Imagine being thrown into the deep end of the ocean with heavy tides forcing us to wonder how to get out alive. Knowing the basics of swimming is insufficient to battle the tides that come our way, leaving us wishing we had become stronger swimmers earlier on. But, there is no time now for an elaborate swimming lesson. Instead, you make do with what you know, think on your paddling feet, power on, and hope that you make it the other side alive.
Why this analogy? We live in a time where many human jobs are becoming redundant, and new roles are developing at a rapid pace – roles that are still ambiguous to us. Yet, we are thrown into them and left to figure our way through these new situations. With trying to make ends meet, it is difficult to find time for a long learning initiative that takes us away from our work. Then, what should you do? Go on without learning and gradually rust with your existing skill set or try something different?
Today, with the advent of internet and remote working a reality, learning too has diverged from the traditional in-classroom sessions to a blend of online and offline learning devices, strategies or methods. The one methodology that is truly catching up with the learning industry at a rapid pace is ‘Self-paced’ courses. Yes, a solution for all those who are pressed for time and struggle to fit in learning in their hectic schedules.
Why? Time being such an important factor, individuals, teams and organizations are hard-pressed to make learning a part of their everyday routine. Also, there are many a time when one needs to learn certain things quickly and cannot wait for a schedule or one-hour session per day or week. In some scenarios, the learner needs adequate amount of time to learn, understand and implement. It cannot be a rushed process. Thus, self-paced courses allow learners two time-friendly benefits – convenience and flexibility.
- Self-paced courses are learner driven and not dependent on the availability of an instructor or schedule.
- One can enrol for a self-paced course and complete it at their own pace without external factors like need for a facilitator, deadlines, to keep them from completing a course.
- Self-paced courses are convenient to enrol, provide the leeway to learn on the go and come in modules or chunks that are learner friendly and don’t result in information overload.
- It also provides you access to all the content in one go, wherein you are not hindered by deadlines or due dates.
- The flexibility that comes with a self-paced course is helpful for folks who have tight schedules. The option to make it a part of morning routine or pack half an hour during lunch break or leisurely attend to it before bed or during long hours of commute is certainly a reason for individuals to embrace this learning methodology.
According to research conducted by Bersin and Deloitte, online self-study now accounts for 26% of all training. Organizations too, realize the value of including self-paced courses as a part of their training measures. It is considered a great option for training employees on compliant and other policies of the organizations.
Today, the work of L&D professionals and HR calls for a change in their deliverables. They must think beyond the classroom trainings and move on to methodologies like self-paced courses that will help an employee learn on the go and not spread too thin by taking time out from everyday responsibilities and duties.
The elements that need to be considered is the curation of content, ensuring it has an edge over one click of Wikipedia or Google. (Read more: Here’s what you can do) The interactivity and overall course experience. We will be delving deep in these aspects of self-paced courses in our upcoming blogs. Stay tuned and let us know your thoughts about how self-paced courses are necessary for your learning.