A framework for designing a self-study course using free material?
May 16, 2008 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Is there a high-level general procedure or process that can be used to design a course of self-study in any topic?

There is a broad electrical engineering topic that I intend to spend the next X months learning more about, and would like to approach it efficiently, if possible. I'm wondering if there is a generalized self-study framework that I could simply plug the details for pursuing this particular topic into.

I don't want to go out and spend big bucks on the textbooks that are available. There is a large amount of free material available to me. My general plan is to gather everything that I can, sort and prioritize it, spend a chunk of time just reading, and then see if I can pick a more specific direction after that. But hey, maybe there's a smarter way...
posted by TheManChild2000 to Education (6 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
It may be helpful to learn what the topic is.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:09 PM on May 16, 2008

I agree with Krrrlson. Generically, I'd suggest talking periodically with faculty and reference librarians at the best engineering school in your area. You get to define the degree of independence you want, and they help you avoid missing connections or missing out on the latest word or getting bogged down in an anachronism.

Also, The Autodidact Project!
posted by gum at 2:20 PM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The idea is that the procedure be topic-independent. Maybe nothing like that exists... no big deal, I've already got a plan that should work ok.

1. Determine a preliminary objective.
2. Collect resources.
3. Sort and prioritize these based on how closely they adhere to the objective.
4. Consume (read, listen, watch, talk, whatever) the resources in the order of the priority developed in step 3.
5. Refine the objective using notes, ideas, and understanding developed during step 4.
6. Define next actions (which at this point would probably mean moving away from piles of free stuff and towards textbooks and classes).
posted by TheManChild2000 at 11:06 AM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Does MIT offer any courses in your specific topic? (Here are their Electrical Engineering courses.) I love to use their syllabi and assignments as jumping-off points.
posted by kristi at 1:24 PM on May 17, 2008

Response by poster: Nope, it's a good resource but not for this topic.
posted by TheManChild2000 at 8:02 PM on May 18, 2008

Best answer: Yes in that there are standard ways to design training. But they basically boil down to: determine outcomes, determine objectives, determine measurable targets, design learning activity, design assessment activity, etc and what TheManChild2000 said.
posted by wingless_angel at 9:19 PM on October 22, 2008

« Older What was this book? (Very vague.)   |   Taps Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.