How To Hack Your Own Higher Education… For FREE

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Innovation in Higher Education

With tight budgets, busy lifestyles and demanding employers, having a solid education is more important now than ever.  The last few years have seen an explosion in the increasing cost of a college education. Don’t fear, there is also an explosion of cost-saving opportunities for a world class education. With the rapid growth of education technology, online learning resources to serve this higher education need have also seen explosive growth, including, Coursera, Udacity and edX.  But with a sea full of higher ed videos, many of which come from colleges like Harvard and Stanford, where do you start?

With all of the online courses, university videos, lectures, and seminars available to you, it is key that you drive the vehicle of your own learning. You are more in control now so take advantage and be effective for your own personal growth and development.  Innovative programs can help you to reflect and strategize to create your own plan unique to you. Watching university videos is great, but it’s not enough. You need to apply this new knowledge to enhance your learning and development. Don’t just watch, do! Here are some tips to do just that.

8 Tips for learning from free education courses, programs, & videos

  1. Create something useful. Watch a video, and actually create something from it! When you know you are working to create something, you will listen much more attentively.
  2. Journal. Reflection is a powerful technique for learning. Describe what you are learning, and apply that knowledge.
  3. Have a project. Pick a relevant project to apply your knowledge.  Maybe you already have a big project, and what you learn from the video can help.
  4. Build your own program. Don’t just watch one video; do a series and integrate them together for your own development. Think of it like assembling a variety of courses to create your own program. You can also combine this self-built program with already existing personal development programs, like Create Your Path.
  5. Have a partner. Don’t do it alone. Go through the video programs with a friend or colleague. Share your insights with each other.
  6. Teach someone something. Before you start your next video program, think about who you would like to teach. Who else could benefit from what you are about to learn? Accepting the challenge of teaching will help you internalize the information on a deeper level.
  7. Learn from those who came before you. Research already exists on how to design your experience so that you have a high impact. My book Root Down & Branch Out: Best Practices for Leadership Development Programs details the best practices for designing programs for learning.
  8. Go mobile!  Short on free time? Want to learn on the go? Use your phone, tablet or other mobile device to participate on your time.

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About the author: Darin J. Eich, Ph.D. is a keynote speaker and founder of many educational innovations like University Training and this Innovation Program.

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