Monday, June 6, 2016

Meaningful Journaling Class...really! One of these days...and a question

Hi all...I'd appreciate your thoughts on this!  I WILL be working on the class on Meaningful Journaling again...I got sidetracked by life and other considerations, and now I find I have a question. 

I've recently taken a couple of online classes that were almost exclusively videos.  Mine are usually heavily PDF, with video supplements, these days (though I didn't used to include videos in my early classes, if you've taken those.)

I much prefer the format I use even when I'm TAKING a class, for various reasons.  Here are a few of them:

I don't want to spend that much time in front of the computer. 

I can only watch videos right here, not out on the deck or in my shed or on the go.  If I print a PDF, I can take with.

My attention wanders when a video takes too long (for me, that appears to be anything over 10 minutes, usually.)

I like to be able to easily refer back to a section or a detail or a particular point.

I like clickable links, which videos don't have.

I like good clear visuals/illustrations that are easy to find again.

I like to be able to underline or make notes, if I've printed out a lesson.

Videos often feel so slooooooooow...and I tend to scroll ahead.

When I want to review something in a video, it's harder to find again than when I simply turn a page.

There are more reasons, I'm sure, just not bringing them to mind at the moment.

So what are your thoughts?

My current classes are here, by the way:


  1. Kate -- I have limited internet access -- so I can only watch videos before 8 am ... I like the videos -- but the slower pace of PDFs is wonderful for me ....

  2. My thoughts are like yours: I like to have a PDF with short videos for all the reasons that you named. And I have another argument: It's easier for me to read the lessons than only to see the videos because I'm not a native speaker. Written lessons, I can re-read in my own tempo, while in the videos, many teachers speak too fast, too indistinctly.

  3. I like the combination of videos and PDFs. Many of my eclasses (and I have been your student in the past) have been exactly that combo with the videos being DOWNLOADABLE. I really like this feature because I have a small TV in my studio that I can pop a DVD into! With watercolor, it is so important to SEE what is going much water is sloshed on the page...working the brush and a PDF cannot capture this type of action! I'd much rather watch a video rather than take the time to have to plow through paragraphs and pages of detail that can be captured in a single moment of video!

    I love your get right down to the action without a lot of fidgeting and fussing.

  4. I like the combination of written lessons (PDFs, emails, etc.) with videos.

    I do listen to a lot of podcasts. I listen to videos more than I actually watch videos. The combination of written and printable words in a worksheet with videos works wonders for me when I am taking an online class.

    Group phone/video calls help, too, depending on the topic. A Facebook secret group is huge easy way to share, ask questions, and "hang out" with other people in the same class.

  5. Let's face it, we are VISUAL artists, with a need for the feel of PAPER! The computer seems frivolous and sometimes distracting to me as well... I want to take my lessons to my happy, creative place as well! That's not to say the occasional video (like your tiny palette one) aren't fabulous from time to time. But GIVE ME PAPER! xoxo

  6. I haven't had the opportunity to take your classes but the ones I have taken so far have both off and videos. I watch most of the videos "on the go" if they are downloadable so I can watch on my lunch break at work (these are downloadable videos to keep that I import to iTunes to work on my phone) but I have had occasion to go back to a video on my laptop to see a detail bigger than my phone can handle or to the odd if I don't remember what step came next. Some of the videos I've seen will speed through part of it, especially if it is a technique repetition over and over. But this is your course, you do what you are comfortable doing!

  7. I like both videos and pdf's....videos are vital to my visual learning style, but it's also great to have the written pages, since it's so fast to skim over them when looking for some particular point.
    Last year, I took Roz Stendhal's online bookbinding class with some trepidation, since I really would love to take a class in person one day. However, I did find that being able to go back over the videos as often as needed was a huge plus. It freed me from trying to madly take notes instead of really watching what she's doing.

  8. I usually don't care too much for videos but I will confess that I have watched your Sketchbook Skool videos over and over and over. I took the course because I'd enjoyed your books so much and done a couple of your classes with PDFs.

    I enjoyed both a lot. Your videos are different than other peoples, with more feeling like a cosy visit with a friend. Your personality is so homey and you make the students feel we can do it, too. I like how practical and ordinary you are in the nicest kind of way, as if you're a friend from next door sharing tips and confidence. Your authenticity is very winning.

