How much time does the program demand?
In order for you to fully benefit from the program you’ll need to commit to at least 5 hours a week and it’s a good idea to check in every day with the discussion forums, which are very active. People have spent less time than this but, frankly, they didn’t learn as much. People also spent more than 5 hours and they got a lot out of the program. It’s one of those things: the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
Where does the program take place?
The program is entirely online, in the Learning Center, an educational platform designed by Desire2Learn, one of the best educational learning environment companies out there. Everything you need is right there on the internet and you can access the Learning Center at any time, which means you can learn at the time that works best for you, and you can participate no matter where in the world you live.
I’m not very computer savvy – will I have trouble?
If you are able to use e-mail and if you’ve spent any time on the internet, you shouldn’t have any trouble. There’s an orientation session to the Learning Center at the beginning of the course, and a good Help guide, and if you can’t figure something out quickly and easily we’re only an e-mail away to help guide you. Our goal is for you to be comfortable – if technology is getting in the way of your fun and learning, just give a shout and we’ll help you out.
Do I need to show up at certain times or can I participate whenever I want?
You can learn whenever it’s best for you. The program is designed so you can choose the time you’d like to participate. Simply log in and you’re good to go. It’s a good idea to try to check in at least every other day, though, because the discussion forums get very active and if you miss several days in a row you might fall behind and have lots of posts to catch up on.
I don’t quite get it, how does the online course actually work?
We provide you with a link to the Learning Center and you go there using your internet browser. There, you log in with a private ID and password and voila! You’re in the Learning Center. Once you’re in there, you’ll find your course content, discussion forums, e-mail, a place for you to blog, a journal for you to use, and news & announcements, among other things. You interact with the other participants using e-mail and the discussion forums. If you want to take a look at what the Learning Center looks like, here are some screen shots.
But what exactly will I have to do?
Each module within the Literary Living program has information for you to either read, watch, or listen to and typically you’ll be asked to take action on the information in some way (write about it, think about it, discuss it with your colleagues). Sometimes the assignments are things you’ll do just for yourself (reflective thinking about something , for instance) and sometimes you’ll work with the other participants in a discussion forum. There’s one assignment in which you need to pair up with someone and interview each other. Here’s a list of the topics we cover, along with a list of some of the resources we’ll use. There are no grades, no deadlines, no tests or quizzes, and nothing that has to be “turned in” to the teacher. You’re all adults and we trust that you’ll do the work if you want to (of course we’re also here to nudge you if you need it).
Who’s the teacher?
Joan Dempsey is the facilitator of the program and she’ll be working closely with each participant throughout the program. While there’s nothing specific you need to turn in to her during the program, she will be active in the discussion forums, read your blog if you choose to write one, and track your progress throughout the program. She’s also available all the time by e-mail directly from the Learning Center, so anytime you want some help or just want to connect, it’s very easy.
I’m still not sure the program is right for me – how can I tell?
If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re happy to answer any questions at all. If you’re not quite sure if the program is right for you, just contact us – we’ll be honest about whether we think the program is a good fit for you, and we’ve been known to steer people to more appropriate resources. Our goal is for you to benefit from Literary Living in a way that changes your writing life in good ways.