Frequently Asked Questions About Online Classes
Each class is 6 weeks long. Each Wednesday the week's reading and exercises are made available. During the week you work through these on your own schedule then upload a digital photo or scan of the results of the assignments to the classroom. There are forums where you can interact with your classmates and ask the teacher questions whenever you have the time.
At this time, all classes offered are in a 6 week format with a new lesson available each Wednesday for 6 weeks. You will have two weeks from the posting of the last lesson to turn in any assignments. After that point the classrooms will be closed so they can be reset for the next term.
The amount of time needed each week to read the lesson and complete the assignments varies. In general, most people can complete the lessons in 2-3 hours a week. As with any online learning the more time you put into it the more you learn.
You will recieve an e-mail before class starts that gives you the URL for accessing the classroom system. You will then be given a passcode that you will have to enter the first time you enter the class. If you have never taken a class at Designedly, Kristi before you will be asked to sign-up for an account and then you will need to enter the provided passcode. Please be sure you have an spam filters set to accept e-mail from the designedlykristi.com domain. Designedly, Kristi is not responible for classes missed to undeliverability of e-mail.
The advantage of on-line classes is that it has an asynchronous format. You may access the classes at any time of day (barring occassional hardware upgrades of the server that may take place in the middle of the night, US time). This allows you to take a class that fits your schedule and allows students from all around the world to interact! It is recommended that you log in at some point on Wednesdays to check out the lesson right away, but that is up to you.
The classes are in PDF format and need to be downloaded. The largest file in any of the classes is roughly 1 Mb. If you are able to handle files of that size over your dial-up connection you are fine. It may take as long as 20 minutes to download. All lessons are also available in plain text format that can definitely be downloaded, though that is not the recommended format since it does not include any graphics.
To test if your connection can handle a 1 Mb file, you may download this test file.
You may still take the classes even if you do not have access to a digital camera or scanner. It is preferred if you can describe what you did to fulfill the assignment in detail. There are also scanners for your use available by the hour at places like Kinko's and the employees there can help you use them, or you can get regular 35-mm film developed and get a CD of your photos if you wish. Some public libraries now also have scanners that can be used by patrons.
You should recieve an e-mail roughly 5 days before the official beginning of the course explaining how to access the classroom. Be sure that you have any spam filters set to accept any e-mail from the designedlykristi.com domain. Designedly, Kristi is not responsible for missed classes due to undeliverability of e-mail.
The start dates for 2005 are as follows:
Most ISPs currently offer spam or bulk mail filtering for their customers. This is both a good thing and bad thing. If class has started already and you have not gotten an e-mail with the information on how to access the classrooms check your spam and bulk mail filters. Be sure you have all filtering set to accept all e-mails coming from the designedlykristi.com domain (often done by putting *@designedlykristi.com in some form).
If your e-mail is accessed through a web site such as MSN, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail or others, often just putting an e-mail address into your address book will unblock any incoming mail from that address. So, add classes@designedlykristiNO.SPAMcom (minus the NO and SPAM) to your contact list.
If the above steps have been taken and class starts the next day or has already started, then try to contact me. If mail from designedlykristi.com is being blocked from reaching your inbox, I can't reply to your e-mails and be assured that it is being delivered. So please go through the above steps before contacting me.
If none of these tactics appear to be working you will need to contact your ISP or e-mail provider for assitance.
For the most part, there are no prerequisites for the courses. You do need to be familiar with the Internet and how to use on-line forums. If you plan to share images of your completed assignments you also need to know how to use your scanner or digital camera. Walking you through basic Internet processes or how to use your scanner or digital camera are beyond the topics of the courses and it is expected that you know how to do so already.
If you are not comfortable with such things, Eclectic Academy offers some great low-cost classes that should help you get more comfortable with such things.
You may take as many classes in one term as you wish. It is strongly recommended that you take only one class at a time so that you do not get overwhelmed and fall behind. I especially encourage first time DK students to take only one to make sure all the technology works and such.
Classes are put on hiatus for a variety of reasons. Often it is because the class is part of a series of related classes or that the class has been offered for a long time and the enrollment numbers are often low. By offering it only a few times each year there are usually slightly larger classes.
If the rotation schedule of a class does not fit your schedule, a class can be opened up to enrollment during a term that it is normally on hiatus if you can put together a group of at least 7 people who are willing to sign up for the course. This can be a great way for people from one online community to learn and get to know each other better. To set this up, please send an e-mail to enroll AT designedlykristi DOT com with the names and e-mail addresses of those committed to taking the course.
Classes are repeated roughly every two months. With the exception of the bookbinding courses (which alternate terms) and the printmaking class which is offered in the spring and fall, all classes are currently slated to be offered each term. For 2005, this is mid-January, mid-March, mid-May, mid-July, early September, and early November.
I'm part of a yahoogroup or other online art community and we are interested in taking one of your courses, do you offer specials or can you teach the classes just to our group?
I can teach specific courses to a select group of people from an on-line community such as a yahoogroup, livejournal community or other forums. There is a minimum enrollment of 10 students for private, closed classrooms. If you have 20 people commited to enrolling I offer a discount.
The classes are still taught in my classroom system, but enrollment is only open to those in your art group so it remains a private and safe place to learn and exchange ideas and share your assignments etc. With special arrangements, the classes can also be taught through a yahoogroup set up specifically for those from your community who have paid the enrollment fee.
For more information on setting up a special class offering for your art community, just send an e-mail to enroll AT designedlykristi DOT com with the specifics of number of people currently interested, whether you want the class taught through yahoogroups or my web site, the rough dates you would like it to be offered and any questions you have.
Sorry, credit card purchase outside of PayPal are not available at this time. We are working on providing that service soon. According to PayPal you are supposed to be able to use a credit card to make payment without creating a PayPal account.
In the meantime, if you are uncomfortable using PayPal, personal checks drawn on a US bank are accepted, though you will not gain access to the class until the check has cleared (which can take up to two weeks).
To enroll in courses and pay by check, please go through the checkout process and choose "Check." Then send your check to Designedly, Kristi, PO Box 2163, Fort Collins, CO 80522-2163. To ensure you get access to the class before the term starts be sure to mail the check 2-3 weeks before the term starts as access is not permitted until the check has cleared the bank. All personal checks MUST BE DRAWN ON A US BANK and made out to Kristi Schueler.
There are NO refunds for classes and absolutely NO exceptions for classes that have already begun. I do understand that things happen, such as illness or death in the family or computer malfunctions. For extenuating circumstances, I will remit a gift certificate for the amount of your class enrollment so that you may take the class at another date. Or, you may choose to have the class lessons sent to you on CD to work through at yor own pace. There is a fee for this option to cover production and shipping costs.
The class I signed up for is too basic for my current knowledge, can I transfer to a different class?
The class descriptions clearly indicate the level of knowledge in the course. Should you decide after the class has become to switch to a different class you can do so if you pay any differences in the fees. There will also be an additional $5 fee to do so to cover the extra adminstration work that is required to make that switch. Should the class you wish to transfer to cost less, any extra money beyond the $5 fee will be refunded in the form of a gift certificate that is good for any future class in the following 12 months.
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This page was last modified on 17.07.2005