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10 Methods To Acquire Effective Knowledge

10 Methods To Acquire Effective Knowledge

Knowledge is the basis of everything in existence. Without knowledge nothing would exist as we perceive it to be. It is imperative and indispensable. Knowledge is the building blocks of any foundation. Knowledge is the key to opening doors that would otherwise be locked. Commodities are only sought after due to knowledge and awareness.

1) Research Meticulously

Being immersed in this world of information can be a daunting task to handle and comprehend. Ensuring proper research is completed has been proven to be conducive to fact finding. The truth is what holds value when researching a particular topic. Try your best not to let emotions play a role in how you perceive what’s being explained. The Internet is a wonderful place to start, and it can end there as well. However, the addition of reading books is a surefire methodology to enhancing your research. Having clarity and precision is the difference between gaining knowledge or becoming bamboozled.

2) Read Books

The level of convenience is unmatched when reading a book, whether it is electronic or physical. This process can be done anywhere you decide to go, and has zero limitations. The Internet cannot always be accessed, and cannot be relied upon to broaden your horizons. The information provided in books is direct, as opposed to reading published articles online.

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Reading stimulates the brain to focus solely on each word written down in the text, and expands the lens of imagination. The cognitive function changes direction when reading digitally. Shortcuts are taken, keywords are searched for, and the page disappears once its finished, making it impossible to turn back to the page for a review. That said, this doesn’t mean one method is better than the other. Balance is what matters. Don’t neglect the power of books.

3) Operate Consciously

Many people get caught up in the routine of doing what they need to survive, which can cause their actions to be mechanically inclined. Actions are then executed without thinking, while the procedure can be affected negatively. Sit back, clear your mind, and contemplate deeply on every move you make. Setting yourself into a trap is the most deadly decision you can make. Ameliorating circumstances are part of living a happy life. Remaining consciously aware of your surroundings and environment can prevent horrendous problems from occurring. Understand that your actions affect those who are around you, as well as people you may never meet. Push forward with firmness of purpose and constancy.

4) Develop Good Habits

We are all plagued with having bad habits. They are the flaws we all possess, but don’t settle for letting your bad habits outweigh the good. Every day is new and different; however, there are still responsibilities, duties, and tasks we are held accountable for. We have to do similar things everyday to survive, which are the habits we choose to develop. Replacing bad habits with good habits can take months, and it isn’t an easy feat. When you are locked in on something that isn’t improving your circumstances, it constitutes a bad habit.

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Whatever the habit may be, acknowledge you’re wasting time doing so, and replace it with a passion that will benefit you. These habits can range from something as simple as cooking more, to setting a deadline for a project you’re creating.

5) Harness Productivity

Work ethic goes a long way in this life. There are times for playfulness and relaxation, but you must devote the entirety of your day to the grind. Everyday you must work towards something better. Apart from your job, you must work on something new that will stimulate your mind. There’s always work to be done. It could be working on yourself, helping others, growing a business, finding another job, or even something simple like cleaning and organizing your residence. Boredom is a result of being uninspired and not challenging yourself to become better.

6) Set Obtainable Goals

Create realistic deadlines for the goals you want to accomplish. Don’t fool yourself by trying to complete what you’re working towards too quickly. Moving hastily is a dangerous sojourn to embark on, and it must be regulated. Try to set a date that suits your schedule, and then push it ahead a few days. This way you may be able to complete the goal before the deadline. If you are focused on completing a goal too soon, and don’t meet the deadline, you will only get discouraged and possibly give up. Goals are like anchors; once they are set they will stay in alignment.

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7) Encourage Others

Support people’s visions, and give them positive feedback on what they’re trying to accomplish. Let them know what they’re striving for is larger than them. Show up to their events. Constructive criticism is only warranted if you’re a genuine individual, and should only be expressed if there’s a personal relationship involved in the matter.

8) Believe In Yourself

Having faith in what you do is a tremendously insatiable power. It forces you to grow, helps you love yourself more, and constantly pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Understand the vast reality of what it takes to be what you want to become. If anyone doubts you, don’t bother listening to them, because if you indulge their negativity you’ll waste your time and energy. Definitely take what they say into consideration, but never let it diminish the vision you have been blessed with.

9) Embrace Pain

History has taught us that those who experience the most pain are the successful ones. Nothing will be given to you in this life; pain is an inevitable emotional state. You must learn how to enjoy the shackles of pain, push through it, and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Darkness is only the absence of light. We all have the ability to shed our own light.

