By Ekta R. Garg
August 15, 2012
Rated: Borrow it
Providing reluctant online learners with a manual that breaks down e-learning into its most basic concepts, Dr. Liz Hardy has culled six years of experience with more than 3000 online learners into a book that users will find incredibly accessible. The book’s short length also will appeal to users.
Hardy has divided her book into six main lessons and encourages readers to jump ahead to a lesson if they feel like it would benefit them more than others. The design of the book allows for easy navigation, and users won’t feel like they’re missing key information by going out of order with the lessons. Also, each lesson offers users an action plan. Not only will readers glean important information on how to handle various aspects of online learning, but also Hardy gives users a workbook and space to fill in answers to questions that will help readers compartmentalize their online learning experience into easy-to-handle sections.
The author begins with the most basic tenet of online learning by asking who might feel some measure of fear in learning through the internet. By addressing those fears right in the beginning, Hardy sets the tone for the entire manual. E-learning, she asserts, is completely accessible for anyone willing to put in the effort.
She moves to another common assumption about online learning: the fact that online learning may accelerate the actual learning process. Hardy discusses the pros of online learning but also dispels any myths users might have about the speed at which they’ll absorb information. In her friendly tone she encourages potential online learners to approach their education in a realistic way.
Three lessons of the six discuss topics related to time management, an issue some e-learners might find as a personal challenge. Again, Hardy has built workbook pages within the manual to help readers actually track their schedules and time usage. The entire book offers this type of hands-on solution so readers will feel empowered throughout their online learning experience.
Not wanting to burden readers with the potential seriousness of the online learning experience, Hardy uses entertaining pet pictures and the occasional joke to lighten the mood. She keeps the right balance between the manual’s main aim and friendly banter. Readers won’t feel bogged down by cheesy one-liners or, conversely, by dry material.
Most students of the younger generation might feel like this manual will over-simplify e-learning, but people new to the online learning experience or those of older generations will certainly find this book useful. I recommend this book for those in either of the latter two groups, and potential e-learners in these groups will certainly benefit from using this manual.
What the ratings mean:
Bookmark it!–Read this book and then buy it and add it to to your own collection. It’s definitely worth it!
Borrow it–Check this one out from the library; it’s a worthy read, but think twice before spending your hard-earned money on it.
Bypass it–Free time is precious. Don’t spend it on this book!