Learning is essential to your growth and personal development. However, in order to make sure that you are growing and developing in the right way, you need to make sure you are getting the most out of your learning goals.
Below I have listed 6 ways to power up your online learning goals and take the next step in your growth and development as a person.
Recommended reading: How 5G Technology Will Affect The Classroom
Set your own goals and be empowered
Studies have show that people who set their goals for learning achieve more than those who have their goals set for them. To power up your learning goals, it’s important to be the one in the driving seat from the outset.
Setting your own goals is proactive and gives you a sense of purpose. It gives you the opportunity to start and continue with your own learning process, developing as you go. The result of this is that you are more independent and more likely to succeed as a learner.
Be very clear about your reasons for embarking on your online learning. For instance, are you aiming to:
- Learn new skills?
- Pick up a new language?
- Acquire new professional qualifications?
- Deepen existing knowledge?
Monetize your goals
Setting your own goals gives you a sense of purpose but monetizing your goals incentivizes them – by placing a monetary value on your learning plan, you can see how much it will be worth to you.
There are a number of different ways that you can monetize the goals you have set for yourself. For example:
- If you are learning more about something you love doing, can you then turn this into a viable business?
- If you’re picking up a new language, does this open up job opportunities in more profitable countries?
- If you are enhancing existing qualifications, then are you able to get a pay rise or a promotion?
Attaching value to goals makes them more tangible (and attractive).
Design a designated study place
Ensuring you have the right environment to study in makes an enormous difference to how well you learn — with a study from the University of Salford claiming that it affects your progress by up to 25%.
Two of the most crucial things that you need to think about when you’re designing your designated study space are:
- Acoustics and room temperature: Minimize background noise and make sure you have a comfortable room temperature – if it’s too warm you will become drowsy and won’t take in what you’re trying to learn
- Lighting: Lighting is one of the dominant factors when it comes to your brain’s capacity to learn – people in brightly light rooms are able to gather and retain data better than those in dimly light ones.
Create a learning plan
Having a learning plan helps you to keep track of your progress and see that the time you’re spending is being used well.
According to Aoife McLoughlin, of ELT-Connect (a resource for teachers), there are two main types of learning plan:
- Learning log: A learning log is a tool which you use to keep track of the work you have done over a set period of time. An example of a learning log might be a diary, or a spreadsheet, from Monday to Friday
- GROW (Goal, Reality, Obstacles/Options, Way Forward): This is a model that has been used extensively in corporate coaching. You consider what you end goal and starting points are, then review what obstacles are in-between them. You then review the options you have for overcoming said obstacles, and form a plan to reach your goal. You then keep a record of your progress to help track how you overcame your obstacles..
Seek expert advice
It’s said to take 10,000 hours to become an expert in any given field. However, while you may not have that amount of time to commit to your online learning, seeking the advice of experts can help you achieve your goal(s) more quickly.
Checking the podcasts and blogs from the big players in your field is a great starting point for expert advice.
- If you’re hoping to enhance your knowledge of marketing then Seth Godin is your man. Not only is a subject guru, he also has one of the best marketing blogs and podcasts you’ll find online
- If you are starting a new business is your online learning goal, then look no further than Shopify. The Canadian online store CMS is the a well-regarded software for starting a new business, and along with excellent podcasts and a detailed blog, they even have an Ecommerce University to help you make the most of your new business
- SitePoint from Australia is one of the most respected and longest running developer resources on the web that offers tons of great advice on how to deal with complex (and less complex) web systems and frameworks. A go-to blog for deepening your knowledge of web design and development.
Take an online course
Having mapped out and monetized your goals, designed your study space, created a learning plan, and sought expert advice, the final thing left for you to do in order to power up your online learning goals is to invest in an online course.
It’s the next logical next from seeking expert advice, and there are a number of places that you can find courses that will give you an online certification.
Teachlr has an enormous range of courses, covering a vast number of topics, including:
- Personal Development
- Teacher Training
- Photography and Video
- IT & Software
- Office Productivity
- Health and Fitness
Dr Rick Hanson writes that “any kind of growth or personal development requires a very fundamental skill: Learning.” However, in order to make the most out of your learning, you need to do it in the right way for you.
While my 6 ways to power up provide you with an excellent starting point for getting the most from your online learning, the important thing is that you do what works best for you. Take your online learning to the next level and power up your growth and personal development.
– Kayleigh Alexandra
is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, charity insights, and teachings of top experts from around the globe. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.