Your Thoughts on Online SketchUp Training (and mine)

In the almost 10 years that I’ve been teaching people how to 3D model with SketchUp, I’ve learned a lot about the many ways different people learn. Each of us is a little different in the way our brains absorb and retain information. I’m such a fan of SketchUp that I want to make it easier for anyone to get to know this incredible design/engineering/problem-solving/presentation tool.

The first person I taught was myself, and I stumbled and struggled far more than I needed to. I had to give up a lot of assumptions from design school, drafting with a pencil and AutoCAD use. I taught my coworkers what I knew and was invited to teach a live class. In the first live classes I recognized common things that almost everyone struggled with. My class notes, experience and teaching plan evolved into my first interactive PDF book “Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp“.

I’ve been told I’m a pretty good teacher, and my enhanced PDF SketchUp books have been well-received. I’m a believer in constant improvement so I look for better ways to do things. I’ve been helping a few folks out online via screen-sharing programs, and technology has caught up with what I want to do and how I want to do it. The advantage my live classes have over my books is I can look over someone’s shoulder and spot what they need to work on. But there are some logistical and practical issues with live classes; it can be difficult for me to round up enough people to spend two or three days in a given location, and students can get overwhelmed with the amount of information thrown their way in a short (but intense) period of time.

I’ve thought for a long time that my typical two-day class would be much better if it were spread out over several shorter sessions, say 2-3 hours a week for 4-6 weeks instead of two back to back 8-hour days. Just before I left the publishing company I used to work for, “online learning” was being touted as the next big thing. I’ve looked at those platforms, but haven’t been impressed. Most seem to be a way to repackage video content with a quiz or two thrown in. The continuity of my books and the interaction of my classes isn’t there. I first looked at screen sharing software 7 or 8 years ago and while it worked OK for others to see my screen, I couldn’t see theirs.

Lately I’ve been re-examining what’s available, and I think I’ve found a viable platform. Here’s what I have in mind, but before I proceed I would like to have your input. Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail to share your thoughts.

  • I can accommodate up to 10 people in an online platform.
  • I can schedule an online class that would meet regularly for a specific length of time on a particular aspect of using SketchUp. There can be a beginner’s class, a woodworker’s class, an interior designer’s class, a STEM teacher’s class and a construction/architecture class.
  • I can also host a weekly “problem-solving” session, or host an online class for any special interest group.

You’re likely thinking “That sounds good Bob, but what is this going to cost me?” That all depends on how much response I get. I’d like to make a reasonable fee. My guess at this point is that a 12-hour long class (spread out over a few weeks) would cost you about $150-$200. A user-organized group would pay my fee divided by the number of participants.

Instead of conducting a survey or creating a form for you to fill out, I’m asking you to weigh in on this idea with a comment to this post or by e-mail, specifically:

  • Would you be willing to participate? if so, what days of the week, time of day, etc. would be best. Keep in mind that I’m in the Eastern time zone of the US, and we need to meet at a time that would work for all US time zones.
  • What is your interest in using SketchUp?
  • If you’ve been struggling with SketchUp, what areas are the most troublesome?
  • Anything else regarding online SketchUp classes that I may have neglected to mention.

Leave a comment below, or click this link to send me an e-mail.

If there’s enough interest, I’ll be announcing available online classes in the near future. Before I officially launch anything, I need to do some test sessions to work the bugs out. Invites to the test sessions will go to those who respond to this post.

Thanks for your interest,

Bob Lang




Your Thoughts on Online SketchUp Training (and mine) — 6 Comments

  1. Excellent idea Bob and I’d love that format. It is more achievable for me to stop 2-3 times a week for a bit than to schedule a 3 day classs. Besides, it would give me time to work on the skills learned between sessions.

    I’m a woodworker, so that would be my interest. Basic skill development with an eye toward keeping the skill sharp between projects I’m working on.

    You’re a great teacher and your .pdf interactive books are a gem. Still, questions arise and it would help to have your input.

    Hope this works out!

    Hendersonville, NC

  2. Bob
    I think it would be great if you have a stater class and a advance class I will take both,
    and since I live in Hawaii I will change my schedule to make it work. I have 3 of your books and will be getting more soon. I like the embedded books they help me show other people how to use sketchup.
    Aloha Bruce

  3. Sounds like something I’d be interested in as well. Mon/Tues/Thur nights are generally open for me. I’ve played around in SketchUp some, but it wouldn’t hurt for me to start from the beginning to get a more solid foundation to make sure I’m doing everything the best & not developing poor habits as I hack around.
    Atlanta, GA

  4. Bob,
    i also replied on Lumberjocks. I am interested in the woodworking portion on Sketchup. i have only played with Sketchup so starting from the beginning would be good for me as well. I wouldn’t want more than 2 sessions a week. I am available Monday thru Thursday nights as well. A Saturday class is definitely out for me. And my wife and I golf on Friday night in a couples league.
    Cottage Grove, MN

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