    I remember you saying that you're an introvert, so is it possible that you prefer not being in front of the camera?

    I enjoy your PDFs and books, but I also liked your videos. Regardless of how you present the material, I'm sure people will continue to purchase them because of the practical, friendly way you teach.

  9. I agree with you on this Cathy. Much easier.

  10. I believe that I've read that there are different 'learning styles', I can't remember many details, but that could be the reason that videos work for some and not for others. Myself, I am a total visual learner, I learn most easily by watching people do things. And, yes its true that many videos are slow and boring, but I feel the same about reading long PDFs. I don't think there is a right or best way, we just have our different preferences. I do think its important that whomever is teaching the class - you in this case - feels comfortable with the format, otherwise its might be too difficult or uncomfortable and the class will not happen at all.

  11. I do like videos - but you are right some are long winded and boring, so I feel it is best to have 'essentials only' in videos. That said the same applies to PDF. I wouldn't want to read 20 pages of ramblings, as I would rather be drawing!

  12. I learn primarily by reading. I have to see something in print to retain it. That being said, videos can definitely be helpful for demonstrating a techniques or process. I'm like you, Cathy, in that I get bored with the slowness of some videos. And the music on them can be distracting and annoying, too. A combination of PDFs and videos of ten minutes or less would be ideal for me.

  13. I think videos are a vital part of how I learn. You Tube and especially classes have become my entertainment BUT I also simply need to take notes. It helps me remember. I must actually see the process like Dottie above said. Those little things like how you hold the brush, how much water, etc. LOVE the printed part so I can write. I have found that I make a handmade journal for each class, then write the process as part of the journaling next to each page with the painting. That is the best way for me and I refer back over and over. I LOVE your painting and your chatter. I could listen to you for much longer but that is the way the world turns - each person has their own best way. One thing we all agree upon is your style is wonderful and I just hope you can continue for a long time!

  14. I like videos the best. The perfect format is to have videos AND some still shots in pdf.

  15. I agree if the video is too long or meandering I lose interest and then have to watch it again. So maybe more videos but shorter. The pdf's are good as well.

  16. Agree with you completely. Videos are helpful in places (to see something demonstrated. However PDFs last longer and are portable!

  17. I'm with you in loving PDF's that I can print out, take into my studio and reread when I am trying out lessons. But, I will say this, you are marvelous to watch! Any video or DVD is so instructive! I always learn so much watching you! So I guess I would favor PDF with clickable links to some videos!

  18. Hi, Kate. I’m a great one for note-taking and probably learn best through the written word. But I also find video supplements invaluable for understanding technique, especially with watercolor, where things like ratios and timing and brushwork can be difficult to get across on the page alone. For example, watercolor mixes are often described in terms of cream, milk, tea, honey, juice, water, butter, etc. I know what those consistencies look like in everyday use, of course, but it wasn’t until I saw the variations demonstrated with watercolor that the whole thing clicked for me.

    I don’t think you mentioned them, but I do not have the patience for podcasts. I find being attached to a device of some sort listening to someone talk quite boring. I usually end up doing something else while I’m listening, but quickly find myself tuning out the speaker and focusing instead on what I’m doing. So short videos that supplement the written material are most enjoyable for me.

    A Meaningful Journaling class sounds wonderful. I wish you all the best with it!

  19. I think having both is the best, but if I had to choose I'd have to pick video because I am a visual learner. I like to watch somebody while listening to them explain how and why they are doing what they are doing. You are so good at that!

    I had tried to learn bookbinding over the years--bought books and nothing seemed clear to me. You tube came along and I could watch somebody doing coptic stitch and it was like a light bulb popped over my head. Same thing with trying to learn watercoloring from books--was like something was missing for me. I may use paper for notes--but they are just clues for me to remember what I actually saw. We each learn differently, I guess. :)

  20. I prefer the pdfs. I have an old laptop and it doesn't like video unless I sweet talk it for hours. I also don't like E-books. I need the actual book in my hand. Just a Luddite I guess.

  21. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all your feedback! As I work on the class this summer, I will be keeping this all in mind and try to give you what you need, as much as possible--thank you so much, all.


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