Learning Options Part Three: Unique Learning Options

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Unique Learning Options

As we have seen with parts one and two of our learning options series, in-person options are the main menu item you might order at a restaurant while online learning is one of those large side dishes that could be eaten as a meal on its own or shared.  If unique learning options are considered the dessert, they are the sweet treat that compliments a great meal or in learning and development, great options that add value on their own and complete a diverse learning program.

There are lots of unique learning options that have become more prevalent in recent years, especially those that are less traditional in nature or are reimagined in a new way.  The benefits of having these alternative learning sources include they offer affordable options in styles and formats that have not otherwise be available.  Who would have thought the person teaching you Excel could be someone not in a classroom, but someone who works side-by-side with you through a video and has more than ten-thousand followers?  The three options listed here are a sample of what is available.

Type Definitions and Descriptions What to expect?
Podcasts A program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet.   Growing in popularity. Typically an hour or less with a variety of formats (discussion, lecture, interview, etc.) and topics. Often done weekly or in a series.  Many free options that are accessible by computer or an ap on a Smartphone. Can be listened to almost anywhere with a set of earbuds.   Think of it similar to an audiobook – can listen to it in the car.  No handouts or slides.  Great option for an auditory learner.  Great way to learn information on a variety of personal and professional topics.
Video Sharing Allows users to watch videos that vary in style and content including “how to” guides, webinar-like options, and commentary.  Examples of video sharing websites include YouTube and Vimeo.  No charge to watch uploaded videos. Search for a topic on the website and choose a video to watch.  Great option if you need to learn something quickly (like “how to”) or for an introduction to a topic.  Viewing a video could include watching someone doing an activity, watching a computer screen, or watching slides.
Volunteering Time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.  Nonprofits often look for volunteers to drive their mission, including serving on their boards.  This is a “learn by doing” option.  Additional training may be provided.  A sometimes underutilized, no-dollar cost option. Requires some up front work on the part of the learner – finding a nonprofit that aligns with the learner’s values and goals and finding a nonprofit with volunteer options that meet the learner’s needs and interest.  Can vary in duration and scope.  Requires a time investment.

 

With the need for continuous learning in the workplace growing, unique learning opportunities continue to be defined and redefined.  Mentoring and internships are two additional unique learning opportunities that allow individuals and organizations to obtain learning through an investment of time.  Also seen as important are knowledge transfer and management.  It’s not only about learning something today, but being able to utilize it, recall details, and pass it on to others.

Cued Forward hopes that this three-part series on learning options has expanded your knowledge of places you can look for learning experiences.   As a learning provider and resources connector, we are constantly seeking the feedback of readers.  Send you comments, thoughts and suggestions to us here.  We look forward to sharing feedback and “best in class” learning providers in future posts.


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