FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What is an 'online workshop' ?
This is a short format course. Lectures are given everyday, generally over the course of one to three weeks.
For example, for the Spring Break 07, the Figure Workshop runs for two weeks. 5 days a week. You will recieve lectures for each of the 10 days. For each day there is approximately 2+ hours of instruction. Students should watch the lectures and do the homework that very same day. This will ensure that they are ready to build upon this learning experiance on the following day.
As a result, these workshops are considered to be very focused. You can expect to learn a lot in a very short time. This should please of you who are in a hurry to get better.
How does an online course work?
This is unlike a traditional course, where everyone meets in a physical classroom.
These courses are mostly asynchronous. This means that the teachers give their lectures at a different time and location from where and when the students will be viewing them.
As a result, we use various technology to allow the teachers and students to interact.
Tools like: Forums, Chatrooms, Instant Messaging, Text Critiques, Audio Critiques and Video Critiques and so on. Different teachers will likely prefer certain tools to others, so expect a bit of variation between courses.
What is the teaching format?
The lectures are prerecorded. They are accessible each week of the term through the FormLanguage website. Also, many of the homework critiques may be prerecorded and made available in the same manner to the students.
Note: Each teacher works in a different way. Some may use slide shows, others may navigate the web or our site. But most will use some sort of 'visual prerecorded solution'.
Is there homework?
Yep, Homework assignments are given. You post your homework online. The teacher can see your work and give you feedback as appropriate.
Can I get a degree?
As we are not an accredited institution, these courses do not help you get a degree. They are simply here for your learning pleasure.
What if I want to talk to the teacher?
You can ask questions of the teacher using the forum or by other preferred methods of the instructor. Generally, you can ask these questions at any time during the week and the teacher can get back to you as soon as possible.
We like this solution because it is so much more immediate than the 'old way' of waiting until the classtime rolls around each week to talk to the teacher.
Some teachers may set up synchronous meetings from time to time, like using whiteboard technology for visuals and IM for video/audio. For this, you would need to have a webcam and a headset. Some teachers may require it.
More on this later...
How long are the courses?
The courses vary in length. At this point, we are offering 2,7 and 14 week courses.
Why do the courses have different lengths?
Various reasons, some of which are:
- The quantity of content can suggest the length.
- The course may be an overview of a given subject.
-The course may be an optional expansion of
- The teacher may prefer a certain length.
- Online courses take a lot of work to develop. Some short-format courses may eventually be lengthened if the instructor decides to expand the content.
Why is the member fee seperate from the course fees?
We know that not everyone has time or desire to take courses, but that they still want to keep learning 'in their own way' or 'at their own speed'. As such, we are committed to developing quality content that is available to any member, even if they are not in a class. This 'community content' takes as much time, effort, and experience to create as the coursework does, and as such has value that we believe is worth paying for. We hope that you agree. We also believe that the 'monthly membership fee' is extremely reasonable, given the quality of the 'offered content'. As the site grows, we expect to offer more and more content for all members to enjoy and grow with. Members, keep an eye on the 'news' section of the site. We will keep you posted whenever we offer new stuff.
We are also committed to the idea of 'continuing education'. We hope that after you have taken a course, you will want to 'know more' and we want to provide that 'more' to you and the other members of the site.
What new classes are coming up?
Alias 1 and 2 (Jan '08)
Maya for Sculptors (Sep '07)
Viscom 3 (materials rendering) (Sep '07)
Perspective (Jan '08)
Entertainment Design Workflow (May '08)
The above courses are being developed. The dates are 'projected start dates'. They may change. Let us know if there is a course that you would like us to teach.
Courses and Descriptions
More Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org