Welcome on-board BlueMonk, that doesn't sound like a great teaching experience, but sadly one which is all too familiar. Most teachers are understandaby only comfortable teaching what they know, but when this is very limited or exclusive, then I think they should broaden their landscapes.
So dump the class and learn from us instead. My website http://www.dslrtips.com
has handy tutorials and you'll find out a lot of technical aspects from my reviews - read my one for the Olympus E-400 and you'll find out if it's a good camera or not - hint: it's a neat camera!
Anything else we can answer here - just shout.
PS - for Olympus specifics, try the Olympus section.