‘What we learn with pleasure, we never forget’
– Alfred Mercier
Learning is a never-ending affair and to those who have the thirst to sharpen their skills, learning is a pleasant experience.
Somewhere along the lines of colonialism and industrialization, we as a society have forgotten to cherish the pleasure of learning.
This is exactly where the difference between learning and studying comes into play.
Learning has been framed into a responsible and monotonous task in the name of studying and tell me how many of us enjoyed studying as a kid?
Not many of us understood that the essence of learning was to know and explore different things and acquire experiences, rather than to simply imprint what we learn in a book to another.
We as a society were tuned to accommodate ourselves to rote learning to a major extent and it continues to prevail for a consistently long period of time.
Then a massive blow and a huge leap came along the way of learning in the name of online learning.
Should we thank the pandemic or thank the evolution of technology?
You might be wondering why I should cherish these times and let me tell you why.
The importance of online learning is profound because anyone can get access to learn anything from anywhere.
The concept of time and distance has always been a huge barrier which has curtailed the humanity from doing many things and with the proficient development of technology and internet, it would be absurd to blame it on anything for not having space or platform to pursue what we want anymore
Right from the fourth month of 2020, the internet started to flood with numerous online courses, webinars and workshops.
Although online courses did exist even before the virus decided to take a stroll, it wasn’t widely sought after by many learners. For a longer period of time, we believed that learning happens through enrolling in institutions and being physically present at the learning place.
Did the pandemic take a toll on the traditional way of learning? Yes, it did but it also opened ways for many exciting opportunities.
Of Course, the kids are the ones who are affected the most and institutions are making efforts to survive the situation. But if you consider the situation for a longer run, you will be able to figure out that the online classes are in fact a boon. The accessibility to learning right at the comfort and safety of being at home is what the kids need right now.
And letting that pass, on the other hand, If there is someone who is majorly benefitted from this situation of chaos then it would be the avid learners who constantly want to update their knowledge and upgrade themselves. Many have quickly analyzed the importance of online courses and have started to put them into use.
The plethora of online courses open ways for many people, not just students. Entrepreneurs, marketers, artists, writers, bakers, chefs and even academicians and many more are making good use of the online learning platforms and online courses
Few of the notable online learning platforms widely used in India are
- Learn Next
- Academy earth
The above is just an example of a few of the popular ones which offer online courses and there are many similar ones. More and more startups are emerging with fresh ideas to establish themselves in the field of online learning because they have analyzed and comprehended the importance of online learning.
Given that, it is understandable that online learning platforms and courses are available in abundance and accessible to everyone.
Not just the learners, even the course creators are benefitted from this. Many course creators are making use of this time and earning a good sum of money. They are on the path to broadening their knowledge by sharing their knowledge with others. After all, learning is a two-way process.
If you have an above-average knowledge in a niche which would add value to others, then you should go ahead and create a course. The more you teach, the more you learn and you earn as well.
This pandemic has paved the way for many learners and course instructors to share their knowledge and upskills themselves. This is something that the world hasn’t faced in a hundred years and with a strong wifi connection and a robust electrical gadget, we have realized that learning can happen at ease and with much greater efficiency.
So, given all of the above, we understand the importance of online courses, and the next question would be how do you choose or frame the right courses and what is your learning path?
Whether you’re a learner trying to grasp new things or a course instructor who is willing to offer new learning opportunities, you need to narrow down on your approach.
We all know that planning is more essential than the execution itself, for which you need to know about the learning path.
If you’re planning to take up an online course or create one, then jot down how you’re planning to approach and decide on your learning path by making use of this article.
So what exactly is the learning path?
A learning path is the set of learning entities put together to facilitate smooth learning of a subject or a particular course. It is more of a direct plan on how to go about the e-learning process. The internet is flooded with a lot of information and numerous online courses, so having a proper learning path planned could help figure out on
Importance of Learning path for a learner
In a learner’s perspective, the Learning path is choosing a course which contains all the necessary entities that benefit the learner’s skills.
A learning path is very essential for a learner because a vague approach to learning can eventually lead to confusion in putting into action whatever they learn and the learner ends up feeling aversive toward what she/he actually wants to learn.
