Online Classes: How do I register?
You may register via email. Contact the teacher directly through her class listing on the minidollU page, and she will reserve a spot for you in class and give payment instructions for your class kit and fee. There is usually a deadline for registration fees - approximately two weeks prior to the actual class date. This is to allow time to ship your class materials to you. Payment for your class and kit fees may be made through paypal - or by sending a personal check. If you are registering by snail mail, please, email first so that the teacher can hold your space.
How Online Classes Work:
Prior to class time, if you have opted to do so, you will receive in the mail a kit containing the project contents as described in the course listing. Most kits are complete and require minimal tools and supplies. Some teachers offer a less expensive partial kit, or provide a materials list so that you can supply your own. This is helpful, particularly if the project uses common items that you may already have on hand.
You will receive email notices during the week before your class is scheduled to remind you of the date and time. many teachers will also send a notice just before the beginning of your scheduled class. You will also receive a link to the project tutorial and the classroom location and login instructions.
It is advisable to take time to review the tutorial a couple of times shortly before your scheduled class to become familiar with the project. Most teachers permit you to print out one copy for your own personal use.
In the Classroom:
The actual class will take place in an online chat room provided by minidollU through parachat (made possible by generous donations by our members). You will be instructed to open both the classroom and the project tutorial. Instructions to each portion of the project will be posted in the classroom, and further explanation will be given, along with question and answers and discussion on each part of the project. You will be able to refer to the photos in the tutorial as you go through the instructions with the teacher. For those with slower computers, a print out of the tutorial is an excellent idea. You won't have to wait for the screen to load and can take additional notes directly on the print out.
Many classes involve projects that may take several days to complete. Some may involve drying time between steps. Generally it is not recommended that you try to work on your project and attend and participate in a chat room class at the same time. Glue and your computer keyboard are NOT a good combination. Online teaching is designed to give you all the resources of instruction and support that you need to complete the project successfully on your own, in your own time frame, without the pressure of a classroom deadline, or the expense of travel, hotel and meals that come with class.
Class is over:
And now I am on my own? Of course not! After the class, most teachers will mail you a copy of the transcript of your class session so that you can refer back to it to refresh your memory. You may also email the teacher with any questions and about any problems that may arise while completing your project. Some teachers even may schedule a *class reunion* back in our chat room. If the students in a class commit to completing their project within a specific time frame, the class can get together to discuss the project and congratulate each other on a job well done.
I miss my class?
Contact your teacher and you can be emailed the transcript of the class session to be used in conjunction with the online tutorial. (please note that there can be a week or more delay before the transcripts become available). As always, the teacher will answer any questions that come up as you work through your project via email.
The chat room fails us on class day? (technical malfunction)
The class will be rescheduled at another time and every effort will be made to accommodate your schedule. Minidoll U's parachat classroom has proven to be a very dependable host for these classes, but nothing is infallible. Rest assured that your class will be made up in case of major malfunction.
Suggestions for the Students:
Make sure that you are able to receive emails from the teacher. Many people inquire about classes and the instructor responds immediately, only to find weeks later that their spam filters have not allowed delivery of the email to them. Please set your filters to allow emails from your teachers to go through. They cannot send you class reminders, class fee or schedule information, etc, if they can't get to your email box.
When registering, identify yourself. We get lots of emails requesting registration and the amount to send for postage, but no address! If you are out of the US, remember that teachers have no way of calculating postage costs unless you tell them what country you reside in.
Remember that we are most likely all in different time zones. When you are sent your class reminders, pay close attention to not only the date and time, but the time zone. If you need help in converting CST (the time zone for which our classes are posted on the minidollU web site), here is a link to an online converter! We don't want you to miss your class!
There are NO dumb questions and NO deep dark secrets. If you ask a question, and your teacher knows the answer, she will give it to you. The goal is for you to learn the techniques as well as to complete the project. Remember that your class is just a small group of people like you who want to learn, have a great time and make a great mini. so check your inhibitions at the door and type away!
Be Prepared! A review of the tutorial before class begins is always a good idea. It helps you to know where the class is going and know ahead of time which areas you feel might be the most difficult for you.
Follow the rules! At the beginning of the class, the teacher will explain to you the classroom *rules*. That is, when the question/answer times will happen and how and when students should post. This is not meant to be restrictive, but just to give the class a little structure so we don't have several conversations going on at once and so that the teacher does not miss any of your questions.
Hopefully, this has answered all of your questions, but if we have omitted something, please don't hesitate to ask!
Dana - Owner