Raising The Bar For Online Learning with Greg Róg

Online learning has so much potential to be vastly better than traditional in-person education. But, why do most courses miss the mark?

To Greg Róg it seems that most people are trying to create content instead of focusing on the actual action of teaching people. People make courses for themselves without consideration of who the audience is going to be. And, no thought seems to be put into the structure and design of the course itself.

The instructor must be engaged in not only teaching people, but in the design of their course experience. To Greg, that engagement is the key element that separates great courses from low-quality ones.

Greg also chats about his learning style that has enabled him to be able to consume and understand nearly 1000 pages of material in only two weeks, how he's designed his platform, and how learning style shifts as you gain more knowledge.

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Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Joel: You've been an inspiration for us with our own platform and you've built multiple course platforms and deliver really high quality learning materials to folks. I wanted to kind of kick it off and ask you, how do you approach learning a new complex topic? When you sit down to learn something new, what is your system or approach to learning something complex?

[00:00:19] Greg: Okay. First of all, thanks for inviting me here. And it's, this really means a lot to me because I mean, I had fun for years now and that's pretty cool. So in answering your question

Learning style

[00:00:29] Greg: The framework around learning it's. It's so vast and it's so, so such a great question, such a great topic to discuss.

[00:00:37] And for me it's a bit funny, but it's changing throughout the years. Probably the more I learn about learning, the more I feel that I know and obviously that there are so many different ways to approach different learning topics and schemes. And this also depends. Topic that you are learning actually.

[00:00:57] So last time now I finished, I've enrolled for a blockchain course on Oxford university. It was, this is like an online course with a lot of lot of materials, like maybe 700 to 800 pages of materials. And I finished that in two weeks. So. How did I accomplish this? I tried to, I tried a technique with really fast scanning through the through the material.

[00:01:22] So I basically, I was like scanning 30 pages in like five minutes and trying to get the grasp of what's the most, what are the most important bullet points and things in the material. And then I tried to rewrite it in my own words. What I've learned in this five minutes, like scanning really quickly through the material.

[00:01:42] And I discovered that for example, this way of learning for me was like exceptionally good for this kind of material where I was like, I kind of knew something about blockchain already, but I wanted to have this systematic approach to learning. And that's why I enrolled, but I figured that.

[00:02:01] Quickly scanning through the, for the material, through the, for the text, then putting down some notes and then discovering what I already know. It just enabled me to basically focus on the things that I don't know that I need to read through carefully later on. So, for example, this is my discovery of last month, and it's really amazing how much you can learn about learning when you try and experiment different techniques.

[00:02:27] There's a lot of it. I've explored a lot of like, you know, neurobiology, how it works, how brain works, how you acquire information. And then I try to test out different solutions. And why I'm saying about this, because it's fairly new technique for me. I've never learned this way. I've never approached the material this way.

[00:02:45] And now I tried and I was able to maybe do, you know, six or 700 pages of blockchain material in two or three weeks. And this. Simply because of that that technique and the takeaway from here is that there is no one great way to learn. And there is there, there are multiple ways to learn, depending on the context on the material that you're trying to learn whether you have some basic knowledge of that or not.

[00:03:13] And yeah, that, I think that there are many different ways.

[00:03:17] Joel: That. I mean, I agree. And I love the idea of running experiments with your yourself, right? Like, so you can sit down and try something new or try a new technique. And one thing I'm curious, cuz blockchain is. A vast technical landscape. So you're reading and you're going through 700 pages of material and you're taking notes.

How to apply learned knowledge

[00:03:34] Joel: What's the goal at the end or how what's the next step after you've consumed this information. And I would assume that like, that approach gives you kind of contextual knowledge and syn tactical knowledge. So you understand the vocabulary of the space and understand what you wanna do next.

[00:03:49] So where do you take that? And what's next to say like implement it, right? Like what, where, how do you transfer that to some sort of project that you're actually working on?

