Zooming a Live-Online Class

Having run through the vocabalary of descriptors for what happened this week, I think calling this a Live-Online Class is the best term. This wasn’t an Online Class, where you pay your money to a website and download a video. This wasn’t a live class, where you haul your machine and the contents of your stash closet to a class, where you might get something done. This was a hybrid, the best of both worlds!

Truth be told, all these lovely women of the North Cities Quilt Guild (above) could be called pioneers, for when I sent a survey afterwards, the majority response was that this was the first Zoom Quilting Live-Online class they’d taken. They were so fun to spend the day with in this new form of a quilting class. We’d also shared a Zoom Guild Evening Program the night before, and that, too, went very well, as they had two moderators manning the technical side of things.

Note: I’m putting up another post after this one, describing in more clinical/technical details the things I did to make my Live-Online Class run smoothly, having done gobs of research. I will update this post to link to that one, when completed.

Our day together began at 9:00 a.m. In truth, my day began a bit earlier, when waking out of a dead sleep at 6:30 a.m. I realized I hadn’t written down my lesson plan. I bolted from bed and wrote it on a giant sticky note and slapped it up on the calendar next to my cutting table.

I also realized that when we had painted, we’d taken down the curtain hiding all the mess in my sewing room closet. A quick fix with a tensioner closet rod and a quilt quickly fixed that. I spent the next couple of hours doing last minute prep, printing off the Secret Code to admit them into the Secret Room of my blog, getting ready (including mascara, ahem). Then I settled into my chair at 8:45 to welcome them to class.

We started pretty much on time, and I had a Moderator, who helped people get started and ran things smoothly. There was some awkwardness at first, as we worked through some technology hiccups (but nothing serious–Zoom does make it easy to click-and-go).

More about setting this up on the other post

After I introduced them to their Secret Site, and we squared away the password entries, they were able to access the videos and other materials I’d put there for their class. Pretty soon, they had all settled into sewing. One quilter had her computer in one room and her sewing in another; we solved that by having her log onto her phone, so she could have it next to her for comradery while she stitched. I saw her walk back and forth between the two rooms when she needed to watch a video.

The Merrion Square Conga Line

A few were able to use their computers to “show” me what they were working on, and we chatted about color and value choices and ways to make it all come together.

The class followed the outlined schedule, and when I returned from lunch break, I noticed a distinct shift. They had ceased being a bunch of screens, and now were a happy classroom of busy quilters. The change was welcome, as there is always this place where technology can get in the way of the humans. And these wonderful pioneers figured out how to get the humanity back into this distancing situation.

from the after-class survey

The afternoon was a series of lovely moments, as they held up their successes to the camera, showing off what they’d accomplished, bit by bit, section by section. I told the class that if they sent me decent photographs of what they’d been working on, I’d put them into a slide show for them to see when we all got back together a week later, in our planned Wrap Up Class.

from the after-class survey

Before we parted, we talked about the pros and cons of this situation (and they agreed to fill out a survey after the fact). One comment was that they didn’t have to lug their sewing machine down the stairs to their car. Another quilter mentioned that she had been able to pivot quickly when it was apparent that the choice of fabrics she’d laid out weren’t working: all her fabric was right there around her. I also love what this anonymous quilter from our class wrote in her survey: “Learn Zoom–it’s a wonderful tool.”

I was about to sign off, but a couple of women asked if the class could go longer, so I set extended it so they could keep sewing, which made me feel like this had been a great experience for them.

Can’t wait to see them all again!

12 thoughts on “Zooming a Live-Online Class

  1. I’m so glad it went well. And so very impressed with you, Elizabeth, for donning mascara❣️ I think mine is all dried up by now🤣😂🤣

  2. So happy the class went well, but then I had no doubts! And what is this mascara thing you speak of?!?! just kidding.

  3. What a wonderful effort you’ve made, Elizabeth! I admire you, for working out how to make yourself accessible to others during these challenging day, and your test students who made the classroom work for themselves, even the quilter who didn’t have access to her computer from her sewing area! How exciting for you to have discovered this great avenue for sharing! And thank you for sharing how you accomplished it. Fantastic!

  4. So brave and adventurous of you to have made this pivot and I’m sure it will pay off well in the future. You could even offer your own classes to your own “list” rather than be limited to guilds and other groups.

  5. Good for you! I just am not up for online teaching. I did have a class scheduled for in-person teaching next week, but I’m going to have to cancel since the county where it is to be held has the highest COVID case rate in this part of the state. Sigh.

  6. Pingback: Our Guild Members Write… – Inland Empire Modern Quilt Guild

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