There’s never been a better time to turn towards online resources when it comes to learning and studying. The unprecedented global events of recent years have, by necessity, renovated much of the eLearning space and now one can find high quality courses and learning materials to rival any physical institution.
Yet if you’re new to studying online, it can take trial and error before you find what works for you. To help speed that process along, we’ve compiled a straightforward guide to eLearning in 2023. Whether you’re a self-studier, or team player, there are an abundance of eLearning modalities to suit your needs out there today.
Only Use Trusted Resources
The internet is an incredible source of information – simply entering in a question to a search engine like Google can result in thousands of unique sites, articles, videos and infographics seemingly serving your answer up on a silver platter.
However, those wanting to truly understand the subject they’re grappling with should exercise no small degree of caution when it comes to following the advice of any random site you come across. It’s easy to forget sometimes that virtually anyone can publish information on the internet, often with no oversight or requirement to back up their statements with reliable sources.
What’s more, many sites or users will present themselves as an expert on a subject they have no qualifications or meaningful experience in teaching. Naturally, following the advice of such unverified sources can be risky and can result in you learning bad habits, or picking up wholly incorrect or outdated information.
Due to this set of circumstances it’s recommended that those serious about learning the skill or topic they’re researching do their best to stick to reputable sources of information. But how does one vet a source for reliability? While there’s no single sure-fire means of doing this, there are some general principles anyone can follow that should help you prioritize high quality resources.
One of the best ways is to simply approach platforms, websites and services that have already established a reputation in the sector you’re researching. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to grasp the basics of how blackjack insurance payouts work from industry mainstay PokerStars, or understand the migratory patterns from basking sharks from the Marine Biological Association – the maxim holds true in both cases. By ensuring you’re getting your information ‘from the horse’s mouth’, so to speak, you can rest assured that it will be reliable, and of a high quality.
Pick the Right Format for Your Learning Style
One of the core theories of modern pedagogy is the idea that different people have different learning styles. Some people are visual learners, and benefit from richly illustrated resources. Others make sense of material by writing notes and reading text, and yet more still are so-called kinesthetic learners that ‘learn by doing’.
In truth, most people are a blend of these, and having a good understanding of how you learn best can help you work out how to make the most of eLearning resources. For example, certain learners require a lot of dialogue and feedback in order to feel like they’re making good progress. Such people may benefit most from opting to hire a 1-on-1 tutor from a platform like TutorHunt to conduct private sessions over video conferencing software like Zoom.
Others may feel they require a highly structured curriculum to get the best out of their learning – in which case, eLearning platform Skillshare could be the ideal choice as it offers project-based classes rich in coursework.
Furthermore, some learners may be what is known as an auto-didact, or self-learner. Such students are best left to their own devices when it comes to learning. In light of this, an eLearning platform like Udemy, which provides a more ‘hands-off’ approach to delivering its catalogue of course materials, may be the best option available on the market right now.
Use Learning Apps to Gamify Learning
One of the biggest buzzwords of the past decade has been ‘gamification’, a term that refers to a design principle whereby incentives, rewards and levels are implemented into software in order to give users the feeling of progressing, like in a video game.
Not only is this method a genuinely entertaining way to learn, but studies show it really does work. By breaking up the process of acquiring a skill into discrete elements, and rewarding you for progressing through them, gamified learning apps motivate people to continue developing where more conventional learning modalities may struggle.
There are many different subjects you can learn through such apps, with the most popular and best established sector being that of language learning. Apps such as Duolingo and Memrise have racked up millions of downloads and have helped countless people pick up, develop and refine speaking in a second language.
Likewise, Brilliant, a STEM-focused app, brings the process of gamification to bear on learning everything from calculus to applied logic, relying on the positive feedback loop of progression through levels to assist people in developing an understanding of extremely challenging concepts.
Form an Online Study Group
You may remember from your time in school how much easier studying became when you worked together with your friends to form a study group. This works because you create accountability with the other members of your group to progress in your learning, and because you can test one another and discuss your findings as you work through the curriculum.
Now, thanks to the internet and popular chat platforms like WhatsApp and Discord, you can form study groups with people all over the world. This is especially beneficial if you’re training in a specialist subject making it unlikely you’d know other people in your day to day life looking for a study buddy.
Specialist websites, message boards, group chats and communities likely already exist for your subject online, making the process of connecting with fellow students simple and easy. Forming a group with like minded students is mutually beneficial to all, and will help you stay motivated and on track with your own learning journey.