Online Course Dropout

Friday, March 18, 2022

I blame my problem on doom-scrolling. I get sucked in to free online courses. It’s quick and easy to sign up. Writing workshops. Craft courses. One on hand stitched journals. Modern calligraphy, which isn’t real calligraphy, just building letters with brush pens. I signed up for one on using herbs to make tinctures, teas, and syrups to flavor boozy or non-boozy beverages. I actually “attended” that one. There was a 30 day yoga challenge. I completed the first one in January of 2020 even though I’ve signed up for them since 2018.

Don’t even get me started on webinars. I have attended some for work where I’ve listened to some great authors speak about their books. These are for professional development, so I add them to my calendar. I sign up for them because I usually get a link to the re-play in case I miss them. I mostly miss them. I typically remember to “attend” when the email with said link makes it into my inbox. Do I go back to watch the replays? Nope. There are goodies buried deep inside though, so if it’s a big time author, I have to force myself to dig in.

I tend to do better if I have to pay for them. I know, that’s stupid. I’m a Cheapie McCheaperson and I’m not taking advantage of the freebies. In February, I did pay for a craft session with one of my favorite blogger artists I found on Instagram years ago. I don’t live in Arizona to attend her live workshops, so this was the next best thing. I LOVED it. I received a kit for five craft projects, put it on my calendar, told everyone I wasn’t doing anything but crafting all day, and enjoyed myself and the company.

Pandemic teaching made it worse. I’ve limited myself to signing up for free courses unless I know it’s absolutely something my life needs. Becoming a hoarder of free online courses is not something I want as part of my bio. I blame Pinterest for that. Electronic hoarding. Where’s Marie Kondo when you need her? I do need to think about the course, its objectives, and the time I need to spend on it before flooding my inbox with reminders and links to replays that will expire or wind up in my virtual wastebasket. Better yet, if I don’t sign up then go back to look for it, that’s a good indication of something worthwhile.

I went back to that first freebie modern calligraphy course last month during some of our snow days. I got through the first two of fourteen days practicing up and down strokes. I was on a roll. I have unlimited access to the instructional videos and all of the supplies I need. Dropping out again, I’ve decided to work on it when I can between now and the end of the school year.

Better yet, I’ll save it for summer break. I’ll have time to fill my days with all kinds of courses I’ve skipped. Yeah, my own summer school.

14 thoughts on “Online Course Dropout

    1. Hi @mindyr6572, I’m posting the link for you. She runs the free course twice a year, the next one may be in June. You can find her videos on YouTube as well (The Happy Ever Crafter). I love her approach; she won’t push anything on you and is clear from the beginning that you may or may not need additional courses after the freebie is over. https://courses.thehappyevercrafter.com/smyd

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  1. You are not alone! I have pretty much stopped myself from signing up for online classes, though I have actually tuned in for some that were very good, mostly writing workshops. Tomorrow is another day, as Scarlett O’Hara said (I think) and hope springs eternal.

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    1. If I sign up for something I must attend, I write it by hand into my planner. Otherwise, I’ll skip it. Work in progress, and yes, hope does spring eternal.

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  2. Clearly, you are a learning enthusiast! And like all learners, your discoveries are unfolding, as you demonstrate here. You have learned that you don’t want “hoarder of free online courses” as a feature in your bio. And so it shall be. Also, the variety of interests is fascinating. Thanks for sharing your inner deliberations.

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  3. I had to chuckle…I’ve got a three-hour self-retreat that I paid for, waiting to be downloaded and listened to. And a five day course on self-care that had zoom sessions while I am at work (did I see a time in the details?), and I’m not even sure there are replays available for that one. Sigh.

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    1. Lol! That would be a fun gathering of sorts. A meet up to catch up on missed courses debriefing afterward. A DIY conference of sorts with BYOS, bring your own sessions.

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  4. I relate to your post on so many levels! I wish there was more time in the day that was mandatory to learn something new. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one always signing up for things! The calligraphy sounds very interesting!

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    1. After this post, I reminded myself of the hand lettering. It’s great to do for stress relief or while listening to an audiobook. People who work at Google get to work on passion projects during work. That’s where Genius Hour comes from if I remember correctly. Must be nice.

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  5. The ending made me chuckle! But, despite all that you write about having signed up for too many things, your descriptions of all of your courses make me sort of want to sign up for some free online courses now. They sound so interesting! I do sign up for a lot of professional development webinars….and then the recordings sit in my inbox until I have a task that doesn’t require a lot of attention and I play the webinar in the background

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    1. Hi Natasha, I’ve done the same and listened to online courses in the background. It never fails, I check my calendar, sign up, and eventually something else gets scheduled at the same time. At least it doesn’t hurt to try, with the PD webinars at least.

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  6. Same!!!!!! It’s very difficult for me to pass up registering for a free class or webinar, and early in the pandemic when i had a different job and far more time and energy, I had wonderful fun with all of the FREE learning experiences on offer. Now that I’m back in the high school classroom, I just can’t take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities–even though I still get that urge to sign up for everything. I really enjoyed reading this slice!

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    1. Hi Elisabeth, thank your for reading. There is so much fun stuff available out there. Summer goals: set aside an hour or two a day to follow up on all of my courses. We’ll see how that goes, but I have a plan.

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