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 Session and Subscription.

Critiqued Sessions have set start dates (which you can find on our site) and run from 9 to 14 weeks (depending on the course you're taking) with one lecture activated every one to two weeks. Each lecture 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've handled certain elements of the assignment differently. In addition to your own response videos, you will also be able to view the response videos of your current and previous classmates as well.

Once a lecture has been activated, it remains open for the rest of the class so by the time the ninth 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 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 response videos to keep, and re-watch all other videos taking any additional notes necessary. Your access to course material will then end, and your seat will be cleared for the next class coming in.

With a Schoolism Subscription to any course, you’ll have instant access to all of the lessons and assignments in your chosen course. You’ll also have access to the video feedbacks of many past Critiqued Session students. Subscriptions do not include personal video feedback.
Do I need a fast internet connection to use Schoolism?
All Schoolism videos stream in HD. For students outside of Canada and the USA, please visit and test your download speed against a location in the American state of New York or anywhere in Australia before purchasing a class. A minimum download speed of 8.0 Mbps is recommended to stream the lectures. If your system 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 2016.
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 class, you can email us to consider your case.
Can I subscribe to TWO (or more) classes at the same time?
Yes, you can! After you have subscribed to your first class, you can subscribe to a second class simply by going to its course page and purchasing a subscription to it. You will then have both classes in your dashboard to watch as you please. You will obviously be paying 2 subscription fees at this point as well. You do the same thing to subscribe to a third or fourth class, etc.
Do subscriptions cover Critiqued Session classes with personalized feedback?
Schoolism Subscriptions do not include personalized video feedback or grading. However, subscriptions do grant access to all of the same lessons, and assignments as their critiqued counterparts. During your subscription, you'll also be able to view the feedback videos of many past Critiqued Session students.
Do subscriptions cover Critiqued Session classes with personalized feedback also?
Unfortunately, no, subscriptions apply to Self-Taught (non-feedback) classes only. With the number of subscriptions we have, it would be physically impossible for instructors to teach, view, and critique assignments submitted by THOUSANDS of students.

However, if you’re interested in a Critiqued Session class, subscribing to the Self-Taught version of it first 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).
Is there somewhere I can share my Schoolism assignments?
There is! You can share your assignments with your digital classmates 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:

Suppose you have a 1-year subscription, which is for 365 days. You pick "Digital Painting with Bobby Chiu" and finish it after 30 days. You can then click on the "switch course" link next to this class in your Schoolism dashboard to submit a switch request. Let's say, you want to take "Painting Creatures with Bobby Chiu" next.

The following business day, 1.00 Schoolism Dollar will be deducted from your account and you will get access to your new class for the rest of your subscription, which at that point would be 335 days.

If, after another 50 days, you finish "Painting Creatures", you can submit another switch request, spend another 1.00 Schoolism Dollar and switch to another class, which you would have for the remaining 335 - 50 = 285 days.

We will fulfill switch requests the following business day because switching in the current Schoolism system requires some manual input. However, once our upgraded Schoolism system is completed, you will be able to switch classes yourself instantly through your Schoolism dashboard.
How do I purchase class 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 through PayPal. (They’re $5.00 minimum because PayPal charges over $0.30 in fees on a $1.00 payment.) Upon purchase of a switch bundle, you will be credited 5.00 Schoolism Dollars, which you will be able to see in 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! Again, you just have to submit your switch request and your class switches will be done the first business day after your request. We expect full-time Schoolism students who subscribe for a year can probably view ALL of our Self-Taught classes before the end of their subscription!
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.
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 a refund for Schoolism Subscriptions. However, if you believe you have a valid reason to request a refund, please email us at 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
For my Critiqued Sessions course, I won't be able to turn in my assignment on time, is that okay?
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 marked (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.

As submission of assignments is not a feature of Schoolism Subscriptions, subscribers on Schoolism will not have to worry about deadlines on their assignments.
If something unexpected comes up during my Critiqued Session and I am unable to finish the course, can I get a refund?
Full refunds via PayPal are available up to 2 weeks before the start of the class. Within 2 weeks to the start of class, we can issue a full refund minus a $25 admin fee. Once the class 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 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.

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