Most of the big online learning platforms try to be the all-encompassing on a subject. If you take the Introduction to Marketing class on Coursera, you are kept within the walls of Coursera to watch the videos and take the quizzes. Given that this is modeled after classroom learning, this makes sense.
Even the big online-only sites like Treehouse and Codecademy try to teach you a subject end-to-end using their site, videos, tools and resources. That’s a perfectly fine way to approach learning a subject.
But there’s something intriguing about being a knowledge explorer. Somewhat like MacGyver, being able to patch together a hodge-podge collection of blog posts, tutorials, videos, and challenges is an interesting way to take the best parts of each source, to put together something unique.
That’s the idea behind MySlideRule’s Learning Paths. If you wanted to teach someone something new, you could send them to this set of intro videos over hear, then have them read this blog post, then go through section 5 of this tutorial over here, and finally end up viewing some related videos on Youtube that introduce advanced concepts that build upon the knowledge in the other videos by a totally different teacher.
For instance, a new Learning Path just launched is called Data Analysis, by Claudia Gold, a data scientist that has worked for some big names in technology. Her course is a collection of computer programming skills from Codecademy, an algorithm video at MIT Opencourseware, a couple of Unix videos from a course on Coursera, the CodeSchool course on git, a few videos from Stanford on Databases… and on and on…
Overall it’s a collection of 220+ hours of videos from 28 different sources. That might be a bit much – about 2 months of solid studying. But by the end of those two months, you would definitely be an expert on data analysis.
Could Claudia have created her own course on Data Analysis and put it onto Udemy? Of course. But then, she would have to spend hundreds of hours herself writing, recording videos, and editing to do a decent course out of it. But all of the parts already exist, so she just points people there. There’s no reason to create a new Python programming course because the web is full of good Python programming instruction already.
This is training curation. Finding good training materials to share, and organizing them into a collection. And it’s brilliant. Maybe I’ll create a Learning Path of my own. If you’re interested in the Data Analysis learning path, click the link below.