So there are certain things to keep in mind while choosing a course to enrol in.
Narrow down on the end learning goal of the course you’re opting out
The first and foremost thing you need to do as a learner is jotting down what are the skill sets you are aiming to learn. Then based on that you have to look for courses which satiate all of them.
Check for the course structure and see if the components included in it will complement your pre-existing skills set and help you enhance it. If you’re a beginner to learning something, then there are quite a few good courses online and there are few courses which offer an advanced perspective, in which case ensure that you do a primary basic course before moving onto enrol in the advanced course.
Check for their course structure to be updated and relevant
Enrol to the courses that are relevant to the current times. Any course or skill set keeps evolving according to the times, and check for relevancy in the course context. Even if it’s a standard course which was created some time back, the course instructors keep updating the course materials from time to time and look out to enrol in one such course.
Look out for courses with effectual online assessment
You need to check for yourself that you have learnt right about what you have learnt. What is the use of learning something if you don’t know how to implement it? Look for courses which have a good online assessment along with the course. This is not to fret yourself like exams in school but just to ensure that you have learnt the concepts right.
Break down your learning goals
This is an important part of e-learning. Most of the e-learning courses are pre-recorded and are given to you at one go. Do not dump yourself with all the information at once, instead plan your study schedule accordingly.
Dissect the course material down and make a weekly schedule for yourself and move about learning and working on the application part on them side by side. Doing which you will be able to understand the course better and assimilate what you learnt.
Ensure that there is a space for doubt clearance
Most of the online course creators leave their mail ids or contact information along with the course material which the students can use to contact if they need any doubt clearance or more clarity on the course material.
Few of the online courses instructors offer a live doubt clearing session, look out for courses which give you space and a platform for connecting with the course instructors, thereby you can get your doubts cleared and get more clarity on the course material.
Learning path from a course creator’s perspective
In a course creator’s perspective, the Learning path is curating a course with a relatable set of information, and facts, which should be directed with the right flow to engage the learners and direct them into smooth learning.
Structure the course precisely
We all know that too much of anything is good for nothing so don’t bombard your students with too much information. Oftentimes tutors have this urge to transmit all the knowledge, in this case giving off an information overload in a beginner’s course might not hold any good.
You can instead structure the courses into two parts; beginner’s course and an advanced course. Try to keep it crisp and to the point as an average human capacity to concentrate on a stretch is just 25 minutes.
Make it a two-way learning
A candle loses nothing by lighting another and by teaching your skills to others, you are only going to improve yours. Make sure that you have the scope to interact with the participants which makes it interesting and amusing for the students as well as you.
The doubt clearing session will not only give a better understanding of the subject matter to the students but also helps you brush up existing knowledge and enable you to process the subject matter into a deeper level.
Try implementing new and fresh concepts
Adding fresh and new components to your course can upskill the course and add value to it.
Make sure you add relatable concepts and bring in the subject matter which makes the application of the learning in a multidimensional way.
Just like how we have elective subjects along with core subjects in our curriculum system, try adding concepts which would be adding value to the core of the course. Make sure it doesn’t deviate from the main grind of the course.
Be open to updating and innovation
If you’re someone who is used to traditional ways of teaching and has just shifted to digital platforms, be open to update yourself in the digital front.
If you’re someone who already has a hands-on experience in the digital world, try using innovative ways of teaching through different digital platforms like uploading podcasts, youtube videos, illustrator videos, going live on social media and much more.
Ensure quality and authenticity
Make sure that the quality of the content your offer in your course is worth the enrollment money. Be thorough with your research and the content you upload, because something you upload online is always going to be there no matter what.
You can improve the authenticity of the course by providing certificates for those who completed the course. A certificate is a representation of the skills a person acquires and adds value.
Even after the COVID expires, online courses are expected to do well and add value, so upskills yourself digitally and ensures that you are open to learning new things.
Learning is important but a learning path is pivotal for an online course.
As Walt Disney once said ‘ curiosity keeps leading us down new paths’. True, to that channel your curiosity into choosing a planned path of learning which will lead you to great success in developing yourself and your skills.