The Anatomy of a (Digital Scrapbooking) Online Class – Part 1

digi101_screenshotYesterday on the Scrapaneer’s Facebook page, we announced a new class: Digital Scrapbooking for Beginners. Or what I call Digi 101. Digi 101’s have been around for years. They have! But I’m super excited to tackle the topic and offer the Scrapaneers version because this one will be big. Big and FREE!


And while I’m currently wrapping up the details for class and tidying up video production, I thought it’d be nifty to share exactly how we build classes from scratch!


I’ve designed scrapbooking classes for 10 years and online digital scrapbooking classes for 8 years. And I love it though some days I have less hair on my head and leftover follicles turn gray. But when a student walks away completely pleased with everything she’s learned, I’m beyond fulfilled. And I start all over again.



Step 1: Develop the Outline.

Digi 101 began as an outline. A boring ole’ outline with lots of text and no pictures. No kits. No projects. No fun. The outline — the curriculum — might be boring to build but it’s the single, most important aspect of a class! Because it defines the objectives a student should learn upon completion. And once I understand those objectives, I can develop the projects, the kits, the storyline, the marketing, and infuse the FUN into the class. All for the purpose of delighting you, the student!


Outlines are fluid documents. They grow and change overtime. The screenshot above is the Digi 101 outline I drafted almost 2 years ago. Yup, I often draft outlines for classes years in advance and NEVER use them. Or hand them off to another (more) capable teacher so she can use them in her own classes too.


Once the boring (but necessary) outline is complete, mojo gets going!


Step 2: Build or Commission the Kit.

Nothing, and I said nothing, happens without THE kit! The goodies. The pound cake. Creative classes thrive on the pound cake. The class projects require high-quality, easy to use products. And projects can’t develop without products. Cake first, then eat. I’m hungry, but I digress.


The talented designers over at The Digital Press began building the monster Digi 101 kit back in November 2014! Yes, that’s how far in advance we work ahead.


A mood board is drafted before we begin:




And we pull out a group of related colors, motifs, patterns, textures and ideas from the mood board. The mood board is a spring board so often the end result of the kit is exactly like the mood board or a slight representation. But it allows every designer involved a chance to get inspired from a single source.


So the TDP girls wrapped up the kit-making process in December. Here is a snippet of some the papers they came up with!




Isn’t it gorgeous! My original idea was to feature a kit with “all the colors of the rainbow” like a Prism. The TDP ladies took that idea and ran with it! Even if you don’t need a Digi 101 class, it’s still a kit you’ll want to add to your collection and use on your colorful pages.


And the best news: it’ll be FREE too!


With the pound cake (the kit) done, I move into project building. And I asked some friends to help! Gorgeous eye-candy coming in Part 2. I’m excited; aren’t you?


Share the Good News!

If you’re a self-taught digital scrapbooker, you’ll benefit from this class — I promise. Or you may not need a Digi 101 class, and that’s cool. But if you know someone who’s curious about digital scrapbooking and has always wanted to learn, please let them know about the upcoming free class on May 1! Let’s pull them over to the dark side once and for all. 😉