A while back we asked students for their feedback about the courses they’ve taken or about the course experience. Draciron wrote us the following review of his online screenwriting course, and also gave us some awesome advice on ways we could improve the student experience. Feel free to expand upon suggestions for improvement in the comments!
I took a screenwriting course with William Rabkin as my first ed2go course. Rabkin has very impressive credentials, and in ways, is a pioneer in screenwriting education. The subject is fairly new in terms of being taught in college. I have looked at a number of online courses before taking ed2go’s course, during the course and since. Many of these courses use text from Rabkin for their curriculum. Rabkin is also mentioned frequently in screenwriting groups, podcasts, and similar connections to screenwriting. He has solid industry experience and knows his stuff. So if you want to take a course in screenwriting, the ed2go course is THE course to take. Taught by the man who wrote the material you are going to use wherever you take the course. How many colleges can say that?
Rabkin has a very popular book out about writing the pilot. I would suggest asking Mr. Rabkin to teach a course about writing for TV. I suspect you will get many who take the screenwriting course following up with a course for writing TV scripts.
For me, the course was invaluable. I learned exactly what I needed to and much much more. The most valuable lesson, however, dealt with a general writing issue I’d been struggling with for years. Dialogue has plagued me like a baying hell demon from the time I started writing. Our class text had the answer to all my problems with dialogue. It was at once blindingly obvious what I had been doing wrong all these years.
Feedback during the course helped me correct a number of mistakes and prevented bad habits I could have fallen into if I had not taken this course. I was also inspired by the course to advance my interests. I gained practical skills in my chosen endeavor and greatly enjoyed taking the course.
Let people know from the outset that their fellow students are not local. People come into the classes through colleges and universities spanning the U.S. and Canada, and it is a huge surprise to most when they finally figure out that many of their students are located all over the country.
Allowing private messages between students and faculty would be helpful. For example, I formed up a writers group with fellow class members, but to do so I had to post contact info in a public posts since there were no private posts to exchange this info.
An end of course evaluation would be a good idea. I’d love to have left a glowing review for Mr. Rabkin and his course for you guys.
A coffee house meeting area where students with similar interests could meet, exchange notes and recommend classes to each other might be a good idea as well. It would also add a social element to taking courses, which might prove rather addictive to some.