I just finished up the Amy Tan class, "Collect and Create," offered at Two Peas. While trying to compose this review of the class, I found myself contemplating why I take online classes because the answer to that will often determine how satisfied I am with a class. Sometimes I take classes because I want to learn a new skill or new technique. This is often the case with photography, Photoshop or art journaling classes. Sometimes I take classes because I want to complete a project. Many of Shimelle's classes (like Journal Your Christmas, Learn Something New, or I Confess) fit into this category. Other times I take a class because I am looking for inspiration. I usually do this when I have a project in mind that I want to complete, and I just need a jump start (Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party or Worth a Thousand Words are examples of this).
When it comes to "Collect and Create," I was mainly looking for inspiration (I won the class in a give-away from Ali Edwards' blog). When I read the description, I thought it would provide me with some good ideas to scrap my backlog of vacation and family pictures from 2011. The class had five lessons: each lesson had a PDF (about 20 pages) and a short to very short video (5-10 minutes). The lessons covered using scraps; using favorites; scrapping memorabilia; inspiration; and putting it all together. On the whole, the materials were very thin. As an experienced scrapper, I did not encounter any new techniques (the videos on cutting page protectors for memorabilia and creating a background with mists were the best). Several minutes of the videos were simply Amy Tan flipping through Japanese image books or her Project Life Album. Reading through the PDF's, I came up with a list of inspiration ideas which I did use. I discussed many of them in my post yesterday, and I would say that the layout up top today came from the "putting it all together" lesson. But there wasn't anything really new on the list of challenges, and the ideas weren't presented with any real depth. Frankly, I think I would have gotten as many ideas by going back through the challenges from Shimelle's last on-line crop. So, on the whole, I did not get much out of the class.
I do think the class may be more helpful to a new scrapper or to someone with a different style. Many of the page examples fall into the category of creating a page that uses A LOT of embellishments and patterned paper to create a stunning back drop for a single picture. Although these pages are beautiful to look at and certainly a valid style of scrapping, it is most definitely NOT my style of scrapbooking. Perhaps if it were, the class would have been more satisfying.
Finally, let's talk about cost. For me, it was free. But the class is priced at $25, which I think is generally about right for an inspiration class. I think I'm willing to pay more for a technique/skills class or a project class. However, given the limited content in the class, I think the $25 price tag is too high.
Overall, I would give the class a C+. That's just my opinion, and I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else who took the class.
I would also be interested in your thoughts on why you take a class and whether that affects how much you're willing to pay for it.