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Online Class

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Old 08-08-2001, 12:03 PM
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Online Class

By Amanda K. Jones on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 01:07 pm:

Hi Doug,

I was wondering if you considered offering some type of class on your site? Granted I know you probably wouldn't have time to be the instructor yourself but perhaps you could find some kind soul who would be interested in teaching one? Surely anyone looking to build up some credibility would be interested. Maybe just a class for the basics, to get beginners up to speed. I suppose it would be difficult though, with everyone using different programs and all. Oh well, just a thought. (Might be a way to make some money?)


By Doug Nelson on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 08:36 pm:

I've nothing against money

But I really have no experience with online classes. What's the difference between a class, a tutorial, and what we're doing here?

Details, (wo)man, I need details!

By Farron McAdams on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 09:46 pm:

Hi Doug,

If you'd like to peek at what IMHO is a wonderful online class set-up, go to:

You have more than a few diehard LVS students lurking around your site.

Farron McAdams
(aka a confirmed LVS addict :-))

By Amanda K. Jones on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 10:54 pm:

Oh--you wanted details . . . : )

Well, as you know, people learn best using different methods. Some people learn best by reading books, some people learn best by watching videos, and some people learn best in a structured class environment (among other methods). My idea for the class would be tailored to those kind of people who learn best in a classroom environment. i.e. an instructor says, "learn this by doing this."

This forum has a lot of the classroom atmosphere, where people ask questions and get feedback but people are all working on different projects. (although I suppose the Challenges make a liar out of me). In a classroom everyone would be working on accomplishing the same goal and learning the same techniques.

My original thinking was to have a class that would introduce beginning concepts and restoration techniques to a "newbie." Plus it's fun to learn along side others--makes you feel more comfortable. And when you finish a class there is always a feeling of accomplishment.

Hope that makes somewhat sense


By Doug Nelson on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 12:48 am:

Let me mull it over...maybe I should take an online course and see what it's all about. I'm still a bit fuzzy on how the whole thing might work.

In the meantime, give me 100 sentences and stay after class

By Doug Nelson on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 01:11 am:

Has anybody else taken online classes? How do they work? Do you meet every night in a chat program? Are tests given online? Is this an integrated software teaching application thing, or do they just email and chat?

By Farron McAdams on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 09:12 am:

Hi Doug,

I have been in some classes that have exams (usually if there is CEU credit offered) and some that do not have them.

My experience has been that there are weekly assignments given (usually with a deadline to submit for review such as, assignment comes out on Saturday and is due in by the following Fri/Sat).

There are message boards where students, instructors and instructor asst's check for SOS'es, make comments and review work.

The feel here is very similiar. The classes are just a bit more structured and they charge varying fees for participation. In one spot where I have taken several, the fee is $15 for a 4 week term and you can take up to 3 classes for that fee ( Those are basically peer mentored. In another, it is $12/per class for a 6-week term ($20 if it is your first term, then you go to return student discount). These are instructor led (

I also see that Smart Planet has reinstated it's classes in some form, but I have not tried that one yet.

Hummm, a retouch class here would be WONDERFUL...and a challenge to put together as you have people using different software to accomplish the same goals.

Hope that helps...and here's hoping that some of my classmates who are lurking around retouchPRO post their thoughts as well (HINT..HINT, ladies! )


By Amanda K. Jones on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 11:50 am:

Hi Doug,

My experiences with online classes has been limited to those offered by the HTML Writer's Guild. They sound similar to the ones that Farron mentioned. There is an online forum where the instructors post lectures, assignments, and students can post questions, talk to each other, etc. I'm finishing the Photoshop Level I course offered by the Guild right now. How this works is that every week students post their assignments on a web site of their own. For example, you can see where I've posted my assignment for the final project of the class here. This is basically how the students "hand-in" their assignments. The instructors go to the individual web sites (which the students post links to in the forum) to check out the assignments and download any necessary files. Of course, one needs web space and basic knowledge of how to make a web page to do this.

There is usually no set time for meeting, that is the beauty of it. : ) You just go to the forum and see what's new and work on the assignments whenever you have time.

