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Although I enjoyed most my classes, the OPs points in 80% of my classes would have benefited all of them.  I think it is spot on, and I enjoyed all my classes but two.  One, was a lower skill level than I expected, and the other should have been hands-on (for me).  It is good advice.

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Those of you who had the experience with the instructor who had a hands-on class but didn't teach one--please PM me on here so I can see who it is and make sure there wasn't a misunderstanding (and th

I'm going to do something I almost never do - chime in on a discussion about convention classes.  These are my opinions and only my opinions.  If you take umbrage with them then that's your right to d

Knowing how to do a thing well is definitely different than knowing how to teach someone else to do that thing. As I've put more and more energy into teaching these past few years, I've realized somet

I know most people aren't going to feel comfortable contacting a person via email and giving them a critique of a class, but I encourage people to give us the feedback that you can during class. If you don't understand an explanation, speak up and ask for more information, see if the instructor can put it another way or demonstrate it. Likewise, if someone uses a metaphor or visual aid or whatever tool that does really help you get something, make sure the instructor knows. We draw on those experiences to improve and learn how to teach better in the future. 

 

This, a whole lot. This is the first ReaperCon I taught at, and I am not an experienced teacher. I am sure that everything did not go totally awesome in all my classes for all my students. However, I want to get better at it and am trying to get better at it. In order to do that I need practice, but also constructive criticism and feedback. 

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I'm going to do something I almost never do - chime in on a discussion about convention classes.  These are my opinions and only my opinions.  If you take umbrage with them then that's your right to do.  Post a rebuttal if you feel my opinions differ greatly from yours.

 

To set this into perspective I've been taking classes from Reaper since ArtistCon 2005.  That's a lot of classes.  I've seen a whole range of instructors and class quality.

 

I strongly recommend the ability to provide anonymous feedback at the convention.  A half page survey sheet for each class put into a central box would be fantastic if someone was able to read them during the convention to address any confusion or problems that come up.  After the convention this isn't as useful if confusion could have been cleared up at the time.  Some instructors teach the same class multiple times and teach multiple classes.  Immediate action would be far more helpful for all concerned.

 

A couple of instructors have requested that students talk to them about things they didn't like about their classes.  They don't seem to realize how intimidating it is to go to a very well known painter/sculptor and tell them "I didn't get much out of your class because..".  In a lot of cases attendees are meeting these people for the first time and yes it can be intimidating to talk to the Names much less criticise them.  No matter how friendly the person is it takes a heck of a lot of courage to tell someone who holds shelves of national and international awards that their classes were less than expected.

 

I was the unlucky recipient of one of the "Teach A and B" classes where the teacher decided to teach B and grudingly taught a bit about A when the class brought it up.  I almost walked out of that class because of it.  Almost.  I didn't want to cause a fuss and while I did learn a bit about B I already knew a lot about B.  I took the class to learn more about A knowing I would get B as well.

 

I was also in a class that technically should have been above my skill level.  However I had enough varied experience that I was able to keep up with the class and learn tons of what was keeping me from getting better.  I was slower than the class but I got it.  I never asked that the instructor slow down or pay special attention to me.  And the instructor gave me honest feedback just like the other students.

 

I like handouts but I also know my notes are going to be the most important thing because that's what ~I~ found important enough to write down.  So while I might be disappointed by the lack of them I don't expect them.  They're a happy surprise.

 

I wrote Anne with the specifics about my classes and she thanked me for my input. I recommend that people do the same both for the ones they liked and the ones where they were disappointed.  It doesn't take the place of class surveys but it does give her information for planning on next year's classes.  Don't be afraid to tell her the truth.  You don't want other people to have the same issues as you in the future do you?

 

In all those years I have to say I only had what I consider to be 3 'poor' classes.  They were from 3 different instructors. I've had good classes from those same instructors so there's no pattern to it.  Instructors are people and sometimes it's just not a good combination of class and teacher.  Anne needs to know.

 

Take this for what it's worth and never feel that you can't express your concerns about the classes we all love to take.  I've gotten to know most of the returning instructors and even I hesitiate to offer them direct critique of their classes.  Mine is one opinion.  One.  If I tell Anne my feelings and the rest of the class expresses different ones then the instructor gets a combined feedback that is more useful than one person who may have been crabby that day or didn't read/understand the description.

