Ask the Coach: Linked Learning

by Santina Kerslake


Remember all those teachers or professors who put you to sleep? Well, there are still many people who insist on relaying information the boring way. Perhaps this reason alone is responsible for so many rushing off to take online courses. All this not to face another monotone geezer?

Perhaps, but the worst case scenario would be people not taking courses at all. There is so much to learn and everyday should bring a new learning experience. I remember when the kids were young, something I implemented to help discussion was that we all had to talk about one new thing we'd learned that day. It was interesting at times to see their little eyes swimming, trying to figure out what, if anything, they had learned.

You know, it created wonderful conversations and it got them to talk about something that was unique to them. It didn't matter that what they had learned was trivial, we all shared and by doing so the rest of us learned something new again.

People taking courses go into the experience hoping to get something out of it, but many times don't know what to expect. Many of us don't realize that what we learn or get out of the course is partly in our hands. That first class, we can speak out and make sure that everyone knows why we are there. If the instructor doesn't ask, perhaps you can bring it up. Now there is a novel idea interaction!

Interaction is of prime importance in learning. We learn best while being in a participatory role. We can't just sit there and be spoon-fed information. We will not remember as much; not to mention we might fall asleep. So how do we know if a class will be to our liking?

Here are 3 quick tips to assessing the class and the instructor

Tip One

Make sure you can contact them either via email or phone. What is their tone like? Is it casual, very conversational? Do you feel comfortable? Do you like their voice if you are speaking by phone? You'll have to listen to them unless it is an online course. If it is online, what is their writing style like? Are the thoughts put across in a way you can easily understand?

Tip Two

Ask questions. Ask the instructor if the class is interactive. What kinds of exercises do they use in the class? Can they change the content on the fly to match the needs of the participants? Are there any group activities?

Tip Three

Do you have a choice of taking the course in-person, via telephone or online? This choice puts you in the driver's seat. Everyone has a preferred format and if you can choose all the better! If you are taking an online course, is there a discussion board for people who have taken that course? If it is a teleclass, do they have a free one so you can test before you buy?

Taking extra courses, even if you have to pay for them yourself, is an investment in self-development. If it isn't already, it should become part of your budget. Plan to take at least two courses per season.

This way, you can better plan your time and budget.

Happy l-e-a-r-n-i-n-g!


Santina helps people unleash their ideas, talents and energies through coaching, inspiring and motivating them to take action by planning each step toward their objective. Need a coach on your team? Get in touch through FB/in/check out my Blog or email me: coachsantina @ gmail.com

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