Before you dig in to begin creating your course for Iguana Art Academy, I’d like to set the bar. Essentially, we aim to do our best to provide customers an excellent product and experience. And we’re focused not only on customers, but on you and everyone behind the scenes here, so that we have a great time, a joyful time. I believe joy is a unique ingredient that makes anything good and better.
Quality is key to the success of your course. Your content should be helpful, smart, succinct, thorough. Your presentation should be pleasing, balanced, picture-heavy (after all, this is an art school!), intuitive. Your lessons need to follow and include the six lesson segments inherent in every Iguana lesson: Welcome, Review, The Art Life, Lesson/Demonstration, IMOFA (virtual tour of Iguana Museum of Fine Art), and Assignment. View a sample course to see how these are implemented. And, no worries- we’ll provide you with a ready-made PowerPoint template that will make it easy for you to get started.
Things to keep in mind
Look around. Get a plan, an idea in mind of what your course will look like. Look at what others in your line of craft have done. A good resource are instructional (“how-to”) books. Their Table of Contents will show you a linear step-by-step plan. You’ll quickly develop a clear idea of what you’d like to include and not include in your course.
Package it. Decide what you can teach in nine lessons. That’s the length of Iguana courses. You can have more than one course if you have enough content to feed students who want to advance. Example: Drawing 1 (beginner), Drawing 2 (intermediate beginner), Drawing 3 (intermediate)…and so on.
Think backwards. Once you have an idea of what you want your students to learn by Lesson 9, then work backwards to Lesson 1. Each lesson will build on the previous lesson. Before they can do Assignment 9, they need to learn something in Lesson 8, and so on.
Don’t overload your course (and your students) with too much information. We have found that most students want to enjoy art courses at a leisurely pace. Art courses are often a respite from the grind of academics. At the same time, your assignments can allow for students to take their work further if they desire. More on this later.
One way to set an enjoyable pace for your students is to build your course beginning with the end. Begin by following these steps:
- Ask yourself “What do I want my students to know and/or be able to do at the end of this course, by Lesson 13?”
- Working backwards, from Lesson 13, create a process that is divided into 13 lessons with 12 assignments (no assignments are given the final lesson of the course).
Once you have these two steps clearly in mind, then you are ready to begin creating your course for IguanaPaint Academy.
Essentially, the lesson-creating process requires:
- Establishing a purpose for your course.
- Planning your entire course, divided into 13 practical lessons, driven by a purpose.
- Creating, doing, and explaining 13 demonstrations. For some courses this includes photographing each mini-step of your demonstration for your lesson presentations.
- Creating your lesson presentations in PowerPoint, Keynote, Impress, etc. We are looking for beautiful presentations that include clear step-by-step demonstrations of assignments, photos explaining what you’re teaching. This is, after all, an art school. :) You’ll also accompany photos with text explaining them.
- Narrating the presentation slide by slide. (A simple process, really). This gives our lessons a very personal touch.
- Submitting the presentation along with a written Lesson Introduction and Assignment to IguanaPaint admin for upload to the site.
It’s a fairly straightforward process, and one that gets easier once you’ve got a couple lessons under your belt. :) Keep in mind that the major bulk of your work is the preparation of your lessons, but once they are online, the same course is used over and over again, semester after semester. You’ll continue earning income long after you’ve done the hard labor. (Of course, you are always welcome to revise and update courses at any time).
We enjoy Olympians because we are watching athletes who have trained hard. Iguana Art Academy aims for high-quality lessons across all our courses. When people see that everything we do is special, we will enjoy increased earning and impact potential.
“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” ~Charles Spurgeon (*Great news! You’re a lot faster and smarter than the snail. I’ll close with one more quote from another man who understood what it means to press on: “Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.” ~William Wilberforce
Glad to have you here-
Tim Chambers, Founder