Personal development means many things to many people, but essentially it means investing in yourself now, for a fixed or indefinite period, to see benefits sooner or later. Myrko Thum, a personal development coach, defines ‘personal development’ as the conscious pursuit of personal growth by expanding self-awareness and knowledge and improving personal skills. This means that self-awareness is not just located at the two extremes of the thinking and reflecting about it, or the act itself, but both fused together.
Mapping out a plan of action and what you want to achieve in 14, 30, or 90 days can motivate you to continue.
It may be weightlifting, improving your overall cardiac fitness, photography, environmental stewardship, or many others. There are hundreds of online courses out there that make various promises – be sure that you choose courses and trusted course providers that have walked the walk and are accredited practitioners in their field, rather than mouthy mavericks.
Whether learning in-person, in the authentic contexts for the activity itself (gym, photography studio), or learning online, carrying out your own learning and development means you’ll not only be improving your morale, confidence, and knowledge, but you could also be improving your career prospects – whether it’s to gain a promotion, new job, or a career change. It’s not a say to say that they may save your life.
Here are three advantages of choosing online rather than, or blended with, in-person courses when embarking on some personal development.
Video-based learning rather than reading means that information can be taken in more quickly
The primary reason people learn well via video is that the human brain processes video much faster than it does text.
According to elearningindustry.com, a learner is likely to remember only 10% of textual content, 65% of visual content, and 95% of audio-visual content. Hence, this mode of learning effectively enhances self-learning and engages learners’ attention throughout courses.
You can do it anytime, anywhere
This one now seems too obvious to even mention, though it should be. Online courses offer the advantage of being accessible from anywhere where you feel comfortable and have a strong Wi-Fi connection. There are certain things you can’t do. We wouldn’t recommend doing a physically demanding workout at the airport or train station, but you can bring together those minutes of the day when you are traveling or about to engage in something – perhaps through audio and visual – to learn something or consolidate recently learned skills and ideas.
Some online courses offer immediate feedback, and immediate feedback is great
After having taken any kind of formative or summative assessment within a course you will usually get an immediate score. Immediate feedback is good for learning. When you submit an answer, you want to know right away whether you were right or wrong. If you turn in a piece of work and then get it back a week later with feedback on it, you’ve probably forgotten what you were thinking when submitting the assignment, so it’s more difficult to tell where you went wrong. It takes more time to fix your misconceptions because you’ve now believed that you were correct for a week when you were actually wrong.