Hi! My name is Joy Nanda, and I LOVE online courses, both taking and making! I have been a student pretty much all of my life, and a teacher for many years, beginning with an academic career in Anthropology. After a few years as a professor at a major university, I turned to research, eventually becoming tenured faculty at a medical school. In academics, receiving tenure, at least at one time, was a sign to slow down a little bit and rest on your laurels. Not me!
I became interested in non-intellectual types of learning, opening a healing arts practice and helping my friends and clients launch businesses of their own. In the process, I became a yoga therapist and began to learn more about the inner life, the effect of meditation and spiritual practices on health and happiness. In order to help my non-techie friends and teachers, I began to design courses that brought these concepts to students all over the world through the magic of the internet.
In 2016, a group of volunteers at my “church” (it’s in quotes because I live in Sedona, Arizona, the New Age capital of the world, so you can be sure it’s not a traditional Christian church by normal standards, but a very non-denominational spiritual center) got together to discuss increasing our internet presence. I mentioned to our spiritual leader and teacher that online courses were an up-and-coming thing, and that he should consider starting one. To my delight, he said yes, and we went right in to it. Even though it was just a couple of years ago, there were many fewer options for hosting and/or building a course than there are today, so I ended up creating a membership area on his existing website. While this offered considerable flexibility, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that today. We have so many more options that are way easier!
Along the way, we mastered live broadcasts of our Sunday Services on Facebook, creating an extensive video library on Youtube, creation of about a dozen extremely popular online courses, and the simultaneous running of live classes on line and in-person in our sanctuary. It’s been quite a ride!
While the processes and tools we use today seem ideal for our needs, it wasn’t at all obvious how to do these things from the outset, and I spent numerous hours “researching” topics (that means “Googling” for the most part), watching educational Youtube videos, and talking with almost every technical support person you could think of. What I learned mostly was that there really are very few “experts” in this field, meaning no one is going to be as knowledgeable about these things as someone who has been in the trenches. And that just when you think you’ve got it all down, something changes!