Going back to thinking of learning options available as ordering from a menu in a restaurant as we did in part one, if we think of in-person learning as the entrée, online learning options are like an extra-large side dish that could almost be eaten as a meal by itself.
Not so long ago, online learning was a small part of an organization’s training programs and other than webinars, few learning providers offered online training. Today, online training has exploded with many options and providers vying for learning and development budgets.
Common Online Learning Options
|Type||Definitions and Descriptions||What to expect?|
|Webinars||A seminar conducted over the Internet. Similar to in-person, but you complete it from your computer, listening to the instructor and viewing slides. Most are under 2 hours. Great way to get a taste of a topic or drill down into one area. Offered by a variety of large and small learning sources. Requires registration ahead of time. There are many free webinar options with others $$.||Easy way to enhance skills. May have little to no audience participation. If you are new to webinars, login early to explore what you are seeing. Sound either through computer or dial in #. May be for professional credit.|
|MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses)||A course of study made available over the Internet (online) without charge to a very large number of people (10k+ for some) usually done through video lectures. MOOC’s are an opportunity to take college-level courses. Course could run over a period of weeks with homework. While many courses are free, there may be fees to take the class, participate in projects or earn certificates.||Give opportunity to thoroughly learn new subject matter. Definite time investment to get the most out of the course. Tests and other coursework may be required.|
|Microlearning||Newest and fast-growing form on online learning. Short learning burst sessions that can be completed from your Smartphone or computer. The learner is in complete control of the learning (self-directed learning). Uses a lot of video content. From free (think Twitter) to fee-based.||Takes more complex topics and breaks them into bite-sized components. Variety of learning: quizzes, games, activities, etc. Can quickly feel a sense of achievement.|
Common online learning options give the learner the opportunity to learn something new without ever leaving the comfort of their own home and in some cases, through an ap on their Smartphone. Both E-Learning, done over the Internet to teach specific skill,s and M-Learning, learning linked to a mobile device that lasts no more than 10 minutes and uses quick access bites, have taken online learning to new levels.
Online learning has many positives, but if you are someone who likes personal interactions, online learning may be a smaller part of your learning portfolio. While there are options for interactions, they are primarily over the web or social media.
Send us your favorite online learning websites or aps. Cued Forward would like to connect with these providers who have left a lasting positive learning impression.
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