I believe the information below is very valid. (I have emailed you off
list with other info so won't talk about the pay issue here.)
I thought I might add something about Camtasia/ Captivate. They work on
Windows, but I don't think this is available for Macintosh. I didn't
ask you before what platform you would develop your class. But if using
Macintosh Snapz records demos that can be saved as movies to use in
your course. This is also a shareware program and you can download a
demo version of the software.
Our department got a grant for a program called Macromedia Breeze. This
is too expensive for an individual, but if the business or school can
get this for you or you can get a grant for it, it is great for setting
up live online meetings and demos with students. You can record your
meetings which can be played back. If you want to learn more about it
http://www.adobe.com/resources/breeze/ (Adobe bought out Macromedia.) I
understand you can get a 30 day demo of this too and try it out.
As far as setting up an online class, the college I teach at uses
"Blackboard" an online course management tool where students log in,
and get course materials. Within Blackboard is an area students have
passive Discussion Board, another area instructors can use a
white-board and have multiple students signed in at the same time to
share in a live discussion, a grade book, calendars, and other tools
for students to use, assignments area, instructor information area,
etc. You can go to the "Blackboard site" where I believe you can try it
out and see how it works.
Just some more info that might be useful to you as you learn about
First off, I want to congratulate you on all your efforts and research
on trying to make this happen. I also want to express concern for your
price, but I also want to share empathy. Could you give us some
feedback on how/why you ended up choosing this company? Is it because
you didn't have enough "buy in" or "support" from your boss or the
community area? I think the main struggle we have to think about is
often if there is no $$$ behind the work right away people won't jump
to do it.
My proposal would be this. If there is anyway you can create the first
module/lesson without any "backing" and have a model that you can
"sell" you might be able to get a more reasonable rate for your future
models. That way you could go after a variety of different sources,
colleges, art foundations, etc. The better your sample is at the
beginning the more interest you will get and the price will raise.
As for your original question, I have some suggestions. Are you
familiar with Camtasia or Captivate? If so, I would definitely
consider this as a form of teaching your classes to students. What the
program does is actually records your computer movements so you can
demonstrate a method or example in real time. You can download the
trial for free for 30 days if you can make some things in a crunch. If
you already familiar with this product kudos!
I also posted an article on a previous thread about encouraging
students to play and explore the software instead of dictating. This
is how you draw a line, this is how you make a gradient, this is how
you make a layer. Everything changes so quickly it is hard to make a
lesson that will stay current for a year much less two years. Specific
instructions on how to use tools in the software could be supplements
but the projects would be more exploratory. What do you think?
I would also encourage a chat room where you can have meeting with
your students and they can post drafts or status of work. Then you
could very easily by creating a free blog for critiques. The students
send you the work, you post it and they are required to leave
feedback. It is also a great way to send out assignments as well. All
they have to do is "subscribe" to the blog (they will know what this
is trust me, h.s. kids all use blogs such as=myspace) and they will
get notified by email when you posted something. You as the blog
creator will get an email whenever a new comment is left. This would
be great way to get kids to connect from other regions of the world.
Plus, the thing is kids love attention. They will always be checking
that site for new stuff, so they can leave a comment, or read a
comment about their project, see what new things you have to say....
I might think of something else later....but its Friday, and I think
my brain shut off for the weekend.
Interactive Multimedia Artist
Continuing Medical Education
Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
P.S. Don't take any of my suggestions if you are selling it for $500 a