Reading the Last Page of the Book First

 Have you ever read the last page of a book first? Or skimmed through a textbook for the main topics and titles and decided which parts to read? Decided to skip parts of a film? If your answer is yes, a nonlinear curriculum is not that new for you.

IDOL courses Academy has a nonlinear curriculum, which means that the steps and speed of learning are up to the learner. The nonlinear curriculum works well with adult learners who usually take responsibility for their learning and like to be involved in their learning process. It also goes deeper than just that. If adults own their own learning, their learning will be more effective. 

Learning from a nonlinear curriculum can be scary for those of us used to learning from a linear one. In a linear curriculum, there are strict steps and timing for each of the learning phases. You can’t skip steps without losing content. You could try, but the chances are high you’d have to go back and complete the missing part again.

So, what is it about the IDOL courses Academy nonlinear curriculum that’s awesome, and how could one use it to be the most effective? Here are some tips:

  1. It’s okay to be overwhelmed and lost. You have lots of materials to work with. If you need guidelines first, follow the structure in the IDOL courses Academy. There is a reason why learning materials are structured that way. 

  2. When learners start to use the materials in the Academy, one of the first things they should do is jump into the This Is How the Program Works part, where they get an overview of the program and they learn about the awesomeness of the nonlinear curriculum. The nonlinear curriculum is built on the mutual understanding that adult learners have different experiences, backgrounds, and motivations. The structure supports everyone in using the materials freely and focusing on the topics they need to achieve their goals. 

  3. Check out the learning badges. Learning badges indicate an accomplishment or skill that can be displayed, assessed, and verified online. These are important milestones, and they will give you great visibility on social media. The IDOL courses Academy learning path is divided into four main sections:
    • eLearning Developer
    • Instructional Designer
    • IDOL Consultant
    • Master IDOL

    There is a detailed description for all four sections, including the main knowledge topics covered and skills developed. 

  4.  Make a list of the topics covered in the curriculum. You can simply follow the curriculum and start with the first topic. This will help you visualize the curriculum and have a more holistic way of looking at it. 

  5. Know your superpowers and your limits. Make a list of the topics you think you have mastered already, and think of those you will need to improve. Know your goals. You can create your own learning path and learn the content based on your list. Be brave, and don’t get intimidated if there are more holes than superpowers on your list. Way to go!

  6. Other than the important learning badge milestones, there are contents that are considered essential, such as the Building Your Portfolio Unit and the Job Application Lessons, because many IDOLs start to apply and get jobs before they even complete the Academy. 

  7. The IDOL courses Academy is self-paced, which means that learners can take full control of their learning. Self-paced learning could mean retaining more of what you learn. Many IDOLs complete the courses while having a full-time job or other commitments. 

  8. One of the most important lessons I got from the Academy is that you never compare yourself to others, and there is no such thing as being behind in the Academy. This is the awesomeness of a nonlinear curriculum. You own your own learning, you have the materials and the community, and you get all the support you need. 

  9. And guess what? That support is not only for the eight-week cohort, but also for a lifetime. You can revisit some materials, learn about new stuff, and meet fellow IDOLs in the online community. After I got a job as an instructional systems designer, I revisited the Articulate Storyline course many times. 

  10. You own your learning, but you’re not alone. Coaches, mentors, and the whole online community support your learning path. They’re ready to give honest and constructive feedback and are part of your social learning. 

 

And the most important thing: Take action. Make mistakes. Don’t worry a lot; just enjoy the ride! 


Written by: Orsolya Kereszty

Orsolya is IDOL courses Academy alumni who works as an Instructional Systems Designer for higher-ed. She loves running, yoga, reading, gastronomy, pottery, and spending time with her family.  Connect with Orsolya on LinkedIn, or have a look at her portfolio.

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