Recently I wrote an article expressing our vision for Live Events and the opportunities they present for your education. Among the various genres of live events I mentioned that Classes are “so cool” they deserved their own article. This is that article.
With this new learning format, we're trying to create a classroom environment that's available to subscribing Citizen members, excluding Hobby members, (included within your subscription at no extra charge). It's based on 2 key things that are new-ish to CG Cookie:
- Direct student-to-instructor interaction
- A group of people learning the same thing at the same time, together.
A Better Way to Learn at CG Cookie: Together.
Up until this point, you've been learning here by picking from a large buffet.
And no, I'm not talking about Warren.
I mean our buffet of courses...which give you the freedom to learn the way you want. And there’s a lot of good about the buffet! But. It's lacking those 2 key things above (interaction + team spirit). The buffet can be a lonely way to learn, with a high probability of discouragement.
I’ve been reading it in your comments and questions for years and I know this because it was also my first experience trying to learn computer graphics.
I started with 2 years of self-directed, self-motivated education, in which I only managed to cobble together a hodge-podge understanding of 3D fundamentals. After those 2 years I was ultimately discouraged with my progress and I stopped. I didn’t pick it up again until I went to college to "learn it for real" so I could make it my career. And I believe I succeeded in college for 4 reasons:
- My passion to learn
- A solid curriculum
- Accessible instructor
- Group learning
Now let’s consider those things in the context of CGCookie:
- Passion to Learn: This is up to you. If you're reading this, chances are you have that passion inside you. To learn anything well, you need to be driven by passion.
- Solid Curriculum: This is the buffet (still NOT Warren); CG Cookie courses, exercises, quizzes, etc. All our pre-recorded content. We've spent years building it, we're proud of it, and we've seen many of you develop professional-level skills with it.
- Instructor Accessibility: Live Events are all about direct access to instructors. Over the past 4.5 months we've been streaming on a weekly basis and they've been going great!
Seriously, you haven't joined Live Events yet???
- Group Learning: The missing piece of the puzzle. As far as we can tell, most of you learn on your own...like a buffet for one.
Each class is going to be a month long. During that month, all levels of subscribing Citizen members are welcome to participate (remember: this is included in your subscription!). As a group, we will focus on a particular topic or skill that’s based on existing Cookie content like courses or exercises.
There will be a Live Event each week where questions will be answered and clarification given, if a course uses an older version of Blender we can discuss and demonstrate the differences during the stream (which solves a big problem with pre-recorded videos), and also do additional demos to expand on the curriculum.
And finally...there will be
blood homework each week that can be submitted to a Class community thread, which serves as the Class homepage.
What does participation look like for Citizen members?
- RSVP and attend the Live Events
- Watch the pre-recorded courses
- And generally be active in the Class community thread
- Asking questions
- Answer questions
- Submit homework
First Class in January!
Our first Class is taking place in January 2018: “Getting Started with 3D Modeling and Blender”. It’s for Blender beginners interested in modeling.
Check out the Class community thread which shows the outline for the class, including pre-recorded courses to watch and homework assignments. You can ask questions along the way, of course. As the instructor of the class, I will be monitoring this thread everyday throughout the month to offer feedback, advice, and spiritual guidance. Namaste.
All the Live Events for the class are already scheduled, with the corresponding course ID: BC1-1801. That's a pretty slick sci-fi ID, right? 🤓
In getting these Classes started, everything’s a bit of an experiment - "BETA" if you will. We’ll see how well the community thread holds up as the Class homepage. I have been so excited to get the ball rolling with Classes that I opted to use what’s available now. But if these go well and Classes prove to be a better way to learn at CG Cookie, then perhaps we can develop a dedicated Class system on the site.