Sunday, May 17, 2015

Exploring taking (and teaching) online courses

My latest class assignment
I have just started an online class with the fabulous Jane LaFazio. It’s called “Watercolor Sketchbook: Designs from Life,” and even though it’s only the first week, I’ve learned a lot and had so much fun! The photos in this post are some of the work I’ve done for the class. 

Here is Jane’s description of the class: “Working in a sketchbook, you’ll draw and paint in watercolor from real life subjects. Then from your own drawings, you'll create original designs that could be used in surface design and mixed media.”

Jane is a mixed media artist who works in paper, fabric and fiber. She’s been on “Quilting Arts TV” numerous times, and I took a class from her in person several years ago when she taught in North Carolina. You can learn more about Jane's online courses on her blog here.

another page

The class is delivered in bits, once a week, in the form of videos and PDFs with photos and text. There are exercises and assignments. It is six weeks long, and all the information is available for several weeks after the class officially ends. The cost for the six-week class is $99. 

I’m taking the class partly to explore the idea of teaching online classes. I wanted to check out the platform Jane uses (Ruzuku), and to see what I like, or don’t like, about it. So far, it seems very easy to navigate and to connect with Jane and the other students taking the class.

If I offered online classes, what would you want to take from me?
Here are some ideas I’m considering:
  • Tyvek, Mylar, Lutradur: Explore versatile materials for art quilting
  • Wholecloth painting: Paint on fabric from your original photo
  • Thread sketching: Add detail, texture, and interest to your work with thread
  • Fusible applique: Build a composition from your original photo
  • Needleturn appliqué 101: Get started with this heirloom technique
  • Machine quilting 101: Gain confidence and skill in free-motion machine quilting
  • Photo inspiration: Learn how to use basic design and composition principles to take better photos with a point-and-shoot photo or your smart phone