No, of course–I did not say that, but “Online quilt classes are a rip-off” is a direct quote from a member of a social network quilt group to which I belong. Appalled, I made no rebuttal at the time, thinking it better not to blow things out of proportion by starting one of those social network discussions where everyone must take sides and nobody wins.
Still, these words about online quilt classes being a rip-off echoed in my mind for a long time, so I now choose this time and place to put forth my argument. The beginning of a new year is always a good time to take stock of the past and set up some useful plans for the future. Read what I have to say and then decide for yourself about this contentious issue.
Here’s a well-kept secret from my personal experience: Statistically, the majority of quilters who sign up and pay for an online class do absolutely nothing with it!
During all my years of teaching for Quilt University and in more recent times teaching for QuiltEd Online, these statistics hold true consistently:
- Of all the students who sign up for an online class session, 50% of them greet the teacher and their classmates, but at least 50% say nothing at all in class!
- Of the 50% of students who introduce themselves, about half of them offer some kind of second post. Perhaps they ask a question, make a remark or even put forward a photo of a project begun. Only 25% of the students actually DO anything at all with their class materials!
- Of this group of 25% of the class students, less than half work seriously with the class instructions and information, post photos of what they do and engage the teacher in dialog about the work. Only about 10% of the total number of quilters enrolled in an online class actually give their teacher a chance to teach!
- Of the 10% who permit the teacher to teach—by doing the work, sharing photos, asking questions and engaging in constructive discussion with the teacher—only about 3% actually finish a project.
Now, where lies the rip-off? Why are quilters so eager to sign up for an online quilt design class when they have no sense of commitment–to their teacher, classmates or even, indeed, to themselves–to do the work and make an effort to learn from their experience?
The most usual excuse we hear is “Oh, well—life got in the way!” Does life get in the way of shopping for food, cooking meals and eating? Does life get in the way of attending the new Star Wars film opening or having a cruise holiday to Barbados? I doubt it!
So, if you want to take an online quilt design class because you seriously want to design quilts for yourself, and you believe a particular teacher can help you learn how to do that, how do you make that commitment to do the work and hold “life” at bay?
Here are a few useful tips: