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Aug 23

Praise for Universal Class

Posted on August 23, 2018 at 2:13 PM by Andy Schafer

We recently received an encouraging note regarding the impact that one our statewide databases has had on one librarian/patron:

I am a County Librarian in Ulysses. I want to share the article that I submitted recently to our local newspaper about Universal Class. The State databases are important to our community, and to our Library patrons, but I personally appreciate the Universal Class, because I use it and learn from it. Thanks for your support. From Southwest Kansas, Holly Mathes.

I’ve been taking courses on Universal Class, available on the Kansas State Library’s website for several years now. With 500 offerings to choose from, I never have a problem finding a new course to take. I like the way the classes are presented; you choose the one you want, and fill out a short registration. You have six months to complete the course. An instructor for the class is available by email and so are students taking the class with you. You have a choice of taking a video class, or a class with written assignments that you submit to your instructor and receive a grade on, or critique, depending on the class. I have chosen the written assignments as my option; I personally feel like I learn more that way. I also receive a continuing education certificate upon completion. Each lesson has a short reading assignment, a quiz and a written assignment or activity to complete. The assignments are fun, but challenging. To give an example, I took a beginning drawing course. I was a little skeptical about the ability of the instructor to teach me how to draw online, but I’ve always been interested in drawing, so I signed up to try. Each lesson gave me examples and pointers to practice.  The finished drawings had to be submitted for the instructor to see. I took a picture of my finished drawing each time, and attached it to an email to send to my instructor. It was really easy. I had the option of sharing my work with the other students online, and viewing what they had done. I was also able to gage my progress throughout the course. That was the most important part for me, learning that with practice, my drawings improved surprisingly. Next I took a beginning writing course. Along with drawing, I’ve also had an interest in writing since around the fourth grade, I’d just never taken the time to develop my interest. The writing course opened up a whole new creative side to my life. Since the course I’ve been writing a lot. I wrote a short novel for my husband, a juvenile fiction book with my granddaughter, and began a series of children’s books (four so far) with a childhood version of my daughter as the main character. I’ve also been dabbling in poetry. The books have been great practice in story development, and I’ve even used my new drawing skills to illustrate my children’s books. I feel a real sense of accomplishment from what I’ve learned from Universal class. Thanks to the Kansas State Library for offering this opportunity to all Kansans!

Click here to check out Universal Class.