Is There a Best Management System for Self-Learning?

Most organizations take a good online classroom, which is also called learning management system(LMS), as the main building for online education. With the basis of an online classroom that helps with administering, documenting, tracking, reporting and delivering educational courses and training programs, you can manage a learning community much better.

However, the need for manage our learning does not only take place in school or company.

  • Can we apply a LMS in our own learning journey?
  • Is it good to apply it into our own learning community?
  • Can parents manage their children’s learning path by LMS?
  • If we don’t have a LMS for individual or a small community, what we can do?

If it is easy to apply to different occasions, it will be a powerful tool to boost everyone’s learning efficiency, since we need a feedback and support system to complete our learning journey.

For self-learner especially, you can invite you consultant to evaluate you learning result, and let them give you some advice. However, we may not always be aware of what kind of questions are needed to be asked, so a tool that provides you with valuable insights from data will be helpful.

Since most of the LMS is designed for organization, and some handy tool for personal workspace do not have features from LMS, here are the things that I’ll show you in the following paragraph:

  • What exactly a learning management system is and comparing it with tools for workspace.
    • By knowing this, you will have a basic idea about what feature you need from a LMS.
  • Can we create a LMS that is easy to apply to?

Features of a Learning Management System

The features that I mentioned below may not all be necessary to the occasion that you want to apply, so you only need to think of what kind of features you want to adapt.

1.Digitize the Learning Content

The platform should be able to adapt to different source of learning content, so that you can manage all the courses, materials in one place. For instance, the system needs to support the function like saving all types of files, while you can also record sound and video or write in it.

2. Manage the Learning Activities

  • Dashboard : It can let you know all the information of personal learning actives by one glance.
  • Building Course : Integrate all the digital resources, organizing them as courses or providing learning resource on-demand.
  • Submission : The host can assign tasks for all the members, and the members can upload their tasks. The host can also correct the tasks from members in this system.
  • Scheduling : We can settle down timeline for testing, deadline for handing tasks or events. The system should also have the notification features.
  • Poll / Quiz tool : It includes a tool for establishing different types of tasks, and also the function to correct the tasks automatically.
  • Gradebook : The host should have an interface to manage member’s task result.
  • Assessment : Assessments are a key part of any course. An LMS makes it easy to create and manage these assessments, both system evaluated and tutor evaluated.
  • Reporting : An LMS can generate a wide variety of reports, including learning progress, score, member engagement, etc. The data can be utilized to gain valuable insight into the bottleneck of your learning journey.

3. Social Features

An LMS should handle all course communications and notifications to concerned users.

  • Immediate or non immediate interaction functions like Facebook or twitter is needed. It should also have features for video chatting and creating groups.
  • Everyone should be able to launch and follow a discussion under the learning material.
  • There should be a place for community to share any content.

 

4. Mobile Learning Features

  • Responsive Design: It can display the interface properly in different types of devices.
  • It should support offline reading or testing.
  • Some courses have new types of teaching method if the systems can supports the function of Augmented Reality.

5. Learning Analytic Engine

There are some software use AI to support for optimizing learner’s learning path and content, so that we can build a personalized learning environment.

For instances, an online learning platform called Thid Space Learning applies AI really well. This platform is a tutor system that provides one-to-one math lessons to 3,500 pupils weekly, and the AI of this platform will detect whether a student is in a “losing interest pattern”, so that the tutors can revise their teaching method.

Can We Create a LMS not for Org.?

From the graph above, we can see that we do need the features of LMS to support our learning journey.

However, for self-learning, LMS nowadays have some disadvantages:

  • The system is designed for teacher and student respectively, but there is no such a difference when it comes to self-learning.
  • LMS nowadays only supports the function of creating courses, not integrating courses from different platform.
  • Using a note taking platform supports the integration function, which is what LMS do not support.

Although we cannot apply LMS into self-learning, there are still something we can do.

Apply The All-In-One Workspace “Notion” as Alternative


Notion is a powerful all-in-one workspace that provides components such as databases, kanban boards, wikis, calendars and reminders. Therefore, you can use notion to support some features of LMS as the graph below:

For example, you can make a Progress Bar in Notion.

Let’s Review Ourselves

After knowing that we do not have a well-designed LMS for self-learning, some of us may be quite disappointed. However, I think that the tools and the feature is not the most important things, but the goal that we want to achieve behind each of the features.

If we do not have an AI that helps us analyze our learning behavior, why don’t we use an excel to do the record, and analyze the data by ourselves? If there’s no a perfect dashboard, then we can just use other tools to create one. In the end of this article, I just hoping that we can use the features of LMS as a checkbox, to know how to manage our learning better.

Please share the way that you manage your learning journey with us! And I’m more happy to talk with all of you:)

Best,

Ian

Speed Reading tips — Essential skill to Learn

Many of us have heard of the idea of speed reading, and maybe some of us have already known some principles. However, the most difficult part of it is to put into practice, so I will share my experience of practicing it and how to keep myself motivated.

For beginners, here are the principle of speed reading:

  • Read Actively
    • Set up learning goal and time limits, in order to:
      • fit the best condition for operation of our brain
    • Ask question to yourself all the time, in order to:
      • organize information
      • enhance attention
      • keep ourselves be motivated
      • help to memorize information.
  • Read by meaning unit not reading by words
    • Our brain receive information by word chunk, not the each of the pronunciation
    • Adjust our visual movement to read faster

My experience of Practicing Speed Reading

Phase 1—Start to know how to do it

In this phase, you may not know how to do the speed reading, so the following part are some exercise that you can put the principles into practice.

