Earlier this month, I sent a survey on professional training to 785 Higher Ed Experts active members, the top 25% most engaged members when it comes to professional development. The survey was conducted on a 2-week period and got a response rate of 22% with 172 respondents.
According to this survey, 80% of your most engaged colleagues invest their professional development budget to learn or develop a skill that will help them make a difference at work.
We live in a world of options when it comes to professional training and development: conferences, workshops, webinars offered by agencies or vendors, articles, blogs, Twitter chats, LinkedIn groups, online conferences and online courses.
Because my job at Higher Ed Experts is to help you learn and grow in your higher ed career, I follow a lot of what is done in this area, regularly attending conferences, reading an insane amount of content pertaining to new trends, challenges and practices and curating the most useful resources for you so you don’t have to spend the time you don’t have to keep up with what is out there.
Over the past 2 years, I’ve learned a great deal on how adults learn as well as instructional design principles and best practices.
Different ways for learning different things
And, as you might already know, there isn’t a unique optimal way to learn… everything.
- If you want to learn best practices in the industry and get inspired by others, conferences are definitely the way to go.
- If you want to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, online events will deliver the most bang for your buck because there isn’t the usual 6 to 9-month time lag that comes with calls for proposals. It doesn’t get fresher :-)
- If you want to know what others are doing, blogs and online articles do a pretty good job at keeping you inform (and they get brownie points because you can scan them ;-)
- If you want to understand and learn a complex process or phenomenon and are lucky enough to find a book about it, then go for it.
- If you want to learn or develop a professional skill and don’t have a mentor to rely on, courses or workshops spread on several days or weeks and including the right mix of theory, reflexion, how-tos and practice are the only way you’ll be able to master this skill. There are things you can’t learn only by reading or watching materials. And, professional skills belong to this category.
Things now even get more complex because of the Internet that is putting your brain to the test by saturating it with its information-rich environment, full of distractions (kitten videos, anybody?) and interruption (you’ve got mail!). As this awesome 4-minute video explains, it’s more challenging now to find the time for calm thinking that will lead to knowledge consolidation.
It’s in this context that we’ve designed our 4-week online courses for higher ed. By curating and updating on a constant basis a set of videos, readings, class discussions and practical assignments you can use at work, each of our instructors act as your personal mentor making sure you learn by reading, watching, discussing and doing.
That’s why more and more of Higher Ed Experts alums (professionals like you working in universities and colleges) keep coming back to take more of our courses.
30 minutes live with Higher Ed Experts alums, higher ed professionals like you
But, don’t take my word for it and join 3 of them this Wednesday (May 22nd) at 9AM ET in a live informal conversation powered by Google Hangout so they can tell you about their experience (register to receive a reminder and share with folks you know)
The next session of our courses starts on June 10 — and will be a bit longer than usual so you can enjoy the 4th of July holiday weekend without thinking about homework.
Because this session spans from June 10 to July 10, you can also pay your course registration AFTER July 1st and use your 2013-2014 budget while learning the skills that will help you make a difference at work this summer.