[00:03:56] Greg: Yeah. So I always try to approach a topic with a certain goal in mind. So in this particular case I enrolled to this blockchain bootcamp, or how do they say the program? Because I already knew what I want to accomplish at the end. And if I don't know this I try to figure it out at the beginning.

[00:04:15] So this the enrollment itself I don't use a lot of courses myself nowadays. I used to do a lot of them, but now it's really it's really, I just digest some random, you know, pieces of content. I try to organize them in a scheme. And this is how I learn now, because I have the background but in this particular case, what I try to accomplish is what I can do in two or three weeks in order to do this and that and those were.

[00:04:45] Really practical things, UHS of blockchain. I wanted to create to learn and create my NFT. I wanted to create my first smart contract . And I wanted to learn about the space the legal aspects of this space and running a startup in block blockchain. So basically I put down those free goals.

[00:05:03] And with this goals in mind, I basically started scraping all the ma material, but I was doing this quick this quick you know, reviews of the material. And then I was questioning myself whether I understand it. I wrote some bullet points and what I need to ex expand on. And then I also took some other resources, obviously not only the material that I had, but I tried to, you know, learn as.

[00:05:25] As much as I can about the topic that I don't understand. So, so if I scrolled those 30 pages and discovered that, okay. Maybe you know, the mean process of NFT is something that I don't really understand right now where I can find more information and I, you know, jump into some rabbit holes of internet learning about web free and just reading, but reading about this particular context you know, so, so that I can.

[00:05:50] I can rest assure that, okay, I know this part of material well, and I always try to, I always try to, you know, it's always better to just understand and read and memorize. Obviously everyone knows that , but it's funny how people. Even knowing that they don't apply it. And the application is pretty simple.

[00:06:08] You just can through material or you read something and then you question your, you ask yourself some questions or you try to explain this to some other person. This is also one of the best ways to learn is basically to teach what you're learning. And that's why I love teaching so much as well, because you can learn a lot.

[00:06:25] If you are about to teach someone, something, this is a great way to, to basically learn. And not only to learn to memorize, but to understand. And this is pretty great. I've recently spoke to a guy from Google and I always ask I'm really curious about how people learn how they approach that in, in the work environment.

[00:06:44] And. I was asking him about how do they have any specific things that are, you know, for like employee puffs for learning, acquiring new skills and stuff like that. So he mentioned something that's pretty cool. I don't know if it's like organization wide or if it's only for their office, but.

[00:07:01] What they were doing is they could learn for like some part of the week, maybe, I dunno, few hours or maybe more during their work week. But if they were about to learn something, the first thing that they had to do is put in the calendar, let's say, in a month, a meeting or a webinar or something for other employees to teach.

[00:07:22] This particular skill that they learned so that they had the goal you know, and they knew that they have to just acquire the skill in a month because there is a meeting coming up or a training that they have to perform. And they they basically taught other people. The things that they've learned and this, I think it's brilliant.

[00:07:41] It's one of the best ways of learning. You have some goals you have you have to understand material correctly in order to teach someone this material. So, so basically you won't skip the information that you don't understand. You'll try to learn as hard and understand all the topics so that you basically can teach some other people this topic in the month for some, something like that.

[00:08:00] So this is pretty efficient.

[00:08:02] Joel: think it's interesting because you know, like you mentioned having a goal and you have a goal. Down to learn. And just being curious is a goal, but it's not a very strong goal. So if you're curious and you need a stronger goal than setting that calendar date would give you like a very strong goal for understanding the material truly.

[00:08:18] So you could transfer it to other people, which is a pretty good hack. I think.

[00:08:20] Greg: Yeah, I always do it. It's like, it's really important for me. I don't like learning just to, you know, gather some random information. If you have a goal in place. If my goal was creating my first smart contract, then you can just POS you know, you can orient yourself and towards this goal, Running through all the materials that you have.

