It’s always good to learn something new, but given that you have your full-time job, family, social life, and other stuff that occupy your time, taking up a short course with a concrete schedule can be inconvenient if not unfeasible for your day-to-day routine. Luckily, there’s another option that can fit with your busy lifestyle. There are online courses both free and paid that are more flexible to handle. I’ve tried a few courses, and I like the learning experience so far.
Online courses give you the freedom to have your own schedule. Take the lesson when you can. You can even go through more than one module if you feel you’re on-the-roll. You can repeat a module as many times as you like, so you don’t have to worry about having any time constraints if you’re having a hard time grasping a particular topic. A module can contain a video, audio, or reading material, with other external references if applicable. The content is also available through a tie-up mobile application, so you can access your lessons on-the-go. Take note though, don’t place long gaps in between your study sessions, or you’ll end up not retaining what you’ve learned. All skills take regular practice to master or at least to acquire progress.
Sample course page from Coursera
Discussions and Consultations
Like a formal class, you can consult the instructor either by sending him/her a private message or posting a comment to a particular module. Each of them has different availability of schedule, but as far as my experience goes, they really respond to queries as much as possible. Some take a day or two, while others will reply after a week. Either way, this is a great option for further learning the course and find more applications based on your current circumstance. You can also post discussions that are open to fellow students. Their inputs are sometimes as valuable as the instructors’. You can also follow their questions so that you’ll get notified if it receives a response. Based on these student reactions, instructors tend to update the course for modifications and additional content, and you don’t have to pay for these changes. You’ll be notified for such instances if you’re enrolled in the course, even if you already finished it.
Stack Social offers bundles for online courses ala Humble Bundle
Certificate of Completion
I really love the fact that you’ll get an online certificate for the completion of the course. It’s available online so you can include it in your credentials if you want. Courses are tracked based on the modules that you completed. Mostly, there’s an audio or video that you have to go through per module. Finishing the media will mark the module as complete, but that is not required. You have the option to skip the lesson (marking it complete) just in case you already know the topic. There’s no strict monitoring from the instructors. You’ll decide if you can proceed with the next module. Even if you cheated, it will be your loss. Here’s a sample of my certificate for a course that I completed in Udemy.
My certificate for completing the course “Become A Super Learner” from Udemy
Thanks to online courses, you don’t need to be frustrated to learn a new hobby or add skills for your career and lifestyle advancement. However, take note that even if they are flexible, they still require discipline. Again, you will need to follow through regularly to make sure you retain the stuff that you just learned. If you’re ready to take your first course, you can go ahead and try the sites like Coursera and Udemy. There’s also StackSocial, which gives bundles to a collection of Udemy courses for significantly discounted prices. You can also subscribe to the sites’ newsletters for the latest deals. Enjoy! (~^_^)~