Online Art Courses FAQ
We have compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Artist’s Network University, your ultimate resource for art classes online, below. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please feel free to contact us at (800) 258-0929 or by email.
Basic Class Setup
Q. When do classes “meet”? What if I can’t get online then?
A. Getting to online art class “on time” is never a problem with Artist’s Network University. One of the benefits of online art courses is that you can log on at your convenience, any time day or night, to participate, and you may take these home study art courses from whatever location you prefer. Students communicate with each other and the instructor by posting comments and questions in designated discussion areas. When you’re ready to go to class, you simply log on to the site to visit the various student areas, post your questions or comments, read the lesson material, and complete the exercise.
Q. I don’t live in the United States, can I still take courses?
A. Yes, anyone anywhere with Internet access can participate. Because the courses don’t meet at a specific time of day, you can log on whenever it’s convenient to you.
Q. Are my assignments private?
A. Yes. Exercises are submitted directly to the course instructor. The Blackboard system contains a feedback area where your instructor will make comments on your work and where you may post follow-up questions for your instructor’s response. No one but you and your instructor will have access to your submissions. But if you have questions or messages you’d like to share with the whole class, you can post to the class message board, which is public.
Q. What if I know I won’t be able to “attend” a lesson during the course? Can I make up the work?
A. You may access all lesson materials and art tutorials for the duration of the course session. As long as you turn in your exercises before the end of the art courses, there’s no penalty for being “late” with an assignment. (Our exercise and quiz due dates are simply guides to help you pace your studies.) If you know ahead of time that you won’t have access to a computer during a part of the session, you can complete the assignment early or let your instructor know you’ll be completing it later.
Q. What if I don’t want my work to be critiqued by the group?
A. All workshops include a group critique component, Critic’s Corner. We strongly encourage you to participate in group critiques, since this kind of artist-to-artist interaction can provide valuable insights into your own artwork. There’s no better first audience than a group of your peers-fellow artists who can give you the kind of encouragement and informed constructive criticism you just can’t get elsewhere. You and your classmates are in the same boat, so no one will feel “singled out.” However, we’re certainly not going to force you to do anything you’re uncomfortable with. If you feel you cannot participate in group critique, then you can elect not to post anything into Critic’s Corner.
Q. Can I email my instructor directly? What if I want to call him or her?
A. All student-instructor interaction in Artist’s Network University takes place within Blackboard. If you have a question about a lesson, you would post it in the discussion area for response from the instructor and/or the class. Questions about an assignment would go in the feedback area where only you and your instructor will participate in the dialogue. In order to protect our instructors’ privacy, we do not release their phone numbers.
What Art Courses to Take
Q. I’m new to art—what course should I take?
A. When you’re an aspiring new artist, the prospect of filling up a blank page can seem overwhelming. Since drawing often forms the foundation for working in other types of mediums, a good place to start is with our introductory drawing and sketching class: Drawing for the Absolute Beginner. This art course will start you on the fun and rewarding journey of artistic creation through drawing. You’ll learn how to hold a pencil to get different results, how to use common drawing supplies, you will review drawing tutorials, and you will learn how to put it all together into a solid composition. After that, you’ll want to look for any art course identified as “beginner” or “intermediate” in the course description.
Q. Can I take more than one course at a time?
A. Sure, if it makes sense and if you’re able to make the time commitment. If you take on more than you can realistically handle, you won’t get as much from the experience.
Q. Do I have to take courses in any particular order?
A. Most classes can be taken in any sequence that works for you and satisfies your artistic needs and goals.
Questions About Technology
Q. What if I have computer problems and can’t get online? Will you accept late assignments?
A. You can submit exercises any time during the duration of the course. But if you are unable to “attend class” for an extended period, you can contact us. We aren’t able to offer computer repair advice, but we will be able to offer you alternative solutions to getting your work completed. If your system failure forces you to drop out of a course, our standard refund policy will be applied (see Registration Policies for details).
Q. Do I need any special hardware or software to participate in a course?
A. In order to participate in the courses, you need Internet access, an email account, a current internet browser, a PDF reader and word-processing software.
For PC users, Internet Explorer 7 or 8 and Firefox 3.5 or 3.6 are recommended. For Mac users, Safari and Firefox are recommended. Some users have encountered issues when accessing Blackboard using Chrome. (We do not recommend using AOL’s built-in browser or any other Internet service provider’s proprietary browser, as certain functions may be restricted.) You can see the Blackboard system’s current browser recommendations here. Because we regularly upgrade the site and add features, we recommend always using the most current browser version available for your system to make sure that you can take advantage of enhancements as they are made. If you need to upgrade your browser, go to your browser manufacturer’s website and download the most recent version.
You will also need an email account to receive registration confirmations and other announcements (email is not used for class communications). You also need the free Adobe Reader (or Preview, which comes with Mac computers, or another PDF viewing program) to view PDFs. All of the course materials and reading assignments are viewable online and downloadable in PDF format.