Learn by DOING vs Learn by watching

Learn by DOING vs Learn by watching





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Recent research comes to verify what Confucius said many years ago: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Carnegie Mellon University’s research proves that students may benefit up to six times more by interactive activities than by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) (read the full article http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/…/150914220526.htm).

Doing is incorporated with the nature of learning. We all know it. This is how we are brought up. At school we did not just listen to the teacher provide all sorts of valuable information and memorize it at once. We had to go home, process and practice all the information that we had been hearing about all day in order to actually learn it. And it has been working so far.


This approach, however, has some drawbacks: It certainly requires time, money and effort. When it comes to today’s business world, time and money are two critical factors in deficiency. When it comes to our willingness to struggle about something, it is the effort that is in deficiency.


The technology developed a few years ago has tried to provide an answer to this problem: MOOCs provide us with the opportunity to gain new skills quickly, just by watching inexpensive, pre-recorded video-lessons. As a result, too many content providers have appeared, offering too much content about almost everything we can imagine. And most of them are available for free or for a really affordable price. It sounds great! We no more have to strive, we no more need to pay too much money in order to enroll to classes, we just need to stay awake in front of a monitor which broadcasts a video-lesson and we will become wiser!

Unfortunately, as it turns out, this is not the case. Just by watching something we can only assimilate a small portion. Therefore, just by watching, we end up getting a general idea; we end up knowing that something can be done, but in most of the cases we are not in position of performing the task ourselves. This is the key point. Although the video-lessons are great at providing content, that content cannot be adequately digested by the audience.

We have to use technology for our benefit. We have to elevate the e-learning content from the one-way broadcasting of information that is at present, to an interactive exchange of expertise that will help those in need to actually build on stable foundations.

MOOC + multiple choice questions

A step towards more effective MOOCs would include video-lessons with incorporated closed-type questions. Closed type questions, such as multiple choice questions, however, can be the answer to testing the understanding of theoretical rather than practical subjects.

MOOC + in-application questions

When it comes to training on new technologies, office software and so on, modern technology gives us the tools to step forward. We can simply enhance the e-courses with online testing material that requires solving problems and performing tasks in order to reassure more satisfactory results.

Testing tools, such as TEST4U.EU, have been developed in order to facilitate the spreading of knowledge and self-study as well as the efficient evaluation and training of personnel in enterprises. The development of such services is the result of the actual need and demand of the market.


This is not just another trend. Such an approach is beneficial for all parties. It doesn’t require significantly more resources than the simple e-learning approach; the time needed is about the same, and the cost remains at low levels. It does involve more effort however, because it can promise that the skills gained will be of a specified, higher quality.


We could regard the e-learning as we know it as a primary version and level up to the new one which contains interactive features that guarantee the result of the training. Online Certifications upon proper assimilation of e-courses are next to come. Remember the words: upon assimilation. Not upon completion.

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