I love learning. If I could swing it, I’d spend the rest of my life in college. I enjoyed the smell of a freshly copied syllabus, the stress of cramming for an exam, and the excitement of typing the very last punctuation mark on a long term paper. To me, that was big fun. I think that’s part of the reason I never completed a degree. If I actually finished one, then I’d be done! Instead, I amassed more credits than most doctors have, and still never obtained that little piece of paper that proves I’m smart (and, you know, allows me to actually get a steady job).

When I was in college, I took as many classes online as I could. It was just easier to fit into my schedule. While I’m pretty comfortable with the platform, I knew many people who were completely freaked out by it. I wish I could have pointed them to E-learning 101: It’s not as tough as it looks by Dr. Liz Hardy. This book would have made it so much easier for them.

A quick, easily digested read

In E-Learning 101: It’s Not as Tough as it Looks, Dr. Hardy covers all the major points of e-learning. The fact that she manages to incorporate cute dogs into the mix just impresses me even more. I mean, who doesn’t love cute puppies? I love an author who can get to the point without taking the long way to it. You know how I don’t love reading tons of case studies, long intros about why you should do something, and convoluted fluff to increase page counts. Dr. Hardy doesn’t do any of those things.

The book starts with describing the types of technology used in e-learning, along with a brief explanation of how to find the info you need to navigate them. Rather than give you a whole lesson on, say, Blackboard, Hardy tells you where to find that info when you log into the system. This way, if you’re using a different e-learning system, you don’t have to wade through irrelevant info. From there, Hardy helps you set up reasonable expectations and a schedule to conquer your classes. She is very clear that e-learning is flexible, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll learn faster. Everyone learns at their own pace, after all.

At the end of each chapter is an actionable exercise. I love the exercise that helps you come up with your learning schedule. I can’t stress how important that is in sucessful e-learning! I usually did my classes once a week, knocking out at least a week’s worth at a time. Typically, I finished way ahead of schedule. Some classes force you to stick to a specific schedule, though, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.

For those who prefer some human interaction when studying, Hardy offers great tips on how to network, find online study partners, and still get that social interaction that you crave. She also gives tips on avoiding procrastination and forcing yourself to get your work done when you really don’t want to.

If you’re thinking about taking online classes but aren’t sure if they’re for you, E-Learning 101: It’s Not as Tough as it Looks is definitely a must-read. Check out Dr. Hardy’s webpage, ELearningTrainer.com for more information and other great tips!