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10) Learn From Your Mistakes

Failure is a part of life. Without failure none of us would be able to learn. Your best teacher is the last mistake you made, and nothing can trump the consolidation of experience. Think critically about why you failed at particular actions, then make adjustments, strategize, and try again. The process of learning is a cyclical process like the Earth spinning on its axis.

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

Businesses rely on talent to generate and sell value. Without skilled people to create its products, manage its operations and execute its strategies, a business would inevitably fizzle out of the game and leave better-staffed competitors to take the field.

This is the reason why ambitious companies go great lengths to attract top talent,[1] shelling out millions of dollars in the process and bending traditional work policies just to bring highly skilled but demanding candidates into the fold.

Clearly, the contours of business are changing. But so are the demographics of work.

Millennials have become the dominant generation in the job market in terms of population, and some have already transitioned into leadership roles. Most millennials consider opportunity to learn and grow more important than overall compensation.[2]

Companies also today expect employees to come equipped with razor sharp business acumen.[3] Unfortunately, there is an alarming discrepancy between the actual skills businesses need and those currently possessed by job candidates.

To stay in the game, employers need to continually upgrade their training and skills development strategies to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

What are Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

Learning management systems are software-based solutions for authoring, presenting, consuming, storing, and tracking educational content and training materials. These systems aim to centralize all instructional content (e.g., lessons, training modules, instructional videos, presentation slides, worksheets, online quizzes, ebooks, takeaway notes, etc.) in one place.

LMS enable instructors to design and deliver learning experiences to students, with the added capability of evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional materials and grading the learning progress of students.

On the other side of the equation, learners use LMS to develop skills and acquire new knowledge virtually anytime and anywhere via the different channels and content formats made possible by digital technology.

Over the years, a wide range of features and technologies have been integrated into learning management systems to help enhance the experience of training designers, instructors, and learners. These include cloud and mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsive design, scheduling, gamification, data analytics, and interoperability with other applications.

5 Best All-Purpose Learning Management Systems

There are dozens of LMS vendors catering to the general market or to specific segments such as K-12 learning, higher education, and corporate training.

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With so many options available, selecting the right LMS solution for your needs can be complicated and costly, especially when you end up adopting a platform that doesn’t exactly match your goals or requirements.

Short of conducting a comprehensive audit of your needs and finalizing a learning roadmap, the safest bet would be to adopt full-featured but affordable LMS solutions.

Based on user reviews, here are the 5 best LMS to help people gain knowledge, build skills, and achieve mastery:

1. Canvas Network

Launched by Instructure as an open source software in 2011, Canvas is an end-to-end cloud-based service originally engineered for the education sector.

Widely adopted for K-12 and Higher Ed learning, Canvas can be repurposed for anything that involves an instructor, a subject matter, and a student.

Used around the world by people of all ages and organizations of all types, Canvas arguably has the largest learning and support community in its class. It works on desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

To get a glimpse of the platform’s fresh interfaces, you can visit the Canvas Network, a learning community that provides educational and instructional materials created by colleges, universities, corporate businesses, independent course developers, and other knowledge-sharing entities around the world.

Hosting hundreds of interesting topics from data science to horticulture, the learning network also serves as evidence to the scope, capabilities, and popularity of the Canvas LMS platform.

Canvas is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, which enhances the platform’s reliability, speed, scalability, and overall online performance.

Additionally, platform adopters enjoy a low-risk environment since cloud-based solutions require no hard stops for version updates, upgrades, or system migrations.

The Canvas website does not show a price matrix but says the service adopts a simple formula for computing fees: a one-time implementation fee and an annual subscription fee based on total number of users. It also promises free basic services for teachers who want to use the platform.

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In addition to Canvas, Instructure also offers Bridge (an LMS designed for corporate environments), Arc (a video platform for online learning), and Gauge (an assessment management system).

Check out this video if you want to learn more about Canvas Network:

2. Google Classroom

This free service from Google aims to improve the teaching and learning process using cloud technology, web apps, workflow simplification, and seamless communication between students and instructors.

Using Classroom, educators can easily create and schedule classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and grade quizzes all in one place. By streamlining processes, Classroom helps teachers save time and organize classes more effectively. Both students and teachers can also work using any device anytime and anywhere.

Classroom works perfectly with other Google tools, having been launched initially as part of Google’s G Suite for Education. This LMS solution taps Google Drive for content storage and distribution, as well as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the creation and sharing of instructional materials. Meanwhile it integrates Google Calendar for scheduling and Gmail for communication.

With G Suite, other communication channels such as chat messaging, video conferencing, and a dedicated website are enabled.

Easy to set up and manage, Google Classroom is free to use. One of my very first courses was actually hosted on Google Classroom.

