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What Can Robert Frost and Pablo Picasso Tell Us About Online Learning?

Justine Ickes
Apr 8, 2015 9:56:00 AM

You might as well face it. – If you’re looking to build your own online school, you better get familiar with m-learning, gamification, social learning and other hot-ticket trends.


I know. That’s a lot to digest. And with the e-learning market zipping into the stratosphere it’s easy to think you’ll never keep apace.


Buzz words aside there’s no need to worry. Because when it comes to the pursuit of knowledge, it turns out there are a couple of constants.


Read on to see what some of the world’s most illustrious thinkers have to say about learning.


I am not a teacher but an awakener. – Robert Frost

Teacher or awakener? Which would you rather be? How you answer this question will directly influence the design of any courses you create. Ultimately, it’ll affect how happy customers are with your online program. And that’ll make all the difference to your bottom line.


Consider, too, which role best fits with your business goals. Are you creating your course to inform and educate? Or are you hoping to light a spark in your audience? Do you want to motivate people to take action? Or inspire them to make a change?


Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin

Long before learning style theory and the Common Core, the inventor-scientist-statesman had figured out a thing or two about how we learn. Namely, people learn best when they’re actively engaged in the process. That’s why interactive features like forums, online chats, and live webinars can be so effective.


Not convinced? Think back to the last time you learned something new. Maybe you got a new smart phone. Did you pour over the user manual? Or did you simply start poking around and experimenting with new features?


Learning never exhausts the mind. – Leonardo da Vinci

Hmm, really, Leo?


Renaissance men may thrive on the perpetual pursuit of knowledge. But, for normal folks like us, regular well-timed pauses can do wonders.


Or as one ancient Greek philosopher once said...


The mind ought sometimes to be diverted that it may return to better thinking. - Phaedrus

That’s especially true for people enrolled in e-learning programs. Remember, when they’re not scrolling through your course, your customers are probably working full time, raising a family, and spinning a whole lot of plates. Keep that in mind as you create your course and beware of killing your learners with content.


Help your customers breathe easier by creating mental breaks in your online school so people can recharge before diving into new material.


I’m always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

Gifted with gobs of talent, passion and curiosity, the famously prolific Spanish painter never met an art form he didn’t want to try. In fact, it’s estimated that he created 50,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, prints, and even tapestries and rugs.


The take-away for your e-course? Practice and play make for great art and great e-learning experiences.

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