How can you get the best possible value from online courses?
I’ve trained hundreds of people online over the last few years. As both teacher and learner, I’ve got a few bitterish experiences under my belt.
And I’ve got one killer tip: Do it now!
By which I mean, watch/read/listen to the course materials, and apply what you learn, immediately.
Tell you what: let me break that down into a seven-step system.
- Choose an online course that offers something you want to learn
- Buy that online course
- Watch/read/listen to part of it
- Apply that learning within 24 hours
- Get feedback on step 4
- Repeat steps 3-5 until you reach the end of the course
- Notice how much you’ve achieved.
You can probably read quite a lot between those lines. For example, you’d probably be astonished by how many people spend good money on a course but never actually do the watch/read/listen piece. It seems that for them, once they’ve spent the money, the job’s as good as done!
But more frustrating for me, as a teacher, are the people who do open the box and get fascinated by the shiny objects inside… but don’t want to take them out and get them mucky.
I understand why this happens, because I’ve been there so many times. Trying anything new is a risky business, particularly when you do it in a situation where you’re going to get real feedback.
But really, it’s the only way to avoid wasting your money. Unless you try things out, you’ll never know what would have happened. And trying it out doesn’t get any easier if you put it off: it actually gets harder because you’ve embedded the habit of inaction.
Of course, it may still not work. Last year, I spent a ton of money on an online marketing programme. And I took my own advice – I threw myself into applying what I was learning, from day 1. And the world gave me lots of feedback… I learned a bunch of ways not to achieve the results I wanted.
In the end I asked for – and got – my money back. I was able to demonstrate that I had applied what I’d been taught, and it hadn’t worked. The system may be excellent for some businesses, but it clearly wasn’t suitable for what I was trying to do.
Recently, I had the chance to learn something new: how to run assessment and certification for non-accredited courses like Metaphor Mastery. Within 24 hours I was finding a way to apply the learning and get feedback: it turned out there were a ton of students on the Metaphor Mastery course with experience of assessment processes who could help me tweak the process.
And today, the system’s going live. From today, Metaphor Mastery students have a way of measuring their progress and getting an official stamp of approval when they complete the course. And hopefully, they’ll be confident they’re getting value from the online course.
I wonder how many will make it that far? Watch this space…