Online, or eLearning, provides many advantages over traditional classroom education. To exploit those benefits however, we need to make adjustments in how we learn.
This article describes how you can get the most out of online learning. I will also explain what we are doing to tweak the offering and give you the best tools to use.
No Talking Head
Firstly, you don’t see any video of me in the material. While I definitely have a face only for radio, that’s not the reason.
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that having the presenter on camera is detrimental to successful online courses. In video-speak this is referred to as a “talking-head”.
One of the reasons advanced for this is that by not having the presenter on the screen you don’t feel pressured “to please the lecturer.” This I learnt from an interview with the originator of the famous Khan Academy.
This enables you to refer to the on-screen content, and make notes while the explanatory voice-over continues in the background.
The next advantage is that you can stop-and-start as much as you like during video lessons. It’s like being able to tell the teacher to, “repeat please,” without being embarrassed, or told to, “pay attention now and keep quiet!”
You can also use the pause button while you make notes.
24-7 Learning & Chunking
Another advantage is that you can "attend lectures," so to speak, at any time during the day or night. You can also “chunk” the learning.
You can, for instance, do one slide, then come back and do another slide, or two.
Our content is deliberately structured to not have too much information on each slide. I use video techniques to high-light or emphasise key words or concepts.
You will never hear me reading what is on-screen.
Another advantage is that the delivery pace is timed so that you can make key-word notes without falling behind. If you do fall behind, just hit the pause button.
Distractions can play a big role in online learning. To get the most out of learning - any learning really, you must reduce distractions.
- No cell-phone - switch it off and put it out of sight
- Face a blank wall - no photographs, posters, or to-do lists in your line of sight
- Play orchestral music only - NO VOCALS! Over the years I have been surprised at the number of teenagers who will quietly admit to me that classical music enhances their ability to focus, and hence, learn. One even said he was most productive listening to Gregorian chant. Oh, and use earphones, it enables focus on what your eyes are seeing.
- Learn at times when it is quieter than usual. Many ADDers work at night or early in the morning, not because they are keen, but that is when there almost distractions.
The next disadvantage is that it can get lonely doing eLearning. You have no-one to discuss things with, or ask a question, or get clarification on something.
You are very often learning on your own. This requires dedication and self-discipline. If you set aside an hour to learn, use the full hour ONLY for learning.
Another way to learn parenting material is that both parents do the course together. Resolve any differences that arise as you go along. ADHD kids are intelligent enough to play one parent off against the other if they detect differences in belief and approach!
It’s really important to understand the concept of ADHD.
Once you understand the concept, it’s easier to grasp the specific knowledge areas
You should not take my knowledge on trust - you need to make it your own. There are a few ways that you can do this:
- Write a list of things that you don’t know about the topic
- Write a list of what you know - this will be a shorter list
- Then confirm or correct what you had listed as what you know
- Fill the gaps and answer the things you had listed as “don’t know.”
- You should also list the new things you have learnt.
Finally, I urge you to go to this website and read about the Feynman Technique, this should enhance your ability to learn anything.