- I've never taken an online class before. How does Schoolism work? Is it live?
Because Schoolism teaches students from time zones all over the world, the courses are pre-recorded, so you won't have to worry about scheduling your life around live classes.
The pre-recorded lectures work like YouTube in the sense that you can watch them whenever and from wherever you want, provided that you have a high speed internet connection. You can fast forward, pause, rewind, and watch the lectures in parts if you can't watch entire lectures all in one sitting. We offer classes in two formats: Critiqued Sessions and Subscriptions.
- Do I need a fast internet connection to use Schoolism?
Yes, we highly recommend streaming from a fast, reliable internet connection. The default resolution for these videos is 480p. For an optimal learning experience, we suggest that students view these videos in HD, if possible.
For students outside of Canada and the USA, please visit speedtest.net and test your download speed against a location in the State of New York, USA, or anywhere in Australia before purchasing a course or subscription. A minimum download speed of 8.0 Mbps is recommended to stream the lectures smoothly. If your connection downloads at less than 8.0 Mbps, please ensure that your Schoolism video is at the lowest setting (240p is the lowest setting, although we don’t recommend this if it is at all possible for you to buffer a higher resolution) but be aware that if it still does not play, there may not be an available solution until our new website debuts sometime in 2017.
- Do the lecture videos work on mobile devices?
Our video player currently runs on Flash so if your mobile device is Flash-enabled, then yes, the lecture videos should work. If your phone or tablet DOESN’T have Flash (such as Apple devices), then unfortunately, the videos won’t play. This is another major upgrade that we’re working on: making our videos playable on all mobile devices.
- What type of software or materials will I need?
When taking courses in subscription form, please feel free to use any material you’re comfortable with, or that would benefit you most, as these assignments aren’t reviewed. For Critiqued Sessions, we do suggest sticking with the method of drawing specified by your instructor. Most assignments are expected to be done digitally using Photoshop unless otherwise stated.
- What are Critiqued Sessions?
Critiqued Sessions have set start dates (which you can find on the course page) and run from 9 to 14 weeks (depending on the course you're taking). One lecture is activated every one to two weeks, and includes an assignment, which is due the following week. Once you've handed in your assignment, your instructor will record a personalized response video in which they will paint and draw over your work while discussing what you did well, what you can work on, and how they might have handled certain elements of the assignment differently. In addition to your own personalized response videos, you will also be able to view the response videos of your current and previous classmates.
Once a lecture has been activated, it remains open for the rest of the course so by the time the final lecture is available, you will have access to the entire course. If you've handed in all of your assignments on time, you will receive a final grade and a physical certificate of completion, which can be mailed to you. Once you have received your final grades, you will have a 14 day review period where you’ll be able to:
- Download your personalized response videos to keep for future reference, and
- Re-watch the lesson videos for review and to take supplemental notes.
Your access to the course material will then end, and your seat will be cleared for the next session of students coming in.
- For my Critiqued Sessions course, I won't be able to turn in my assignment on time, what should I do?
If you know that you will be submitting an assignment late (due to vacation, increased workload at school, family emergency, etc.), we invite you to contact your instructor to ask for an extension. Deadlines are handled at the instructor's sole discretion, which means they're not required to extend deadlines, but for the most part, our instructors are very understanding about the demands of everyday life outside of Schoolism and will most likely allow late submission. If you submit an assignment late without prior notification, again, it is critiqued (or not) at the instructor's discretion. Your instructor may still mark it and record a response video for you, but they're not required to do so. So, as a courtesy to your instructor, we strongly recommend that you keep them apprised of any changes in your schedule that might affect your Schoolism submissions.
- If something unexpected comes up during my Critiqued Sessions and I am unable to finish the course, can I get a refund?
Full refunds via PayPal/Stripe are available up to 2 weeks before the start of the session. Within 2 weeks to the start of the session, we can issue a full refund minus a $25 admin fee. Once the session starts, refunds will be issued on a prorated basis depending on how many classes have already been activated for you. The $25 admin fee also applies in this case. Once lesson 7 is activated, we can no longer issue refunds.
- If something unexpected comes up and I am unable to finish the course but I don't want a refund, can I be moved into my instructor's next session?
You can be rolled forward into a future session of your instructor’s class if there are still open slots after the course has begun. You can be put on standby, and we’ll be happy to contact you if any open slots become available at the start of the course, or if a spot opens up to while the course is in session, for you to continue from where you had left off. Please be aware that you may need to act on short notice if you’d like to complete the course in this way.
If your instructor is able to do so, an alternative is to submit your remaining assignments all together on a date you have worked out together for 1 big critique. This, and any alternatives you may come up with, are ultimately at the discretion of your instructor. Please kindly contact them during your course if you do not want to be put on standby, but would still like to complete the course.
- What are Schoolism Subscriptions?
A Schoolism Subscription offers access to all the video lessons in a course of your choosing. You’ll be able to view, rewind, or fast-forward the material at your own pace! Although subscriptions do not include personalized video feedback or contact with the instructor, you will be able to access video feedbacks of past Critiqued Sessions students. When you wish to move on, simply switch to a different course for just $1USD each time!
- When will my subscription start?
Like most other subscription services, from Netflix to World of Warcraft, your Schoolism Subscription will start as soon as you sign up for it.
- Can I pause my subscription part way through?
Generally speaking, again, like Netflix, once your subscription starts, you won’t be able to pause it without canceling it altogether. However, if you feel that you have a very good reason for pausing your yearly subscription, you can email us to consider your case. Monthly subscriptions cannot be paused part way through, though they can be cancelled at the end of the month.
- How do I cancel my monthly subscription?
To cancel your monthly subscription and stop automatic payments, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take care of the rest! Your subscription will end before your next billing date, and your credit card will not be charged for the next month.