I would highly recommend taking a class from the HTML Writer's Guild as they are usually highly interactive--but you can investigate others too. The link for classes offered there is In fact, the Web Site Promotion class sounds right up your alley! : )



By Sharon Johnston on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 12:37 pm:

Hi Doug,

To add to what the others have said, you might want to check out You can get a good idea on the set-up for a Restoration class by viewing their free PS Basic Course.


By paulette conlan on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 03:48 pm:

I followed along with some classes on this site and got some good information.I really didn't participate but just printed out the information. The url is http://www.barnesandnobleuniversity....t/containHome2;jsessionid=aaagkOno6UuRsM?pid=50106
The instructor on one of them was actually one of the authors of a books recommended and got back to me quickly on a question I had. As far as having online classes on this site,maybe it could be more along the line of " restoration technique of the week" where a particular problem could be addressed. I like the idea that this site is focused.

By Ann Jordana on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 06:26 pm:

Hi Doug,
I think it would be terrific if you pursued this "challenge" of authoring an online class for photo restorations etc. As a newbie to your site and to the world of digital graphics and the various software programs, I would definitely welcome such a class. I believe the fact that your classes would be "not program specific" would be a marked advantage from what I have seen on the web so far. It appears to me that the generic/universal terms used by PSP, PS and PhotoImpact would enable all to learn the technics one should employ in "doing the job"! I also recognize this would be a major committment on your part.
The courses at LVSonline have been extremely rewarding for me and loads of fun and it appears that the course educators are having fun as well.


By Alan Rubin on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 09:36 pm:

Hi All,

I had been taken online courses at SmartPlanet, formerly ZDU, for about three years. It was my first experience with anything online, including chat groups. The classes and their related forums were limited to SP students and they did not suffer from the normal ills that are typical of most of the chats out there.

Most of the classes were for four weeks with a fifth to finish things up. There was a required text for each class, some of which were developed for SP and others which were commercially available books. I took courses in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, Web Site Design, Digital Photography, Scanning and related areas.

The major problem that most of us had was to complete everything within the time period. Until they changed many of their policies, SP allowed members to repeat courses. Most of us had other outside pressures on our time, which is also the case in this forum.

The feel of this forum is much like the classes in that people are very supportive of each other regardless of their skill level. There is also the same willingness to do research for others.

The biggest attraction of the classes for me was the interaction among the students. The course work was a good structure to follow, but the students drove some of the best classes. Their various backgrounds and levels of expertise were just the best that I have encountered to date. I am always comparing other classes to the SP experience.

Now, what should Doug do with this forum? Just what he is doing now! It is too new to tinker with it every few days. Time will answer many of questions of what people want from the site.

I like that this site offers many examples for us to work on and to critique. Allowing these to remain up for a long time avoids the problem of the four or six week course time restraint. I do not have the time to do much right now, but that will change once the air conditioning season is over. I sell them in NYC and right now I"m just trying to keep up with the messages.

I do not think that Doug should be considering running classes right now. He might want to look into some arrangements with sites that do offer courses, but he is right to consider taking some courses to get a feel of what it is like.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I like the concept of posting our own work, particularly ones that we are having problems with. Rather than have formal classes, maybe Doug could attract experts to support and complement our forums. These could be individuals who either teach the subjects or are very advanced. Doug, I could make some inquiries for you, but we should discuss this by email.

I would be willing to pay a sensible monthly fee if it meant that we could attract the caliber of people that I mentioned above. I think that this might actually cost less than paying for each individual course. Most, if not all, of my instructors in ZDU/SmartPlant had non-compete agreements. However, they were not prevented from participating in discussion forums.

These are some of my thoughts. I hope that they serve as a catalyst for many more and better ideas.


By Ed Ladendorf on Wednesday, August 08, 2001 - 10:23 am:

Well, I'm all for learning in a relaxed atmosphere. Online classes have some appeal, but for me, cost considerations are a must. People who are making a business of restorations, or are working full time might not have those same restrictions, and also might be able to use the cost as business related expenses. I'm not saying that I wouldn't be willing to pay a small fee for online courses, such as Farron mentioned. In fact I find those prices appealing. It's just that those $100.00 at a shot courses are out of the question for me.

In the meantime, I would like to see others load some photos such as Kathleen did, and ask for help on them. That one was a good learning tool for me. Of course, I appreciate the fact that this type of photo is made available, and I also appreciate the responses that make the learning possible.

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