Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Class Started

You’re probably getting tired of my blogging about my online class, so I’ll keep this short--but it has started!

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s called Kiss Me or Kill Me: Cozy Mystery Writing 101 for Romance Writers.

So far, I’ve posted only my introduction and the first lesson, which is about what a cozy mystery is and how it compares with other fiction genres. My first assignment was for class members to introduce themselves--their backgrounds and what, if anything, they’ve already written.

Some class members are already prolific writers and have sold. Others are hoping to learn enough from the class to organize their ideas and start, or continue, writing.

Quite a few, to my surprise and delight, are from Australia! It turns out that another class member who’s a friend of mine from one of the local Romance Writers of America chapters just returned from an extended visit to the Land Down Under, and she’d joined the RWA chapter there. She passed along the information about classes to her new friends, and some were interested enough to sign up.

I started out by individually answering everyone’s response to the assignment, then realized that I was probably clogging up a lot of email boxes. But there are so many interesting backgrounds that I wanted to get to know everyone! I’ll reserve that now to giving input to the next class assignments.

Have you ever taken an online class? What did you like, or dislike, about it? Even though I’ve written most of my classes, there’s still time to edit them!


Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Actually I bailed out (is that right?) of my last online class. I just couldn't keep up--and the emails of short messages clogged my inbox. Sigh. I felt like a loser!

Linda O. Johnston said...

That's the reason I stopped responding to everyone's introduction, Joanna--my welcomes weren't important to teaching anything. I hope things go smoothly when I respond to posts on more substantive assignments.

Camille Minichino said...

I've been teaching an online science class for more than 10 years.

I find students really appreciate being "called" by name, and having individual comments. The university uses educational software, so the postings don't go into a person's regular email. Also I never have more than 25 in a class.

Big hit: I've done 2- or 3-minute audios where I talk to them and post as mp3 files -- they really love that. I use it to clear up a point, for example, if the homework has been tricky.

Betty Hechtman said...

I have taken two online classes that come to mind. In both of them, I found it hard to keep up. It's very easy to put off reading the lessons.

I know it probably makes me sound like a dinosaur, but online classes just don't come close to in person classes.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Camille. I hadn't imagined the large turnout I've gotten or perhaps I would have put a limit on the number of students. I just hope I can respond enough so that everyone enjoys it.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I've mostly copied the online classes I've taken, Betty, so I could review them at my leisure rather than worrying about keeping up. Maybe that's what some of my students will do, too. I do like face-to-face but I also get a kick out of having several students in Australia!

Betty Hechtman said...

You brought up a good point, Linda. Online classes can be attended by people thousands of miles apart.

I like Camille's ideas about calling students by name and leaving audio emais.

Kathleen Chrisman said...

I've taught several online classes, all in the how-to craft field. Those classes are done a little differently because they require many photos. The lessons are usually posted on a website or as a downloadable pdf file. Often the students print the lessons and actually do the work later. Some do follow along and ask questions. I think it depends on their available time.

I am taking your online class and am very happy with the postings so far. I'm enjoying getting to know the other students.

I think all of the students are excited to be learning from someone who has actually published cozies. they may not have the opportunity to take such a class in person.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I love the idea of audio portions of a class but won't be doing so in this one, Betty. But the long-distance teaching continues to intrigue me.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I'm dismal at posting photos, Kathleen, but fortunately won't have to with this class. I'm delighted to have you as a student and hope you continue to enjoy it!