Please be sure to contact us at least 3 days before your next billing date, as this can take some time to process. If you shoot us an email within 3 days of your next billing date, unfortunately, we can’t guarantee the cancellation your subscription for the next month, but we’ll do what we can!
- Can I subscribe to TWO (or more) courses at the same time?
Yes, you can! After you have subscribed to your first course, you can subscribe to a second course simply by going to its course page and purchasing a separate subscription to it. You will then have both classes in your dashboard to watch as you please. You can do the same thing to subscribe to a third or fourth course, etc.
- Do Schoolism Subscriptions include Critiqued Session classes with personalized feedback?
Unfortunately, no, with the number of active subscribers, it would be physically impossible for instructors to teach, view, and critique assignments submitted by every student.
However, if you’re interested in joining a Critiqued Session, a subscription to that course would be a great way to check out what you’ll be learning before plunging into the full Critiqued Session (which is a whole other stratosphere of learning altogether).
- I have a Schoolism Subscription. Where do I submit my assignments?
Schoolism Subscriptions do not include assignment submissions. However, you are more than welcome to share your completed assignments with your fellow subscribers on our dedicated and well-populated Facebook group. There will be plenty of students there to see and hopefully comment on what you’ve learned.
- Even though I won’t get personalized feedback with my subscription, will I still be able to see the feedback videos of past students?
Yes, you will! :)
- How do class switches work?
The best way to explain this is with an example:
The course you start with is "Digital Painting with Bobby Chiu" and finish it after 20 days. Let's say, you want to take "Painting Creatures with Bobby Chiu" next. You can then click on the "switch course" link next to "Digital Painting with Bobby Chiu" in your Schoolism dashboard, and select "Painting Creatures with Bobby Chiu" from the drop down menu.
1.00 Schoolism Dollar will then be deducted from your account and you will get access to your new course for the rest of your subscription time.
Once you’re ready to move on after "Painting Creatures", you can spend another 1.00 Schoolism Dollar and switch to another course, which you would have for the remaining days of your subscription, or until you’re ready to switch again.
- How do I purchase switches?
Simply login to your Schoolism account. In the top navigation bar in the upper right of the page, you will see a link called "buy switches". Click that and follow the instructions!
Switches come in bundles of 5 at a cost of $5.00 USD. Upon purchase of a switch bundle, you will be credited 5.00 Schoolism Dollars, which you will be able to see on your Schoolism dashboard.
If you are a long-time Schoolism user and already have Schoolism Dollars in your account, you won’t need to purchase switches; you will be able to spend your existing Schoolism Dollars!
- Is there a limit on how many times I can switch classes?
Nope! As long as you have an active subscription and Schoolism Dollars in your account, you can switch classes as many times as you’d like!
- Can I request a refund for my Schoolism Subscription?
Like other subscription services such as World of Warcraft, and Netflix, we don’t generally offer refunds for Schoolism Subscriptions. However, if you believe you have a valid reason to request a refund, please email us at email@example.com where we will review each request on a case-by-case basis.
- Do you offer corporate discounts on Schoolism Subscriptions?
For studios or artist groups, we’ve recently launched a pilot program called Studio Subscriptions, which offer complete access to our entire current course library via a single master account for easy management by your HR or Training Administrator.
The value of the Studio Subscription is in the convenience of your artists being able to access all courses at the same time, the equivalent of having multiple individual subscriptions per person. Pricing is tiered based on the number of individuals who will be accessing the course material. For more information about Studio Subscriptions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I tried to purchase a class or switches but my card was declined! What happened?
Sorry for the inconvenience! If your payment was declined, it might have been for a variety of reasons. When our payment processor submits a charge to your bank, your bank has automated systems that might decline the charge for your protection based on various triggers, such as:
- your spending habits (i.e. you don’t normally spend this much on an item on the internet)
- account balance (i.e. this purchase puts you over your credit limit)
- card information like the expiration date and CVC (i.e. the information you entered was incorrect)
- you are attempting to make your purchase from a location outside of the state, province, or country where your card is registered (i.e. you are trying to purchase while away on business or vacation)
Since these triggers are constantly changing to protect you from fraud, a previously successful card might be declined at a later date. Even if all of the card information is correct, and you’d previously made a successful payment, a future charge can still be declined by your bank’s overzealous fraud systems. If all of the card information seems correct, please kindly contact your bank for more information, and ask for future charges to be accepted.
Again, we apologize for the inconvenience! Unfortunately, this is the age we live in. If your bank is unable to authorize your purchase, please contact us at email@example.com and we will try to arrange an alternate payment method for you.
- My payment failed and the error was "Your card does not support this type of purchase."" What does that mean?
There are a few different reasons that you might get this response when a payment fails:
- Some credit or debit cards require a PIN to be entered, which is to say they will block any purchase for which a PIN was NOT entered. If you’re trying to use one of these cards, we’re afraid not even your bank will be able to circumvent the security so you will need to use another card to make the purchase or contact us for an alternate payment method.
- Some cards have restrictions on cross-border usage. This isn’t a common occurrence, but some introductory credit cards can only be used to make purchases in the same country as where they are registered. We are a Canadian company, so this might apply to you if your card was issued outside of Canada. If this is the case, please contact your bank to see if they can lift this restriction.
- Some cards such as corporate expense cards can only be used for certain business categories, such as travel or health care. If this applies to you but you believe your card should be usable for our classes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We apologize for any inconvenience during the purchasing process! Unfortunately, security measures vary throughout the world so we can’t account for every scenario but if you have trouble completing a purchase, we would be happy to do whatever we can to help. Simply email us at email@example.com and our Help Desk will get in touch with you ASAP.