Online courses offer numerous benefits for the busy professional who needs to stay ahead of the changes and developments in their profession. The key is to find courses which 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 within an understanding community. Just how is this achieved through online training courses? A well toned online course will guide you through the three steps of the web learning hierarchy.
1. Explicit Learning
The first step in a well structured online course involves explicit learning, which is structured and conveys fundamental concepts and information. These records is delivered online using presentations, readings, audio, video and webpages. Online tests and quizzes are used to assess your amount of knowledge and understanding of concepts, so that you can evaluate your own personal understanding and identify any gaps. This self-assessment means you take responsibility for the learning.
2. Applied learning
The next phase in a well crafted online course involves applied learning where you develop your understanding of the topic matter by learning how to use techniques and strategies to practically apply your knowledge. Engaging the learner in scenarios, case studies and practical exercises is how we test practical understanding and applied learning. Practical exercises get you to the next amount of implementing that which you have learned. For instance, in step 1, you completed a course in miracles lessons the lesson on stakeholder analysis and passed the quiz. So you develop your understanding further by completing a stakeholder analysis table on the basis of the case study scenario within the online course. This gets you thinking and – more to the point – doing. You have to identify the different stakeholders involved, make assessments about their amount of interest and influence and make some decisions on how best to connect to these stakeholders. This is learning by doing and elevates you to a greater amount of learning. With online courses you can certainly do this at your own personal pace. You can take the time you need to think on the topic and develop well thought out analyses or approaches to confirmed situation.
3. Tacit learning
Meaningful learning is not done in isolation, so the third 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 each other, 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 you to a much broader network of professionals with diverse means of thinking. Therefore challenges and enhances your learning and moves you to the highest amount of the web learning hierarchy.
And your final point – try to find online training courses that have course facilitators offered to moderate discussions and answer any course related queries.