Going through The First 20 Hours, I wrestled with deciding what to learn. The Ukulele had completely different finger chords to the guitar, so that would just confuse me. Windsurfing is not exactly a popular sport in South Wales (although we certainly do have the wind for it!). And I figured ‘Go’ might just frazzle my brain completely, and yoga my body. I knew I wanted to learn something that was going to be useful and not just add to the list of hobbies I just don’t have time for. Kaufman provided the idea: learn how to develop an online teaching course just as Kelsey his wife had done. Perfect.
So following Kaufman’s learning principles,[i] I began by researching the best platforms and best model for learning via the Internet. I also contacted a few people who had experience in this area. I learned from my husband who uses this tool for his work, that there really are different levels of teaching platforms. In the end, I settled upon using the teaching platform called Udemy and was really excited – it’s professional, easily accessible, affordable and well structured. They even have an iPhone app to use while on the run (see above screenshot). In short, I love it.
I quickly discovered that Udemy offers an introductory course of how to set up an online course, and so I signed up. I watched and read 29 various lectures this week on subjects ranging from different lesson types (video, audio, presentation, document, text, and mash-up), how to create a live teaching session, to how to set up a home studio for recording. Having finished this course, I feel equipped and read to creating my first course.
This subject will take quite some time to master, but at least I’ve had the opportunity to learn the basics. Like any other learning, it will require repetition, reinforcement, checklists and so on, just as Kaufman teaches. I won’t need to refer to books per se, as Udemy provides numerous articles and video lessons (my favourite way of learning) on each skill set. It really is a comprehensive introductory course.
As far as ministry goes, having had this opportunity to study how to create an online course has fulfilled a desire that I’ve had for some time. This new online platform will better enable me to better provide teaching in the area of discipleship and leadership, a calling which my husband and I received several years ago. I have a lot of content sat on my shelves at home. Now I feel I will be able to formulate the lesson plans and curriculum and use this medium to teach it. From creating lesson plans, video lessons and documents, to using tests, chat rooms and handouts, I’m thrilled I will be able to use Udemy’s online teaching tools to kick start this calling. I plan on using this online course together with the face-to-face lessons I hope to start in my new church plant this summer. I really appreciate being given the time to have studied this subject and have no doubt that this will be an effective teaching tool in my ministry.
[i] Josh Kaufman, The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything Fast (London, UK: Penguin Books, 2013), 28