Online courses offer numerous benefits for the busy professional who needs to stay in front of the changes and developments within their profession. The key is to consider courses that are engaging and interactive, enable you to get touching the screen, enable you to develop relevant practical skills and then test those skills, challenge your thinking and involve you included in a learning community. So just how is this achieved through online training courses? A well toned online course will guide you through the three steps of the online learning hierarchy.
1. Explicit Learning
The first step in a well structured online course involves explicit learning, that is structured and conveys fundamental concepts and information. These details is delivered online using presentations, readings, audio, video and webpages. Online tests and quizzes are accustomed to assess your degree of knowledge and understanding of concepts, so you can evaluate your own personal understanding and identify any gaps. This self-assessment means you take responsibility for the learning.
2. Applied learning
Another phase in a well crafted online course involves applied learning where you develop your understanding of the topic matter by learning how to utilize techniques and strategies to practically apply your knowledge. Engaging the learner in scenarios, case studies and practical exercises is how exactly we test practical understanding and applied learning. Practical exercises take you to the next degree of implementing everything you have learned. For instance, in step 1, you completed a course in miracles lessons the lesson on stakeholder analysis and passed the quiz. Now you develop your understanding further by completing a stakeholder analysis table based on the case study scenario within the online course. This gets you thinking and – most importantly – doing. You have to identify the different stakeholders involved, make assessments about their degree of interest and influence and make some decisions how best to connect to these stakeholders. This really is learning by doing and elevates one to an increased degree of learning. With online courses you can do this at your own personal pace. You can make an effort you need to think on the topic and develop well orchestrated analyses or approaches to a given situation.
3. Tacit learning
Meaningful learning is not done in isolation, so the next phase involves tacit learning, where you share your thinking and analysis along with your online community of peers and colleagues. You can collaborate with and mentor one another, discuss, debate, explore and modify ideas or create new ideas. Online courses facilitate this kind of interaction through the on-line community and forums for discussion, questions and answers, debates and wikis. Well structured online training is really a powerful mechanism for discussing, interacting and collaborating along with your professional peers. Through their wide reach and global nature online courses have the potential to introduce one to a much broader network of professionals with diverse ways of thinking. This in turn challenges and enhances your learning and moves one to the greatest degree of the online learning hierarchy.
And your final point – try to find online training courses which have course facilitators available to moderate discussions and react to any course related queries.