To learn is to broaden the mind. A lot of young students are unhappy with the codified forms of education that have been popularized over time. For them, the introduction of Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs came as a boon in disguise. These courses do not impose any structural forms on students. They are free to learn what they want and are at liberty to quit their course if they are not happy with it. These online courses focus on learning rather than the semantics of codified education.
MOOCs are also known for breaking the boundaries between different courses. The students can learn what they want, even if they did not follow that path in their schools. For example, a student from the humanities stream can learn all about commerce and business, if it interests him or her. He/she will not be prevented from taking up the course just because they did not learn about it previously.
What are learning paths?
The process of learning is a sequence of events, which eventually ends with the student understanding a concept. A learning path refers to this series of events. The path begins with the student’s desire to understand a certain concept- say, for example, pie charts- and ends with him/her understanding the concept completely. This understanding is achieved through a series of activities and examinations that test the student’s gradual progress continuously. The learning path has emerged as another way of learning that has proven to be beneficial to students of all streams and fields.
With learning paths, you can select a number of courses at once, and thus save yourself the ordeal of going through multiple enrolments.
Some advantages and disadvantages of learning paths
As with every learning process, the system of the learning path also comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages.
1. A learning path helps add structure to a training program
When you are creating a learning path for your students, you are in control. This means that you can order the series of chosen courses in your own way, and also decide the time frame for each course.
2. You won’t have much to do after that
As someone who is setting the learning path for the students, you will not have a lot to do once the students start on their individual path. This is because the learning path system ensures that students are largely self-sufficient when it comes to their education.
3. As a learner, the learning path will keep you on track
If you are a student, the learning path is an efficient way of keeping you working towards your goal. The learning path will help ensure that all the specifics of your course are covered and that you progress efficiently from goal to goal. You will, therefore, develop a systematic understanding of the course material over time, instead of getting overwhelmed by a huge amount of information at once.
Not all learners are the same. Some students actually prefer the haphazard way of education, since it allows them to explore other areas of interest and develop their creative skill. They might not feel comfortable with a structured and systematic form of education.
The learning path system requires the students to be up to date with their course. This means that the student needs to be vigilant and do the bit that has been assigned for them each day. A lot of students may not be able to follow this rigid system, which might eventually lead to them to fall out of favour with it.
Key points to consider while creating a learning path
There are 5 essential tips that you need to keep in mind while creating a learning path for your MOOCs:
1. Keep the overall goal in mind
The learning path system will work only if you keep the eventual destination in mind. Think about the concept you want to grasp as a whole, and then proceed to break it down.
2. Know that you are in control
You have the freedom to create your learning path in whatever way you like. Remember that.
3. Self-assessment is essential
Your students will only know how much progress they have made if you keep examining their knowledge. Short quizzes at the end of each chapter are a good way of doing that.
4. Make weekly checklists
This provides the students with a sense of achievement when they achieve their goal for the week, and also encourages them to keep going.
5. Try to keep different learning styles in mind
This is not possible always, but considering the different learning styles of your students is an effective way of creating a successful learning path.
Creating a learning path for your students will make the course even more meaningful for them. The students will know that they are in control of the learning process, which will motivate them to learn and grow further.