The story is all too familiar: You took an online course for college/work years ago and it was terrible. The content was fine. You probably passed, but it wasn’t easy to force yourself online to grudge through a very lonely experience. Not being able to find what you needed online, not getting questions answered and feeling like you are not actually alive anymore are just some of the issues making it very easy to procrastinate. You vowed that you would focus on live courses from now on. And, you may even talk to humans taking the course with you (even though you never did that before).
You are not alone. Many people have had the very same experience.
This is because a couple years back technology and internet connection improved to the point to allow for a novel breakthrough in education to take place – the birth of the learning management system.
However, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Early online learning management systems functioned correctly in theory, but we only enjoyable / tolerable if you have a CPU instead of a human brain.
Humans need interaction and to feel connected as a basic function (some people try to deny this, but they are just fooling themselves).
So, what started as confusing voids designed to suck out your soul for a passing grade evolved into something more. Something better.
The new and improved learning management systems have integrated social learning tools – meaning live chat, forums, personal profiles, blogs, whiteboards, live connection integration (think Go To Meeting) and much more to create an engaging learning experience. Share your opinion or course materials with designated user groups talking about the same stuff you are there to learn. Review past conversations as well to gain from all of that informal and invaluable real life experience that could save you a few more than a few newbie missteps.
This is what I believe the well intentioned people years ago wanted to do, but just didn’t have the resources to pull it off like we can today.
From personal experience, I only used one learning management system recently that made this light-bulb manifest over my head. It was literally the opposite experience I had years ago with my first online course – it was engaging, I connected with like-minded people which helped facilitate real world discussions, I felt like I was contributing to a group and I learn the required material (multimedia I might add.) It was easy to use and easy to enjoy.
The moral of this story it to Try Again. The world moves fast. Don’t let past assumptions apply to current opinions that would limit your ability to learn something new.
Take that online course. Push for better training at work. The tools are available. Are you?
This is the first tranche into a world of helping people find what they need to find happiness or at least an excuse to get out of bed in the morning. Let me know what topics are more important to you.