You’ll know that online scrapbooking classes are a weakness of mine, and if you’re taking note where I get a bunch of inspiration from the ones offered by Big Picture Classes tend to be some of my favourites. The changes to the way they offer content caused quite a stir and while generally I am averse to signing up for anything that requires a subscription, especially given exchange rates, delays and shipping costs between Australia and the US, I was willing to give it a go with BPC because I just really loved what they offered in their previous model and no physical product ever came into the mix. The new platform for Big Picture Classes has been live now for a little over two months or so I believe and I’ve been spending a bit of my time over there checking out the new site and how things have changed. Initially for me however it seems to be a bit of a mixed blessing. I’m really pleased with how they’ve made the user experience so intuitive and the way that they’ve structured the content of the classes. It makes finding information really easy and Lord knows I love a good to-do list and being able to tick things off. That feature alone has got to be my favourite in the way they now structure classes. I also really think their options for searching for information are fantastic – you can search by class, teacher, or category such as scrapbooking or cardmaking, or simply new arrivals to find the one that’s right for you. But so far my classroom experience seems a little light-on compared to what it was. The class content seems more bite-sized in nature which might work better with a month long subscription time frame if people are dipping in and out. Over the long haul classes like Aly Dosdalls Document 2015 and Jen Gallachers Product Playground might compare with other year long classes they’ve offered. So that ones a case of wait and see. The thing that is glaringly obvious to me at the moment though, is that the classroom interaction just isn’t there as much. I don’t really feel such a sense of connection to my classmates as I did in the old model. I guess that’s one of the drawbacks from everyone doing the classes at their own speed and at different times. While each class has a comments section it just doesn’t seem that people are really talking with one another there. As for the idea of community groups I still think a lot of participants are trying to get the hang of things there – me included.
I am also finding that my tendency is to dip in and out of different classrooms and not see them all the way through to the end. In some respects I get a broad range of ideas from a broad range of teachers and that can only benefit my scrapping but even still with the more bite-sized subject matter you would think that completing classes would be a snap. My first completed class on the new website – 30-Minute Layouts with Lilith Eeckels has been an excellent place to begin though. I have to say that it’s been a boost to my scrappy repertoire. Faster layouts are something I am desperately craving at the moment and I need all the pointers I can get. Lilith’s ideas are so common sense and although I’m sure I took longer than 30 minutes for some of mine they were indeed faster overall to complete than a lot of my scrapping tends to be. More classes like this would be great.
For those BPC participants past and current, I’d love to know what you think of the new site too if you’ve taken up the subscription or why you’ve chosen not to.