Join Aaron Quigley for an in-depth discussion in this video Applying the exercise files, part of Learning with Lynda.com.
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- This video is all about using exercise files to deepen your learning in a lynda.com course. When we're first trying to learn something, going through the motions of doing it help us move the knowledge into a deeper level of memory. This relates back to being active learners versus passive learners. Many lynda.com courses include exercise files that give you an opportunity to follow along with the author step by step as they demonstrate a tool or a process. Now, there's two ways that we can approach using the excercise files.
First, you can mimic exactly what the author is doing and try to get the same outcome in your project. You can quickly determine if you've missed a step, since you compare your outcome to those shown in the course. The downside of this is that by following along with the author exactly, you may be creating something that isn't very personally relevant. For example, the author may be creating a WordPress site to sell athletic shoes, while you want to create a WordPress site for a nonprofit organization that's organizing community events. You're still getting valuable WordPress skills, but the immediate application may be off target for you.
That's where the second approach to exercise files comes in. Here you use the files as a starting point from which you personally add a spin. For example, you can follow along as the author builds their athletic shoe website, but apply the coding techniques to a first draft of your nonprofit website. Using exercise files in this way, allows you to walk away from a course with something that's directly related to you personally. The downside here is that if you make a mistake, retracing your steps by comparing your custom project to the author's example is a real challenge.
Whether you use the first approach or second approach, exercise files make a big difference in the learning and help you learn more effectively. They help you actively participate in the learning process, which means that you're going to get much more out of a lynda.com course.