Non-course Learning Materials
In yesterday’s lesson, we talked all about how to find online courses to add to your self-made curriculum. But to master a subject, you need more than just lectures and videos. If you don’t add variety to your curriculum, you may well get very bored, very fast. So, here are a couple of options to add to your curriculum that you may not have thought of.
This is my favorite thing to add to my own curriculums, because I’m a reader. I realize that not everyone learns best this way, so just use your good judgment, and remember that this is your curriculum, not anyone else’s.
There are two ways you can go with books for most subject areas: regular nonfiction and textbooks. Just because you’re learning on your own doesn’t mean you should avoid textbooks! The best way to find good textbooks is to go to a university website that has a program in your subject, and see what texts they’re using. Another great resource for this is the MIT OpenCourseWare website. They always tell you which textbook the course drew from, if any, and they also have recommended readings.
Regular nonfiction books unfortunately don’t have the same academic review process as textbooks, so you sometimes need to be careful that the information is accurate. However, they often have the advantage of being more niched, so if there is a particular corner of your subject that interests you, this may be the best route.
Despite their reputation, YouTube and Netflix do have some quality material that could be extremely useful to your learning process. Search for your chosen subject on both of them, and you could find a gold mine of educational resources. Always check the source to see if they are an actual authority on the subject, but otherwise, these videos can be a key component of your curriculum, particularly if you’re a visual learner.
Not every part of a subject warrants an entire book or fits into a larger book on the subject as a whole. That doesn’t mean things like blog posts and news articles aren’t valuable resources to learn from! This is another place where Google comes in: Search to your heart’s content and bookmark anything pertinent for later. But say it with me: Check. Your. Source!
In the next lesson, we’ll look at all the resources you’ve just compiled, and weed out any that don’t fit your needs. We’ll also talk about how best to put those resources in a logical order that builds on itself toward a mastery of the subject.
Share with friends