[00:08:41] And that was pretty great experience for me, this learning session, to be honest, I've it. Probably the first one for few months that I had, but I wanted to dig as deep as possible and explore the space. And I just like booked my time by buying this course pretty expensive course.

[00:09:03] So I basically this was my commitment to doing that because I wanted to do it for at least a year, but I didn't have enough motivation. I. Read some random information. And then I decided, okay, I need to focus on this very exact topic. I need to write down my goals and I need to have some kind of commitment.

[00:09:21] So I basically bought the course and decided that during the period of this course, it was like maybe six weeks, but I only had three weeks to to commit to that. I will do everything to learn as much as possible towards in order to complete and achieve my goal. And it worked out.

Video as a learning method

[00:09:36] Joel: you described it as a text course where there's seven or 800 pages of text that you're reading and scanning. And we both generally produce video courses. And I think that's an interesting, I don't know, phenomenon maybe where I'm a reader. Like that's how I generally approach learning is written words.

[00:09:52] But do you use video courses in your own learning? Is that something you said you don't take many courses these days, but is video part of your learning process?

[00:09:59] Greg: Yeah. Not this day, not this days, not that much. I guess that video is really great for people for more for beginners and people who are willing to, to basically, you know, learn the, some complex skill using a course having like this organized and lessons. From ed, I've been learning quite a lot.

[00:10:18] The other way I mean, I had some background in programming as well, so ed is great in a way that I can approach a little beats and pieces of material and I can have the exact information that I want and it's more advanced, so it's great. And I've been using this a lot, but the typical.

[00:10:35] Approach to courses is, you know, you imagine the topic and then you learn it through 20 or 30 lessons. And this is just not the way it works for me right now, because if you have I feel that if you have some like, you know, vast background of information, it's better for you to just. Read and explore the written information.

[00:10:54] But I oftentimes I scan through the transcripts of the courses and it's like reading the video and it allows to search as well. So it's a great way to find information too.

[00:11:05] Joel: Yeah I end up in the transcript a lot myself and just kind of scan through and pick and pull. And I even, I've gotten to the point where I will download MP3s of podcasts and import them into auto AI, get the transcript and then just go through and look at the guests commentary, because typically I don't want to, I don't the host, doesn't add a lot for me.

[00:11:23] And I'm looking to see what the guest has to say. I don't know, like I, I'm a big, I'm a big text based learner. Like that's just how I process information quickly, I think is the it's efficient for me, I think is what it really boils down to.

[00:11:35] Greg: Yeah, I think it's it's it, like I mentioned the way you are learning it, it changes through time. Once you have some background knowledge, quite good knowledge like of technology in general, for example, then it's so much easier to find the resources that you want. You always know because for some people, and this is pretty difficult to when you have this knowledge to go down to the level of people who are just starting out.

[00:12:01] And this is

[00:12:02] Joel: Oh, absolutely.

[00:12:03] Greg: yeah, this is also the, you know, the thing that we struggle with trying to create courses for beginners, because you never know where the line is, what should you explain? And what should you explain in detail? But. The fact is that they oftentimes, they don't know what to put in Google search and you already know it, you know, the, you know, the basics, you know, the more advanced stuff.

[00:12:23] And you just figure out the words, the phrasing that should be put in the search engine and people who are just on the beginning at the beginning of their way, they don't know. And they have to learn it. Learning from the video course is a great way to to do it. You know, it's when you hear the words you memorize them also, you can then yeah, you can then go to the, to switch to text based once you get some initial skills.

[00:12:47] Joel: I think it's the difference between known unknowns and unknown unknowns, right? Like if you know, what you don't know is one thing, and you can research that if you don't even know what you don't know, then how are you going to even start? So you have to have some place where you start and that's the challenge.

[00:13:01] Greg: Yeah, that's it.

[00:13:02] Joel: What are some qualities of a really good course in general for you?

