. The lessons were multi-media, encompassing videos, audio, and writing with images and diagrams. Also there were checklists and worksheets I could download. Each lesson had a space for discussion and questions. Also Diane was available for questions privately through one-on-one email. The lessons stay up for the duration of the course and for a certain time period after so you can access them at your own pace.

Every Wednesday Diane initiated a group chat on Gmail where we got to socialize and get to know each other a little, plus ask questions and see questions asked we might not have thought of on our own.

I feel like the course was an incredible value for the kind of information imparted and how well it was presented, but especially for the personal attention the online format afforded.

Now I feel like I understand what it takes to produce a podcast AND I now know what a professional online class experience can be like, I'm sold. Thanks Diane!


  1. I wish I had been paying attention at the right time to be able to sign up for this - I've been thinking about podcasting for a while now and would have loved to learn from her.

    Thanks for the review! If she ever offers the class again, I'm not going to hesitate :-)

  2. Yes Lisa! I can totally see you doing a podcast, and you would love the course. I think you can get on an email list to be notified of classes.

  3. WOW! How cool! I have no interest in having a podcast, but I think the online class thing is really cool! I used to enjoy the virtual labs on Etsy. This reminded me that it's been a while since I attended one...if they still exist that is! :-) Thanks for the info.

  4. This explains it. I was curious. The class sounds just right for you. Wonderful to read about how much you enjoyed this new way of learning.

  5. Liz you are so right, everything is done online now from banking to school to weddings! I remember typing papers in college on those DOS based systems.. black screen, green letters... OMG.. Great post. Looks like Chet is trying to enroll in a class too .... LOL

  6. I loved your blog. And I especially love the photo of Chester. Is he writing a book?

  7. Chester looks right at home in front of a computer. :)

    I have taken a couple of online writing courses and they have been well worth the time and effort.