Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Online Natural Perfumery Course Just Keeps Getting Better and Better


The image is that of an old Frapper map of the students. I think Frapper is going to be gone within the year, and I'll miss it. It hasn't updated for a while, and while it was, it was fun to see where all the students of the Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute were located all over the world. We have had four from Australia since this map appeared, one from Singapore, Germany, Kuwait...the list is truly international. I'm going to find a new way to map the students, "watch this space" as they say ;-)

About the course and the website - you know, when you build something from the ground up, with your own knowledge, your own creative ideas, and your own hours of dedication and hard work, it means so much. It's your baby, nobody else can claim it, you made it. It's very rewarding, very rewarding.

When I was prodded into teaching back in 2007, I put the coursework together as quickly as I could, to meet the student's demands. So I created a Primer, and it allowed the students to see the outline of what was going to be taught, but I was working every month to build the course content on the website behind the scenes. So the students had to combine the Primer's information with the more detailed, instructive information on the website, and I'm happy to say it went very well.

Two lovely students helped me edit it a bit at that time, and I'm forever grateful to them. Thanks Denise and Nancy! Now I have a consulting editor on a monthly retainer, and the resultant product is fabulous! I have a book deal in the works for the textbook, and so we're going in and editing it some more. I'm just happy to have someone to edit my dangling participles, correct my wandering tenses, and generally whip it all into shape. The fact that she's a dedicated natural perfumer and a bona fide technical writer (worked for Microsoft and Boeing) is just a fabulous gift to me. And the students.

The new website, on a different platform than the previous three courses, it a breeze to work with. I had a professional IT webmaster for the old Moodle site, and even then, there were lots of problems. Moodle is a dinosaur! The new platform is fast, easily customizable, and I have a pretty, pretty website for the students this time around - and from now on.

Imagine my surprise when over a dozen prospective students tried to enroll after the course began! Looking to the future, I'm reworking the site a bit so that students will be able to sign up at any time, year-round, and jump right into their studies. This is a great decision, and I hope to have the website tweaked for this within a month.

That's it for now, the February 2010 course is in session, there are 12 students instead of the 10 I originally planned for, and everything is moving smoothly. I have a medical doctor, a chemical engineer, a science teacher, several aromatherapists, a Marine in Kuwait, a massage therapist, and several business owners in the class. They're a wonderful group, and I love interacting with them - on a frequent, almost daily basis - in the private chat group.

I know that the art of natural perfumery will keep growing with such dedicated and passionate students in the mix, because they're the next generation, and that's very exciting.

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