Self-Paced Courses... Yes! You CAN Learn From Anywhere

A self-paced course is a course that an adult learner takes completely on their own. Typically this is done on a computer and without any guidance or direction from an instructor and without interaction with other students. This means the course is asynchronous.


a·syn·chro·nous

/āˈsiNGkrənəs/

(of two or more objects or events) not existing or happening at the same time.

Source: Dictionary.com


Many people have a mistaken belief that self-paced courses cannot facilitate learning. Platforms such as Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and even YouTube offer an environment for people to learn about almost anything, anytime and anywhere.


The main component of any course whether it is online, virtually delivered, or self-paced is the transfer of knowledge. When designing self-paced courses, how do you ensure that knowledge is transferred?


Decide what platform you will use to host your course

One can begin with a simple YouTube video accompanied by virtual handouts delivered via email or an embedded QR code. Self-paced courses do not require the use of an expensive and complicated learning management system or programs. Free programs like Thinkific and Moodle offer outstanding flexibility for those with simple needs, while more advanced software products such as Articulate Rise can be used to create attractive courses with some training.


Have clear learning objectives for your course.

Adult learners want to know they can use what they are learning. As with any course, clear objectives create the foundation for your course. Clear objectives should be measurable.


Example: Review the nine-point communication process during the lending process.


The word 'review' indicates a task that will be performed. In this example, the nine-point communication process.


Create content in different modalities

Using different modalities for instruction allows learners to practice different concepts in different ways. A matching activity, for example, might help a learner recall certain facts, whereas a case study might help a learner critically think through a problem.


Create simple knowledge checks

Formative assessments are used throughout a course to test a learner's knowledge and give feedback. Formative assessments can take many forms, such as simple activities, quizzes, or writing assignments.


Give the learner opportunities to practice

Using different modalities and knowledge checks gives learners the opportunity to practice the concepts that they have learned throughout the course.


Today we can learn on our mobile phones. Self-paced courses are a great option for professionals who want to learn more about specific areas but whose schedules do not allow them to attend classes at normal times. These courses are more affordable and convenient than traditional classroom-based courses, and they can be taken at the learner’s pace. With the right course design, the transfer of knowledge can happen.


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