Going beyond the classroom environment, Google offers G Suite Enterprise for Education for large institutions. This suite provides enhanced search and analytics capabilities as well as advanced tools for enterprise communications.

3. Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment)

If budget and capability equally top your list of LMS adoption criteria, then Moodle might just fit the bill. Which is to say there’s none (i.e., bill).

Moodle is a free and open-source learning solution for distance education, workplace training, flipped classrooms, and other pedagogical environments.

It is also a full-featured LMS supported by a robust community and a thriving developer ecosystem. Not surprisingly, Moodle is used in more than 15 million courses by more than 130 million users in 230+ countries.

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Among other things, Moodle enables administrators and educators to create a dynamic and dedicated website to host organic, easily accessible, and highly customizable courses that can be experienced on desktops and mobile devices anytime and anywhere.

Moodle provides a personalized and intuitive dashboard as well as a host of collaboration tools for content designers, teachers, and learners. A universal calendar, an efficient file management system, an automatic notification system, multimedia integration, and a progress tracking tool all come with the package.

Check out this video if you want to learn more about Moodle:

4. Absorb

This platform recently bagged PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for Best LMS.

Co-designed and built by former course authors, Absorb takes learning experience to the next level. This turnkey LMS solution is responsive, full-featured, and highly customizable for maximum impact.

Course developers can orchestrate a wide range of experiences depending on audience or learning situation. In addition to surveys, polls, and e-commerce integration, Absorb supports formal online learning and certifications standards such as AICC, SCORM, and Tin Can.

The user interface can also be modified to match the learner’s location, group, or department, allowing for a different look and feel for customers, channel partners, management trainees, and newly hired employees.

Absorb supports all personal computing devices from desktops to mobile phones. There are also native or hybrid apps for iOS and Android.

The only possible drawback to the platform’s powerful feature set is its pricing. The service reportedly implements a flat, one-time setup fee depending on your business and training requirements. According to the site, any plan comes with a dedicated success team for your account.

Although small companies are welcome to try, midsize to enterprise-scale organizations are probably the best segment to readily adopt this LMS solution.

Take a look at some examples of Absorb in this video:

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5. Watershed Collaborative

Created by a group of educators, this nonprofit rethinks the priorities of an LMS, asserting that too many systems miss the most essential elements of what makes learning stick. They promise a better user experience – emphasizing Learning before Management and System.

Watershed aims to support an inquiry-based learning experience through an integrated mix of online and in-person learning strategies and interactions designed expressly for teams – including collaboration, reflection, and dialogue.

While Watershed was founded initially to serve the K-12 education market, the company has since expanded its scope to cater to all types of teachers and learners with its video-rich, state-of-the-art platform.

If you’re a mission-driven educator, content creator, institution, or business, this LMS may be the one for you.

Watershed specializes in assisting you with the instructional design of courses and provides content production services to ensure top-quality video assets with lasting value. Their LMS makes it easy for course creators to continuously update and tailor content to support small and large groups, while ensuring the technology and instructional strategy supports communities of learners.

Pricing varies based on products and services, but revenues support the nonprofit’s ability to make its platform and courses available at little or no cost for high-need educators and educational settings.

Honorable Mentions

There are dozens of LMS vendors in this growing market and the brands included in foregoing list are by no means the only viable options for companies or learning institutions looking to upgrade their learning infrastructure.

Many other excellent services are worth checking out. These include:

  1. Docebo is an LMS designed for hyper-engaging students, employees, customers, and other learners. The system helps organizations identify and resolve competency gaps with strategic learning interventions.
  2. Cornerstone OnDemand is a talent, training, and performance management solution offered as an SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This service enables learners to create personalized playlists of instructional content.
  3. Lessonly is an LMS solution that makes it easier to recall and reinforce whatever skills or knowledge you have learned through quizzes, coaching, and constant practice.
  4. Skillsoft is an online training and corporate learning platform developed by a two-decade old and billion-dollar company with the same name.
  5. D2L BrightSpace is a learning management system that has all the basics for delivering excellent, rich-media experiences for classroom or workplace training.

Conclusion

There are many ways to learn but some are more effective and meaningful than others. Whether you are a teacher looking to enhance classroom learning or an HR manager creating a long-term talent development plan for employees, the key to impactful learning is to understand and bridge the needs of learners, the goals of your institution, and the actual capabilities of the learning tools you are considering.

Note that using multiple LMS platforms is possible although not recommended. On the other hand, adopting other learning solutions beyond LMS (such as podcasts, mentoring, and onsite in-person workshops) may significantly improve learning outcomes. Always go for products and plugins that seamlessly integrate into your core LMS tool.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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