The internet has given us access to all of the information created in the entire history of humanity. Not only that, but the vast majority of this knowledge is available in an instant, no matter where we are. Whether it be an explanation of trigonometry or a guide on how to change the oil in your car, you’ll find it online.
But over the years, the web has evolved to become more intuitive and interactive. There are many different ways that we can access and consume the education that is available to us. So if you’re considering learning something new, you might be wondering what the best way to do it is.
The answer will depend on a few different factors, such as your own learning style, the subject you’re studying, and how quickly you need to learn.
Online Text Guides
One of the oldest ways to share information online has been through a webpage filled with words. While in the 1990s and early 2000s, they may have been purely text-based, today, you’ll also find photographs and diagrams to make it easier to comprehend the topic.
This is great for sharing both simple and complex ideas, which is why this format is used for everything from sponge cake recipes to peer-reviewed medical studies.
If you find that you can comprehend information well by reading or you prefer to take your learning at your own pace, then text guides are one of the best options available to you. They can also be combined with other forms of content to enhance your learning even further.
Another great use for text guides is being able to keep referring back to them. If you’re using Microsoft Excel and you need to know how to create a pivot table, then you might read a guide in one window and have your spreadsheet open in the other. As you complete each step, you can check what’s next in the guide so you don’t have to work from memory.
The same is true for when you’re learning the rules of a card game. Text guides that explain how to play poker, covering key topics like hand rankings can act as a handy point of reference while you play your first few games. This allows you to focus on other important elements like the betting rounds as you find your feet.
In the last 10 years or so, video content has become much more prominent online. This is thanks to the fact that we’ve all got faster internet speeds that make streaming practical.
Videos can provide a more engaging way to learn certain topics, particularly ones that contain a practical element. For example, learning how to replace the spark plugs in your car’s engine can be made easier with a video that shows exactly where to find them and how to remove them.
Sure, text and images can explain the process and show the location, but a video can help visual learners to comprehend the actual motions that you need to go through.
Interactive Learning Platforms
Research has shown that some of us learn better by “doing” and by reinforcing the theory that we’ve been given. That’s where interactive online learning platforms come in.
They can provide tests, quizzes, and other types of assessment that can check how much of the information you’ve been given have been truly comprehended. For people that may feel like they need some additional motivation to learn certain topics, especially if they are ones mandated by your work, then an online assessment can be a useful tool since you’ll need to actually pay attention.
For example, safety training is important for people that work in industries like construction and manufacturing. Certain topics, such as how to properly use a MEWP, are often mandated by law or by company policy to help keep employees safe and evidence of this training may be necessary.
In such cases, online courses that come with an assessment and a certificate are a great solution.
Similarly, language learning apps also use interactive elements to help you remember new vocabulary and grammar rules by getting you to repeat them over and over again.