Teachers generally learned how to teach by becoming experts on specific subjects. Unfortunately, the era of online education is short-lived.
Why Procastinators Should Never Use Online Learning
Why Procastators Should Never Use Online Learning
First, as a systems programmer, I always tell my students to develop their skills by doing real-world programming projects, so that they not only get a feel for a practical skill set but also gain critical thinking and problem-solving chops. In that vein, since 2003, I have offered courses on The Reels.com website. As a content partner, The Reels.com posts me each weekend to a class that has varying content, ranging from learning-to-code for a video game to writing scripts for a live podcast.
Since all the classes are hosted for free on the internet, I do not charge for enrollment. If the introductory class on strategic development, which is one of my most popular, has any students, I report it in my official evaluation form, and let them know that they get the time and materials they need, free of charge. On all eight courses that I offer on Reels.com, I report the number of students each class has on average and grade each student accordingly. This approach is part of my value-added methodology. It is why I have very high retention rates and why almost all of my students graduate from The Reels.com. It also makes me and my students available to the public, and thus, an indicator of the quality of my courses. It makes me accountable, so that I can help people build skills to help improve the world.
I have always been opposed to online learning programs in general. As a social media manager, I found a few interesting online classes from different sources, like Mobile App Development (project1090) and just a few spots in a few classes from development-oriented courses. But I never had any success using them. Every online class I took that I considered worthwhile left me frustrated and without answers.
A couple years ago, I decided to take a crash course in developer and programming languages because I wanted to go off on my own as a developer. That was in February 2016, and for the past 1.5 years, I have been enrolled in numerous courses from all over the world: Dev Bootcamp; DigiFliter; Teltri; CrossLab; Native Solutions; PCXL; Plenty of Fish; Uzzie; the Seminars Group; and many others. So far, every instructor and course that I encountered on any of these platforms taught me one thing: how hard it is to write code that any human being with any basic understanding of these languages would comprehend. I tried to type as fast as possible but it never really got to the point where I could get the output that I wanted.
The frustrating part for me is that I read everything I could find about programming languages online. I probably read 1,000 articles on books and websites. The problem is that I really do not have a naturally strong understanding of coding. These online courses, which were geared toward people who know their way around the computer and who can code as a novice, taught me nothing new. Because I am not used to programming languages like Python, Ruby, Node.js, and C++, I found the courses difficult to stick with throughout the duration of the courses. I began to question how I could possibly understand these programs if I only know something about QWERTY. And because I am not comfortable writing computer code, I understand why the instructors can be a little fussy. In the end, I have been asked to test my ability to understand the directions and even go one step further, to write actual code. I was finally learning code once again.
So why do I hate online learning? Because I know that I can do better and have never bothered to get better at such a difficult skill. And to my students, I tell them that they will too.