[00:13:06] Greg: Oh that's a great question as well. I got to, you know, ask this question myself a lot during recent years, cuz I'm obsessed about about the course experience in general. But also I'm a true believer in the, in in that courses in, in online learning can be better than, in many cases than class classroom learning.

[00:13:26] And we are not. There yet. I mean,

[00:13:29] Joel: I agree.

[00:13:30] Greg: yeah, no one just you know, I feel that I, sometimes I get the feeling that, you know, half or most of the internet is doing it wrong and they are just focusing on, you know, studying the courses, not BA not actually teaching people's

[00:13:43] Joel: right? Like it's marketing and launching the course more than like designing an, a learning experience that is effective. I feel like I see that a lot too. That's a phenomenon.

[00:13:51] Greg: Yeah. And the, and this is really bad. I mean, this is something that's probably you know, people are not, they basically learn how to market the courses when they, when someone teaching people, you know how to make your own course and stuff like that. Most of this is. Marketing. And once you have like the initial traction with your marketing and maybe you presale make a presale of the course and you figure out that this might be, you know, this might be okay to do it, then you do the course but the most, the biggest approach is on marketing.

[00:14:24] And this is pretty sad and the way I would Discover, you know, throughout I'm doing courses for 15 years now. And I believe that I've been in many places where people were pointing me in the right direction, what to expect, what they expect from the course and what makes a great course. There's obviously no one answer one great answer because this depends.

[00:14:46] On many factors and obviously who the, who is the author of the course and and who you are doing the course for. But sometimes if you think of some general things that make the course. The best in class. Like the one that I like to take as, as a student, I think that would be the engagement of the author.

[00:15:06] It always makes the biggest difference when the author is engaged in the course creation process. And he firmly believes that he has the knowledge that. That he is willing to learn on how to pass to to his audience, not only, you know, randomly putting lessons of his imagination, basically the engagement and the energy that, that the outer has is really crucial.

[00:15:30] And it's the most important factor, cuz I've seen so many courses that were Just badly prepared and not taking into consideration. Just simple things like, you know, attention span on the internet people. Sometimes they try they, for example, run some stationary classes and they try to create this the same course experience online and doing like, you know, 45 minutes.

[00:15:53] Lesson and it will ever work. You know, it's like the attention span is like five or six minutes and you should keep your lessons concise and you obviously know that, but many people, they just figure out that, you know, okay, I'm gonna do it. Like, like I do my class and this this doesn't just, this doesn't work on the internet.

[00:16:11] So, so, so the best courses that I've seen. Where the ones where the author was really engaged, but not in, only in, you know, passing the knowledge but also in the creation, the process of creating the course. And there's a lot to be done in this process. Some of my courses I just spent.

[00:16:30] Maybe four or five or six months creating the course, the outline of the course and the materials recording itself, I can do it easily. So it's like three or four days, but the whole process of creating the content and creating the best outline for the course and creating the best examples for the course.

[00:16:48] It's what makes the huge difference. And Yeah, there's no one way but basically I feel that people are focusing less and less on the content itself and the course design process, which is crucial and the attention is more on marketing and things that doesn't really matter for the, you know, the output you get from the cars.

[00:17:09] Joel: think, and what you're describing to me is like the instructional design process or the, just the core design. And it's really fundamental to just generally, right? Like the idea of design and not in the visual sense, but you have to design for outcomes and the experience of the learner and take that character to truly, you know, craft something that is useful to people.

[00:17:28] And then you get a good course. It's not like, how am I gonna sell this to people? And how am I going to extract dollars from wallets? It's how am I going to design something that's effective? Is the question that I think is the place to start.

[00:17:39] Greg: Yes. And you have to often it's like people people figure out that, okay, I'm gonna do the course and they just log themselves for like maybe a month or something. And they come up with the course. It never works this way. So what you should do instead is basically it's like, you know, your course is like, you should treat it like a startup.

