The digital era has brought to life the age-old dream of having the entirety of the world’s knowledge easily accessible to everyone with the willingness to learn. With thousands of online courses, free knowledge platforms, and numerous prestigious universities from around the world publishing their education modules online, there is literally nothing stopping you from educating yourself via the internet.
However, discerning between credible platforms and dubious websites hidden behind a hefty paywall can be a difficult task. Here are the five must-have features your preferred online learning platform should have.
Accessing global knowledge pools
The beautiful thing about the web is that it should, in theory at least, give you access to the collective knowledge of the human race regardless of the language, country, or culture. The fact that the internet has effectively eliminated geographical borders should serve as an incentive to seek out learning platforms that bring knowledge from around the world right to your desktop.
With that in mind, if the platform in question only offers modules from experts in your region, or if the courses are not available in your language, or if you have to pay a hefty price to access the teachings of faraway teachers – don’t use it. Quite simply, the learning platform should serve as a global knowledge base, and not a local library.
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Evaluation, milestones, progression
Just like in a typical school setting, the online platform you choose to be your digital classroom should provide you with a way to track your progress, evaluate your level of knowledge, set milestones, and steadily reach towards your long-term goals.
Having an online curriculum that is just a textbook you can open and read at your own leisure is not exactly a prudent way to improve your education, so make sure that these features are included in the platform. However, you should nonetheless tap into the knowledge pools of prominent universities and their online notes and textbooks.
Consider free knowledge sources
Free knowledge sources are everywhere nowadays, and they are usually referred to as collective knowledge systems. Portals such as Wikipedia and Google are immensely helpful in obtaining free information regarding all possible topics and fields, but if you want to add a note of professionalism, then you should turn to universities who have ascended to the online realm.
For instance, in Australia students and all who seek in-depth knowledge are using study notes from Melbourne uni past exams in order to learn about a specific subject just like the students who actually attended the lectures and passed these exams with flying colors. The fact that prominent universities around the world are offering their teachings for free to all those who are thirsty for knowledge opens up a whole new world for you as an online learner.
Versatility and learning methods
Knowledge can be attained in numerous ways, and what might work for one student might not be enough to make a lesson stick in the mind of another. You might have no problem reading about a certain subject and memorizing everything, but others might need a unique incentive such as a quiz at the end of every lesson, or a more interactive approach. Consider how versatile the platform really is and how many learning methods it offers to answer the different demands of its online pupils.
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The ability to learn on the go
Lastly, it’s important to understand that the modern online learner is increasingly consuming content on the go, and that they are spending less and less time in front of a desktop computer. As a learner living and working in a fast-paced world, you need your platform to have a dedicated app for your smartphone that you can access on the fly. This app should boast all of the features of the website version.
In the end, remember that the web holds within its archives the collective knowledge of the human race, the knowledge that is just a few clicks away. Use these tips to find your ideal learning platform that will meet all of your needs and help you realize your dreams of a higher education.