Monday, December 12, 2011

Class Review: Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party

ATC's Inspired by Prompt 6 in Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party class: Printables. These are for the element ATC swap and feature element 64 gadolinium, which is used in MRI's and the green phosphorous in color TV's.
I'm having such a hard time trying to review this class. On one hand, I really got a lot out of it (learning some new techniques and revisiting old ones to complete lots of pages), and I found it to be a good value for the money.  On the other hand, I ended up vaguely dissatisfied at the end of it.  Perhaps I would summarize my feelings this way - it was a great class until it wasn't anymore. 
The class was scheduled to run from Oct. 17 until Nov. 25 - with 25 prompts plus some videos and other goodies - all for only $18 U.S.  The problem is that somewhere along the line, the flow of the class fell apart.  Near the end of the class, Shimelle hosted an online party which was open to the class participants, as well as other blog subscribers.  The online party also had a strong Christmas focus as Shimelle was gearing up for her Journal Your Christmas class.  For me, this led to a great deal of confusion about what to do and when the class was actually over.  And then, Shimelle had a bit of a personal issue (finding herself having to move living quarters on short notice) and JYC started up. The upshot of all this was that class participants received the final class prompt yesterday (on Dec. 11).  It contained a bonus pdf booklet of sketches and access to another class (both for free!).  The whole experience ended up being very disjointed, in my opinion.
I loved the first 20 or so prompts. I found them inspirational and informational.  And well worth the price of the class.  If it had ended there, I would have given the class a solid A or A-.   But, as a result of the confusion, I would give it a lower grade. The confusion frustrated me because I like organized, linear classes. I like to start a class, try hard to keep up and then finish it and call it done. 
So, overall, I think I would give the class a B or B-.  But I wonder if I'm being too harsh. I know a lot of you took the class, and I'm interested in what you think? Am I being too harsh? Did you experience it differently? And, for those of you who didn't take the class, I have a different question. When reviewing a class, how much weight should be given to the price of a class? Should a free or inexpensive class be judged differently than a more pricey class? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

11 comments:

Sian said...

Interesting. I didn't take the class, so can't comment on it. But I do think that free classes should be "fit for purpose" - I don't like mediocrity I guess is what I'm saying.

helena said...

I agree with Sian about any class being 'fit for purpose'. I find a review useful if it addresses the content and then separately says something about value for money.

I didn't take the class but would also have been annoyed by confusion and disorganisation - I stopped taking Jessica S classes because I was frustrated with prompts arriving late and the plan of the class changing.

Jane said...

I took the class and although I agree the end got a bit confusing and didn't really finish, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Shimelle always puts a lot of work into her classes and I feel I have only scraped the surface of this one.I plan to look back over it in the new year.

Karen said...

I took the class, but didn't try to keep up since I was away for a good part of it. I know I'll return to the prompts as I did read them as they came in. I think value does figure in when evaluating a class, and Shimelle's always rate highly there. There's no way I could personally complain about the disjointed end to the class, since I was more off than on. I did get two layouts done before our life got crazed, and I loved both of them. I'm putting scrapbooking back up on the top of the list for 2012.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

So sorry to hear that Shimelle's recent class fizzled out on you, Rinda. Your question about judging a class differently if it's free is interesting. Having just finished CJ's free 12-Days-of-Christmas class I remember thinking that I wished she had given more ongoing feedback along the way...then remembered it was a free class and maybe that's why she was a bit absent. All in all, I got more value out of that free class than I have with any other for a while. I suppose a lot of it has to do with the personal expectation of the student, eh?

scrappyjacky said...

I think you're being a little hard here,Rinda.....I loved this class and thought it was great value.....I completed my holiday album and lots of cards....all based on the prompts...learned loads of new techniques....and still have prompts I haven't even done.....all for £8!!
I think maybe the problem was that Shimelle did this class a bit too close to JYC which is why it seemed to almost merge in with it at the end.....it would have been better to start it a couple of weeks earlier.
I think value for money is important....a free class should still be 'fit for purpose'....but the fact that it's free or very cheap should be taken into account when evaluating it. If someone is charging you for a course.....then it should be worth what you're paying....and I tend to think Shimelle's are worth far more than she charges.
My one criticism of the 'She Art' class was that you only had 3 months access to the materials.....and then had to pay more for another 6 months access.....the extra cost should have given you lifetime access at the very least!!

Fiona said...

Didnt take this class so can't really comment on it. I agree a free class should still be 'fit for purpose' but would probably be a bit more critical of a class depending on how much it cost.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I judge on content & then ask myself if I would feel differently had I paid more or less for it. I expect less content for less money, but I expect the same level of organization no matter how much stuff is offered. Lessons should arrive on time, feedback should arrive in the time frame & manner it was promised, no matter if it is free or $100. I've had some great free classes, including one on retouching old photos & some bad pricy software instruction classes and the big thing to me is delivering what you promised, as you promised.

Alison said...

I agree with Jacky...the class may have been better coming not-quite-so-close to JYC, but on the whole I thought it was well worth the money and still have quite a few of the prompts to go back to
Alison xx

Melissa said...

I really enjoyed the Pretty Paper Party, even though I didn't complete it all. I was inspired when it started (& had time) and was able to complete quite a few layouts and try some new techniques. Then life got busy and I was only able to read through the prompts and save them for a better time.

It didn't bother me that it was disjoined because I'm not always able to keep up with a class. I like the fact that we have forever access and I can go back and be inspired again later on.

Pricewise, I think Shimelle's classes are always a great value. I enjoyed the extra bonuses that she gave out (the free class access & sketches, etc).

Jimjams said...

I didn't do PPP - but from an outsider's POV it looked absolutely excellent (to start with). The fact that it fizzled out and got caught up in the JYC prep & marketing would have annoyed me - giving a feeling of having my ££ taken and now having to chase for the goods.
WRT a free class - it should deliver what it promised - if critique was offered for uploads by midday, it should be critique and not a general pat on the back days later; if 12 daily prompts are offered, 12 should be delivered at more or less the same time. After all free classes are a way of generating a market and a buzz for future classes!