Online courses offer numerous benefits for the busy professional who needs to keep in front of the changes and developments in their profession. The key is to look for courses that are engaging and interactive, allow 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. 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 faltering step in a well structured online course involves explicit learning, which can be structured and conveys fundamental concepts and information. This information is delivered online using presentations, readings, audio, video and webpages. Online tests and quizzes are used to assess your degree of knowledge and comprehension 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
The next phase in a well crafted online course involves applied learning where you develop your comprehension 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 exactly how we test practical understanding and applied learning. Practical exercises take you to the next degree of implementing that which you have learned. Like, 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 included in the online course. This gets you thinking and – most importantly – doing. You’ve to spot the different stakeholders involved, make assessments about their degree of interest and influence and make some decisions how best to interact with these stakeholders. That is learning by doing and elevates one to an increased degree of learning. With online courses you are able to do this at your own personal pace. You are able to make an effort you need to reflect on the topic and develop well orchestrated analyses or approaches to confirmed situation.
3. Tacit learning
Meaningful learning isn’t done in isolation, so the next phase involves tacit learning, where you share your thinking and analysis together with your online community of peers and colleagues. You are able to 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 together 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 methods for thinking. This in turn challenges and enhances your learning and moves one to the greatest degree of the online learning hierarchy.
And a final point – look for online training courses which have course facilitators open to moderate discussions and respond to any course related queries.