Don’t strive to be the best. Learn to be the right one.
How To Improve Online Learning
There is so much opportunity when learning to be online. While at a CareerLabs webinar, Hitzig got my attention when he said, “you cannot just teach online.” As the people at CareerLabs are all over this topic, they think at least as much on this topic as I do. Not to say I don’t. It’s simply an added bonus that they’re at a company where the folks at CareerLabs can really give you “downloaded” real-world reviews from their customers.
So when Hitzig said something like, “You cannot just teach online,” I started thinking a bit harder about how learning to be online can be a very positive experience. My experience at a range of companies has given me a lot of practical ideas for expanding the use of online learning with the goal of making it less overwhelming and more engaging.
Myth: Online learning is for the a.m. Typical courses are taken in the evening. I remember reading articles that talked about “learning when the light is good,” so that people can learn more efficiently. The old logic in the brain made sense at the time, but over time the brain studies and learns about patterns. Learning from patterns. Not time in the morning. I was taught this to fit into the day and the latest neuroscience tells us that time in the morning actually helps us learn more effectively.[This article originally appeared on The Best Company, a hub of thousands of employers that is constantly building tools to engage, compensate, evaluate and mentor and grow the next generation of strong employees.]
Go Watch the Doc
Over time you may find yourself learning online in different times of the day than what you used to do in the evenings. So start with the basics before jumping ahead. Find some websites that you love, but don’t feel comfortable with. Create a schedule of times that you’ll watch the videos or read the material. Regular online programs work best if they have short, effective sessions that you then build into your schedule. So if the objectives you want to learn are moderate to high level content, do not work from scratch. Break it down into bite-sized segments you can evaluate and evaluate again.
Doodle for Quality
You’ll want to capture your thoughts, develop your sentence structure, read your content and reference the notes you’ve made. When you can visualize what you need to accomplish, you can be more successful. Don’t guess your targets. Your students will either learn what you need them to or they won’t.
Turn Off Noobs and Turn Off Process
Online learning is great when it involves everything. It can’t be “just part of my life,” as Hitzig was keen on stressing. The formula is simple. Connect with the right people, join communities that you are already participating in and stick to their goals. They will do the same for you.
Find a Mentor Who Might Want to Improve
Mentors are helpful. Whether you’re just starting out or are a professional, most of us want to improve. A mentor might just be your most ideal online source for support. While mentoring and peer advice are mutually beneficial, at the same time provide you the guidance you need. Is there a better person online who will help you?
So my advice is to do homework. Is online learning working for you? Are you excelling, are you seeing the goals you set and is the feedback from your students better than you expected? This is the early stages of online learning. As I say to my class, online learning is really easy. Once you get online, you can definitely achieve almost anything.