Recently I purchased a subscription to a website called TeamTreehouse.com, an affordable online education platform that teaches users everything from computer programming to building a startup business.
While Treehouse may not be an accredited college, the teachers are experts in their fields, and I have never learned so much in such a short period of time in my life. I believe that the way it structures online learning is a thousand times more effective than online classes at accredited colleges.
Here is a list of four things colleges could do to improve the online learning experience.
Seriously, who wants to sit and watch a two hour long macroeconomics lecture two times a week? Then do cumbersome, confusing homework a million times until you pass and take a difficult online quiz – not to mention beyond hard exams every three weeks.
Treehouse’s videos shorter – at the most, they’re 10 minutes. One topic, let’s say “Intro to HTML” is broken up into two to 10 minute video lectures. This is easy to digest, and I learn much more this way.
Since the videos are shorter and therefore easier to digest, the quizzes should be as well. Treehouse gives one short, four to five question, quiz after each short video lecture. This makes it possible to remember the answers to the questions without having to stop the video every three seconds to type everything the instructor is saying. (Oh yeah, Treehouse also types out the lecture for you. How nice is that!)
Before you can pass the topic/course, such as “Intro to HTML,” you have to pass a “challenge” at the end. You can take the challenges as many times as you need to in order to pass, but since you have actually learned something through shorter videos and quizzes, the challenges are a breeze.
My favorite part about Treehouse is that they reward you with something way more valuable than an ‘A.’ It rewards you with an online badge that says you passed Intro to HTML. This badge is then posted on your profile page so companies looking to hire contractors with a specific expertise can easily see what people know with a quick glimpse of their profile.
How do you think online classes could be more effective? Let us know in your comments below.