I signed up for my first online course today – Drawing at the Sessions Online School of Fine Arts. I have enjoyed the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain classes in NY City, and am eager to expand my skills. While I have sketched on my own, I could use (and would like) additional guidance.
No longer recalling the manner in which I stumbled upon Sessions Online, once there I was immediately interested in a number of their offerings.The instructor, Jordon Schranz, has kindly emailed me several times, and took at look at my prior drawings in order to provide feedback as to which drawing class appeared best suited to my skill level.
I am looking forward to the convenience of an online course and curious to see how it feels to participate long distance, especially as I’m hoping to eventually offer an online course of my own within the year.
Today I spent about an hour going through the Orientation to the School of Fine Arts, which everyone takes prior to starting their first course. This was a text and video based session that covered all the basics of being an online student at Sessions – how to set up My Page, participate in classes, and participate in the online community. Palloff and Pratt, in their book Building Online Communities, write about the importance of establishing an online community for any given course:
We have concluded…that the construction of a learning community…is key to a successful outcome…
I participate in a number of online learning communities and feel quite comfortable doing so knowing that I can carry my own weight in the sharing of ideas. Feeling somewhat a novice with my drawing, I am curious to see just how long it takes me to be an active member of the Sessions online community.
As part of the orientation, I had to upload a file to the dropbox, and chose two drawings from 2005 – Snowy, and a view from an armchair in our living room. Part of the fun in taking this course will be seeing how my drawing evolves over the next three months, which is the duration of the class. The final piece of the orientation was choosing the start date for the class. With just two weeks of classes remaining, and comments to write, I chose June 1st as my starting date, and eagerly anticipate a summer of sketching!