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...I wrote Anne with the specifics about my classes and she thanked me for my input. I recommend that people do the same both for the ones they liked and the ones where they were disappointed.  It doesn't take the place of class surveys but it does give her information for planning on next year's classes.  Don't be afraid to tell her the truth.  You don't want other people to have the same issues as you in the future do you?

 

...

 

 

Rastl made a lot of good points. I just wanted to emphasize the agreement with the part I bolded. It is also helpful to hear who & what the students liked. People generally only see the negative feedback.

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...I wrote Anne with the specifics about my classes and she thanked me for my input. I recommend that people do the same both for the ones they liked and the ones where they were disappointed.  It doesn't take the place of class surveys but it does give her information for planning on next year's classes.  Don't be afraid to tell her the truth.  You don't want other people to have the same issues as you in the future do you?

 

...

 

 

Rastl made a lot of good points. I just wanted to emphasize the agreement with the part I bolded. It is also helpful to hear who & what the students liked. People generally only see the negative feedback.

 

 

It's actually inherent in humans to speak to on average 3 people about something awesome/good and 9 people about something bad/awful/wrong, but I agree we should be giving feedback on good or bad experiences with classes. 

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One thing I will say from my small experience, for future teachers at classes. Handout handout HANDOUTS!!! If you aren't much for writing, get help with it, but for me, it is the one thing that made the most difference for me. After it was all over with, and I was two thousand miles from the guy teaching the class, I still had the paper to go back over, and draw information out of, then compare it back to what I remember seeing, to reform in my mind what I was taught, until I got the hang of it myself.

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One thing I will say from my small experience, for future teachers at classes. Handout handout HANDOUTS!!! If you aren't much for writing, get help with it, but for me, it is the one thing that made the most difference for me. After it was all over with, and I was two thousand miles from the guy teaching the class, I still had the paper to go back over, and draw information out of, then compare it back to what I remember seeing, to reform in my mind what I was taught, until I got the hang of it myself.

 

Totally agree. The handouts I got are still at my paint station and are invaluable. 

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One thing I will say from my small experience, for future teachers at classes. Handout handout HANDOUTS!!! If you aren't much for writing, get help with it, but for me, it is the one thing that made the most difference for me. After it was all over with, and I was two thousand miles from the guy teaching the class, I still had the paper to go back over, and draw information out of, then compare it back to what I remember seeing, to reform in my mind what I was taught, until I got the hang of it myself.

 

Totally agree. The handouts I got are still at my paint station and are invaluable. 

 

I started a binder to keep all my RCon class handouts and note in.  They are some of my most valued hobby resources.

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One thing I will say from my small experience, for future teachers at classes. Handout handout HANDOUTS!!! If you aren't much for writing, get help with it, but for me, it is the one thing that made the most difference for me. After it was all over with, and I was two thousand miles from the guy teaching the class, I still had the paper to go back over, and draw information out of, then compare it back to what I remember seeing, to reform in my mind what I was taught, until I got the hang of it myself.

 

While I agree with you Anne did point out why there are not always handouts.

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Anne is not lying about the many hours thing. The _update_ I did prior to ReaperCon for my OSL class probably took a full work week. Granted it was a pretty thorough overhaul, but I'm not unpracticed at writing, and I was starting with a lot of material already on the page. I have half an English degree and all of a Journalism degree. I'm likely better at writing than painting. ;-> Certainly I'm terrible at being a freelance artist because that was a week I was not doing paying work. I comfort myself with the idea I'll be able to use the document for years in the future. (I'm also not saying that all of the handouts I've done have taken that long, some are much more focused. But I do typically spend a few days before a con updating documents and demo photos and so on.)

 

I do the handouts that I do to give people more painting time in class. I'm also aware that I am not always the most coherent person as a public speaker, so if I have an off-day in a class I don't fret too much about it because everyone also got the information in a different format. The handouts are also my own cheat sheets for remembering stuff to mention during the class. ;-> But I can't blame the people who either aren't as comfortable writing or can't spare the time away from paying work to do handouts. 

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The handouts are also my own cheat sheets for remembering stuff to mention during the class. ;-> 

 

I do exactly that. I need an outline to structure the class and once I have a class outlined, expanding to full notes is much easier.

 

Your handouts are quite nicely done, btw.

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