Engaging a Learner Audience without Direct Contact

Engaging a Learner Audience without Direct Contact

The Great Courses are very popular all over the world. For founder Thomas Rollins teaching had to be done in a different way, giving people with particular learning styles the opportunity to learn as much as possible as well. He developed the Great Courses in an interactive way, delivering video lessons on a variety of subjects. He was committed to delivering the highest quality courses possible, which means he spent a lot of time in trying to identify the right teachers.

Finding Great Courses Professors

Naturally, a professor’s experience and knowledge was important. However, at the same time, they had to demonstrate engaging personalities, particularly because they deliver their courses virtually. Essentially, Rollins looked for both brains and bravado. He spent many years trying to find the right people for this.

One way in which he achieved this, was by encouraging learners to suggest professors that they believed would be good at the job. He has considered each and every one of the suggestions and, indeed, found a number of excellent candidates. In all cases, he met the lecturer personally before agreeing to have their courses turned into Great Courses. This meant frequent travel across the country, attending academic conferences, auditing classes, visiting association meetings, and more.

Interestingly, Rollins was often confused by the fact that he was the least intelligent person at these events and meetings, while at the same time being the most interesting. This is because many professors would relish the opportunity to have their lectures turned into a Great Course. While it was all very time consuming, Rollins was able to find the best of the best.

Understanding the Audience

Another key element of Rollins’ quest to develop the best courses, was understanding the audience. He knows that two people will buy into the Great Courses for two completely different reasons. However, what all participants have in common is that they expect high quality. He also found that:

  • Most participants already have an advanced degree.
  • Most participants have an annual income of $100,000 or more.
  • Most participants are at least 50 years old.

Naturally, cost was also an important factor. Because the majority of students of the Great Courses have high earnings, Rollins believed that he could also charge a substantial amount of money for the lectures. At the same time, however, his target demographic has a keen eye for value for money. As such, he had to charge prices that were realistic, while at the same time being high enough to cover all the associated costs and still make a profit. Each course now has its own price, and the Great Courses also has a number of subscription programs in place.

This was a risky choice, particularly because there are now so many MOOCs (massive open online courses) available, which are all free. However, the Great Courses are of such high quality in terms of how they are delivered and who by, that participants have been more than willing to invest in them.

Top Tips for Being Your Own Professor

Top Tips for Being Your Own Professor

There are numerous different ways to approach education and learning. The last decade or so has seen an increase in self-teaching driven by the internet and several other innovations. Of course, the dissemination of vast amounts of knowledge and information across a global network at amazingly high speeds and for a lower cost than many ever envisaged has been the driving force behind the internet’s success as a tool.

Studying for a formal qualification over the internet is something that until relatively recently would have been considered a rather risky career move. Now, however, an increasing number of prestigious educational institutions are offering online courses to supplement their traditional campus offerings, which provide students with a university quality education from the comfort of their own rooms.

While there are a number of advantages to studying in this manner, it can also be one of the more challenging, requiring greater self-discipline and even resourcefulness than students are used to. That said, for some students the more independent learning the better, and these students tend to thrive in the learn-at-home environment. Here are some of the most common tips from those who have already put themselves through the experience.

Plan Your Time Carefully

This is the mantra of students the world over; plan your time carefully! Half the battle of being a successful student is in simply ensuring that you dedicate yourself to tasks appropriately. Careful time management is, of course, a skill that will have a role to play long after your academic studies are over. Whether it’s making sure you set aside time for recreation or rigidly sticking to your first child’s schedule, efficient time management is an invaluable and irreplaceable skill. In the context of studying for an online degree such as an online MHA, students find themselves with even more freedom than their campus counterparts.

The trade-off, of course, is that learning is a much more independent process, but many students thrive under these conditions. If you think you are one of these students, then degrees such as an online master of healthcare administration in strategy and innovation may well be a great investment for the future. A good study schedule is also key to a successful university experience, on or offline.

Stay Motivated

This is one of the hardest aspects of managing your own time and endeavors. It’s easy to lose motivation, especially if you are also a procrastinator or someone who is prone to distractions in all their many forms. The best way to stay motivated is to find a subject that truly speaks to you and to dedicate as much of yourself and your passion to it as you can.

Find Your Learning Style

Everyone learns differently. Some learn by doing, some learn by listening, and others still by observing and watching tutorials before attempting the problem themselves. There is no right or wrong way to approach learning and, as such, it is up to each individual student to work out what works best for them.

Whatever your hopes and dreams for the future, enrolling in an online course and taking on the role of your own professor is an incredibly rewarding first step.