  • 1st exercise— Use your finger or pen to guide visual movement, and get used to it, so that you can make yourself to broaden your vision and read by word chunk.
  • 2nd exercise—Try to expend your vision to read more in each glance, and read the information for half of a line in each glance.
  • 3rd exercise—Read an article for 3 minutes. After that, try to read the paragraph that you have already read in the previous 3 minutes with only 2 minutes. Practice it until you can reach this goal.
  • 4th exercise—Read the paragraph that you have already read in the previous 2 minutes with only 1 minute. Practice it until you can reach this goal.
  • Send one week to practice the 3rd and 4th exercise, and remember to guide visual movement with your finger or pen.

(The method that I put into practice in Phase 1 is based on the instruction of a famous German book[1].)

Phase 2—Get used to it

In phase 2, you may have know how to do the speed reading, but sometimes you will still forget to use it. Therefore, here are some suggestion for getting used to it.

  • 1st, set up your reading goal for both weekly and daily basis.
    • Before you start to read, remember to set a time limit for yourself, so that you will read more actively.
    • What gets measured gets managed— if you set up a goal for a period, you can review the whole process to see how to improve in next period.
  • 2nd, list down how many pages you have read every day.
    • If you do the record every day. you will keep yourself motivated by the numbers you have reached.
    • It is OK for us to read less sometimes, just remember to keep the record even if we fail to read in some days. The true failure is not keeping the record.
  • To get a habit of doing speed reading, it normally takes 2 months. If you are interested in habit, the book “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” is highly recommended.

Phase 3—Apply Speed Reading in Our Daily Life

In this phase, you may be used to speed reading, however, if you want to keep it as a life long habit, you need to apply it into your daily life.

a. Building Relationship

Speed reading has long been a course in the Business Department of Harvard University, and former presidents in USA, Richard Milhous Nixon and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, are all experts in speed reading.

Many studies have shown that many rich people read at least 20 professional books every year, and lots of leaders read a lot and fast. Due to the high amount of knowledge and information, they know how to connect with others in both business and private relationship.

Take the former president of USA, Roosevelt, for example. Every time when he needs to meet up with others, he will investigate what topic that person like? and also spend less than 1 hour to read a book which is related to the topic.

b. Acquire High Reading Comprehension

Besides saving more time to read, it is also an important skill to learn deeper. If we acquired the speed reading skill, the higher reading comprehension will we have, since we will train this ability with the training of speed reading.

Share your idea with us

After reading the above paragraph or even put the suggestion into practice, do you have anything that is wanted to be discussed with? What kind of books are good for speed reading? What kind of books are not? (maybe Math is not a good option?)

Your reply will be the greatest motivation for me to write more content with you, and it can also help everyone to learn this topic better.

Let’s create a wonderful learning to journey together!

Best,

Ian


[1]Garantiert erfolgreich lernen – Wie Sie Ihre Lese- und Lernfahigkeit steigern

Self-Direct Learning with online platforms

As a netizen, we have been questioning about what kind of education is best for ourselve, since we know that the way to reach our own success is different comparing with the past. Therefore, we should think deeper about the change of life long education and what actions we need to take in this circustance.

30% of the Skills will be Replaced in Each Industry

Things that we need to learn is quite different comparing with the past, and so does the way we learn.
According to the report “The Future of Jobs” of World Econic Forum, average skills stability is less than 65% in each industires(shown as the graph below), which indicates the growing demand of training ourselves for new skills and knowledge.

With the trend of knowledge-based economy, the focus of training for our career has shifted from training required skills and knowledge to facilitating the understanding of the content and context of the organizational task-specific situation, and provide an increased ability to use the information to solve problems in the workplace.(Martocchio & Baldwin 1997)

As a result, we need to quickly adapt ourselves for the skill and knowledge to solve problems, and self-direct learning is a good approach of it.

What is self-direct learning?

Self-direct learning is a kind of learning process that enable individuals to design their own learning journey and reach their own goal.

There are many definition of self-direct learning from different researcher, but the content is quite similiar.
Knowles describes self‑directed learning for 5 steps: [1]

  1. Diagnosis the need of learning
  2. Initiate the learning goals
  3. Ensure the resource needed for learning
  4. Choose and execute proper learning startegies
  5. Evaluate the learning result

It is a kind of loop that every self-direct learner need to progress with, and many studies have indicated that the self-direct learner learns better than passive learner for the reasons belows:

  • Clearity of goals and motivation
  • Self-direct learning fits the mental learning process more
  • Taking the responsibility of learning leads us be more mature

Therefore, we should find some ways and resource to boost self-drect learning, and find some resources like oneline platform is the top choice nowadays.

How can platform contribute to self-direct learning?

There are several types of online platform, some of them help us to maintain habits, some of them provide us with plenty of online courses etc. These features can booste the process of becoming a self-direct learner.

When it comes to online platform, people may think of platforms like coursera and khan academy, which is like an online high school or online college.  As the indusrty of online learning gets bigger, there’re some platforms have features which perfectly fits the needs of becoming self-direct learner.

For taking courses, you can take coursera as your first attempt, since they have plenty of free courses
Here is the introduction video from their Youtube channel.

For taking notes, you can try notions as a tool to faciliate your learning journey
Let’s see how Thomas introduces this powerful app.

Get Prepared for Your Journey!

After you have tried the two examples I mentioned above, you can start to think more about:

  • What kind of coueses you need?
  • What is the goal of your self-direct learning?

And I will write some articles to recommend some platforms, books and tools which are related to these topics in the future:)

Let’s create a wonderful learning journey together!

[1]M.S. Knowles, “Self-Directed Learning”, A Guide for Learners and Teachers. (N.Y.  Cambridge Books 1975) p.18