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Online Colledge Experiences

Ray Gravin
So recently I have become interested in continuing my education. My area of interest for study being 3D animation. Im considering a few different options as far as schools are concerned. One of them being an online college.

Now I'm very concerned about the effectiveness of learning through online schooling. Especially in an art related field of learning. The particular course I'm looking at evolves allot of traditional art medium as well as digital. The traditional art instruction is what worries me most. My other options are to move to the other end of the country to go to a specialized school for 3d animation, or to go a few hundred miles upstate to a technical school that offers a program a little less specialized.

Im not going to concern you all with the on campus options to much. I would however like to hear your opinions and experiences with online learning. I'm just afraid that its not going to be credible, or even worse, effective. Don't worry if its not an experience in an art related course of study. I just want to hear some first hand experiences from some real people about online college in general.
You should contact online college for more information. You can never be as effective and organized while studying online, as you could be when you’re with your professors and other students.
Ray Gravin
Yeah thats kinda what I was thinking biljap, I will definatly talk to the administration advisor guy about the program a bit more. Im sure hes going to just sell me whatever it takes to get me to spend my money with there school though. I honestly don't think I have the time for an on campus experience right now though... blah
In pursuit of my bachelor's, I took around a dozen online courses. First, I took them from a community college (where I now teach, by the way), and then from a four-year university.

They vary in quality...a lot.

I had some where the writing was atrocious and I had to battle my way through the content to learn anything. I had others where the teacher essentially typed four paragraphs of content and then said, "Go read the book from page x to page x." On the other hand, I also had some that used the Internet to its fullest, with external links to sites, videos created by the teacher, online practice quizzes, games, and wonderful interactions.

Overall, I think online learning is becoming more standardized in higher education (at least in Colorado, where I am). I'd take those online courses again, if I had a choice.

In my opinion, here's what you have to be in order to get the most out of an online class: You have to (1) be able to write (semi)effectively, (2) be able to self-teach, (3) be able to stay focused (4), and own your own Internet connection and computer.

As for art-related classes...I'd say that it would work with the theoretical underpinnings (art history, theory of media communications, etc), but you really need to be able to bring artwork in progress to a teacher and point to things while you ask questions. I've never found it to work any other way.

My two cents, anyway... Smile
Ray Gravin
I have actually decided to go ahead and take the courses online for the first year at-least. Most of the first year stuff for the program Im going for is pretty simple stuff. Things like Art History and color theory were art is specifically concerned. I think there is one fundamentals of drawing course but that shouldn't be to bad. I am fairly self taught when it comes to my artistic skills. I read somewhere that most artist are self taught, It just helps to have an instructor guide your direction or focus in studies.

So far the first class has been kinda trying for me. Mostly because its an orientation class and consist mainly of class discussion about some very unappealing things. Its just hard for me to retain what I'm reading in the discussion forum and respond to any of it with something worth saying. It has been really comforting though to hear what situations allot of the other students in my class are in. I'm by far not the oldest student in class and most of my peers in the class have had the same scholastic struggles. I'm also very lucky that no one is way above me in there technical skill, except maybe one who is in the same major as me. He has allot more computer skills then I do, mostly in the animation software area.

Seeing as how the program is mostly theory and software based I think that the online approach should be effective enough. The classes are excellerated though so I hope I can make the due dates on the more involved art classes. If I don't feel I'm getting enough out of the art portion of my education here I will just have to make the time to take classes on campus : (
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