March 12th, 2012 / 7:32 pm
Haut or not

point oh

I’m in the early stages of developing an online CW class. I’m thinking an intro class. Anyone taken one? Advantages? Entanglements? I wouldn’t mind hearing some anecdotes. Was it synchronous or asynchronous? Did it matter to you? Face-time versus online time—what IS the difference, to you? What can ‘physical’ time offer online could never? What can online offer over physical?

I’m asking big picture questions here, sure. As I said, I’m in the early stages. One key aspect of early stages: Do I want to do this? I feel it could be innovative and high quality, but I could be wrong. I haven’t taken or taught an online CW class. You?

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  1. Frank Tas, the Raptor

       I feel like Google+ could be a great tool in something like this.


      A dude with no CW course experience

  2. Joseph Goosey

      Just give them a link to Action, Yes and drink all day.

  3. Douglas Haddow

      “What can ‘physical’ time offer online could never?”

      A premise that makes it slightly more plausible that you aren’t being defrauded.

  4. Anonymous

      I took an online writing course. Asynchronously. I did the first lesson and then later that week I had an attack of hysteria, or maybe I mean conversion syndrome, which was also a non-hysterical repetitive stress injury caused by 10-hour days at a miserable computer-industry job. I couldn’t type for a year, not really, so I wrote no more fiction assignments that year. I went to work and pretended to type there but also spent lots of my work week idling at the PT’s office. For a year. 

      I credit that creative writing course, or rather the hysterical pain crisis that it provoked in me, with a crucial period of latency in which my writing took shelter. Who knows how my writing might have been ruined, had I completed that CW course. 

      This is probably no help, but it does respond to the question “You?”

  5. Shannon

      I took one years ago. It was billed as an “advanced” short fiction class. At the time I was not what you could call financially stable and I felt robbed. The class essentially covered information easily found for free in a number of places. 

      I think if someone is selling a class it would be great if they took some extra time to make sure that they really do have information that isn’t easily and readily available for free. Big Picture wise, have a hook. 

  6. Mike Young

      ooooo exciting / i am emailing you right now

  7. Anonymous

      I took an online creative writing course a few years ago. One issue that felt sort of inherent in the format was how the discussions transpired. Since there was no “live chat” component, or any way of ensuring that comments were posted within a certain time frame, our workshops and discussions of assigned reading felt sort of inorganic. Like someone would deliver his prepared bit, then someone else would delivered hers, and these bits were often in general response to the piece, and not so much in response to what was being said about it. And on those occasions when someone did respond to a comment, commenter #1 would have already fulfilled the assignment with his first post, and so often wouldn’t bother responding. On the other hand there was a nice diversity of opinions, or of voiced opinions, that I preferred to any in-person workshop I’ve taken.

  8. mimi

      what the hell FritoLay?

  9. leapsloth14

       Jonah, thanks you (and actually) the others. This is helpful and there is software and lecturer control that could address this concern. So thanks. I’ll think about this aspect.

  10. Shelley

      Totally lost: I don’t know what CW is, and I can’t figure out what those two orange Martians have to do with Doritos.

  11. Mr. Frank Rodriguez

      CW is a television network. I think Doritos is a sponsor?

  12. Ryan Bradford

      I took one from Dave Housley and Mike Ingram, offered through Barrelhouse, about a year ago and ,overall, it was a very good experience. I think there were about 12-15 participants and it was 8 weeks long, done through a thread/discussion format. We each were allowed to submit 2 pieces for workshop in addition to the discussions/prompts we were given.

      The beginning weeks were great: people were engaged and the discussion thread went long. But by the second go-around (of workshops), it seemed people weren’t into it. I don’t know if it was the time-commitment or the page count on some submissions, but the workshop felt like it lost some steam near the end. And I thought it was a little dismaying that people would pay a fee and not participate in some of the prompts/discussions. It almost seemed selfish that they were only there to get their pieces analyzed. I guess I shouldn’t care that much.

      Just keep in mind that discussions are good and all, but ultimately people are signing up for your workshop to hear what YOU think of their story. For me, everyone’s opinion sort of fell by the wayside in light of Mike and Dave’s critiques. So, I don’t know if that creates more pressure, but it’s just something to consider.

  13. jwithy

      I took an online writing class and, in general, felt like it was the only such class (in a year of taking workshop classes in a variety of non-college settings) that didn’t really support writing as a whole or my writing specifically. The class had a definite method that it wanted to stick to, and although the company that ran it might believe in that formula, it felt very antagonistic and quite stifling. I’m someone who totally believes in “sometimes parameters that feel stifling can help you create,” but in this case it was not true. 

      The instructor also had a bit of an attitude, and would make sweeping statements about things like “anyone who is angry is actually hiding sadness, and you need your characters to do that” and such. At the time, I thought the online component was the frustrating part. Looking back, the workshop would have sucked whether it was online or not. I did get introduced to Lawrence Raab and Matthew Klam, so that was nice. As another poster mentioned, I felt kinda robbed. 

      Also! We had a weekly live chat on AIM. It was a bunch of people who didn’t know how to have an online conversation trying to be civil, sometimes complaining in side conversations to each other, and me not trying to hate the instructor and her broad pronouncements. This was pre G+; the hangouts are a brilliant way to connect people (if they aren’t like OH NOES CAMERA NO WAY).

      Feel free to hit me up on the tweets and I would be more than happy to discuss further, if it will help. I’m a writer with an education degree in my background, so hopefully it would be useful!

  14. Anonymous

      In an online environment you wouldn’t get to hear a teacher’s digressions, which can be an important part of learning and for context in the class in my opinion …

  15. NathanH

      I teach online courses at UCF. I’ve taught Creative Writing, Fiction Writing, Magazine Writing, and a course called “Writing For Publication” completely online. This is my first semester teaching every section completely online, so if you’ve got questions, trust me: I’ve got answers. A lot of missteps, but a lot of successes. Drop me an email if you want to chat…