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    • #4651
      Laura Berlage

      punching the mandalaLet’s say you have a particular class in mind that you would like to offer online, but it’s bigger than can be covered in a single session.  How might that best be broken into parts?  Here are some helpful things to consider in this process.

      • Consider the logical “bite sized” elements for your course.  For example in tapestry weaving, warping the loom is a pretty big bite on it’s own.  For my beginner level classes, we spend a whole session just on this one multi-step “bite.”
      • Consider logical breaks in the process that leave students with something important to accomplish between sessions.  This may be finishing the amount that you demonstrated during class, or it may be taking what you showed to its conclusion before they need to learn the next step.  For instance, in punch needle rug hooking classes, I may show them how to start punching the border of our design, then we all finish that step as homework before the next session.
      • Consider either a pair of larger concepts or three smaller ones that work well together per session.  For instance, with level-1 wool embroidery, I grouped teached stitches by their function:  straight stitches, filling stitches, and accent stitches.  Each week has a different theme of stitch style, which includes several different types of stitches per style.
      • Consider a reasonable amount of homework between sessions.  In most cases, it should be moderately paced and not an overwhelming amount of work needed between gatherings.  Students still have their busy lives during your class as well.
      • Consider student tolerance for the length of your course.  It is a big ask for students to save 8 weeks, but tapestry students will go for it.  For needle felting students, 2-3 weeks is about the limit.  It’s a different crowd!  Knowing your audience is essential.  In some cases, the host organization will have preferences about course lengths.

      Use these tips as well as your teacher’s intuition about breaking up a course.  Bounce your class structure off allies and see what they think.  are these tips helpful?  What are your questions about class structure?

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