Online training providers are changing the traditional ways we consume training. In this article, I’ll look at five market leaders and break down what I like about each of them.
Why we like Lynda.com:
- Granular course design: each course consists of around 40 videos, grouped into ‘chapters’ with bite-sized segments of around 8 minutes. And every video is stand-alone so it can be taken as an individual course without the rest of the module.
- Content is organised in learner pathways as ‘playlists’, collections of courses curated by Lynda.com. Anyone can create and share playlists, so learners can create their own pathways.
- The catalogue provides a selection of free videos in each course so you can browse before purchasing.
Subscription based, giving a choice of price and access.
- Multi media multi channel – including digital materials from publishers such as Wiley, and interactive PDFs that can be downloaded and used in exercises as learners work with the videos.
- Basic membership includes unlimited access to the entire library.
- Premium members can download course to phone and tablet devices for offline use.
- Dynamic transcripts flow alongside videos.
- Users can make notes below the videos which helps transform the entire UI into a work space.
2. Google Primer
Why we like Google Primer:
- Breaks down information in a really simple way.
- Lessons take five minutes or less.
- Uses real case study material, insider tips and interactive tips and quizzes for you to see how you’re doing.
- The offline feature means you can learn anywhere, anytime (on the underground if you can get elbow room).
- Beautifully designed and easy to use.
Why we like Treehouse:
- Clear progression – idea of ‘Achievements’ in a course.
- Clear structure with timings.
- Raises the bar with high quality studio produced video lessons hosted by in-house team of trainers and contemporary visuals.
- Courses organized into ‘Tracks’. These are pre-selected sequences of training topics that you complete in a specific order
Why we like Duolingo:
- You can set yourself daily goals to achieve.
- Content is delivered in short learning chunks.
- Clear roadmap and progress markers for your learning path.
- Placement tests to put you start you at the right level.
- Discussion streams linked to the language you are learning.
- Spaced repetition – neat use of algorithms to determine when you should practice words to get them into your long-term memory.
- Gamified design unpins the whole experience.
Why we like Codecademy:
- Clear progression and scaffold approach (lessons build sequentially on what you’ve learned before).
- Interactive practice activities and quizzes to put learning into action.
- The content and practice is chunked into series of very short exercises so it’s easy to roll through or get back into after a break.
- Practice in walled-garden, so you can see the code changing the online elements without screwing up your actual website!
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