[00:17:59] You should AB tested. You should ask people you should interview some folks when you come up with the lesson, it's always like when I have the lesson idea, I always have some bullet points of the, of what my student will accomplish with this lesson. What I'm gonna, what I'm gonna give in this lesson.

[00:18:16] And this. Pretty crucial. And I feel that sometimes we are missing the most important factor of our courses being our students, learning something. And I often like I have a group of students when I create the course, I try to enroll as many people as I can in like better testing the course.

[00:18:33] And when I'm recording, I'm just sending the lessons over. I'm asking them questions. So it's really important to have people that will give you feedback in the process of the, of designing the course. It's super important, like the course you shouldn't do it alone, you know, because then you face so many different you know, problems that will end up in.

[00:18:53] And poor quality of the course. And it doesn't really matter if you are great in the topic or not because like we've mentioned, for example, you might not know the the difference and the line between beginners and maybe intermediate and users and you basically will provide information.

[00:19:10] That's not. You know, not detailed enough because you won't go to the level of the student. Because you think that's obvious because for you, it might be but for them it's really, so for me many times, and I've been doing this a lot, but now I find myself working with my students.

[00:19:28] And of course some people who. Helped me to create materials and stuff like that. But basically with my students throughout the whole process of creating a course and getting their feedback is really valuable. And often, oftentimes I wouldn't even imagine that, okay, I should do it.

[00:19:43] I should do different example or I should explain this more in detail and stuff like this. It's too abuse for me, but for them it's a real problem that they address.

[00:19:51] Joel: I think it's interesting because what you described to me is fundamentally like a product design process, right? Like where the course is a product and you could transfer the same concept and idea to like a SAS product for instance or some other thing where you're taking the care, you're talking to users, finding out what people actually need and then, you know, designing an experience for them that they will then find useful and pay you for.

[00:20:12] And I think there's a lot of correlation here just in, in terms of what you've describe.

[00:20:16] Greg: That's it. Yeah. That's why I said it's like a startup, but like you mentioned this is a product design and and many people do it but they skipped really important part. So, so basically they just do this initial phase of the product. So, so, so maybe some. Checking whether there, there might be attraction for the product and they do it pretty well.

[00:20:36] So create a campaign and some email list. And then they have webinars when they test whether this would work and maybe someone will pre-order the course. And this is. This is great because you can get some insights from those people. But then I think that when they finally see that, okay, this might work out, they log themselves, in a closet for two months and they end up having a product that's not really fitted for the market.

[00:21:03] Joel: Maybe it's treated more like an essay or a term paper than a product at the end of the day,

[00:21:08] Greg: Yeah. I feel, yeah. Yeah.

[00:21:10] Joel: you know, like they're you're writing an essay basically. And you're not creating a course. You're writing an essay and somebody will read it and they might get something out of it or not.

[00:21:17] Greg: Yeah. Yeah. And you never test it's like writing. Yeah. And maybe writing a book on a, like in a lake house , when you go. Yeah. But it shouldn't be like this. It should be really like, like designing a great product that people would, are willing to pay for. But basically it's like in a startup, you have to.

[00:21:34] Test the ideas and see what the outcomes are.

Course learning vs personal learning

[00:21:37] Joel: If you're sitting down to research, a new course is your process different than if you are just learning something like you described in the blockchain.

[00:21:46] Greg: Oh

[00:21:46] Joel: when you're describing that, is that research process different when you're approaching a new course?

[00:21:50] Greg: No, I think it's pretty the same because it's all the like learning and teaching experience. It obviously depends on how many things you already know about the topic? The basic question for me is who am I speaking to? Who am I creating the course for? And When you learn and research the topics you have that answer in place because it's you.

[00:22:10] Right? So, so, so basically you know, this person, so it's easier at the beginning. And most of the people skip that part when they create the course, because they create the course as if they created this course for themselves. But many times they address different audience. You know, they want to address themselves, but maybe from like five years ago when they were starting out or something like that.

[00:22:33] But instead they just focus on how would I best, you know, learn this thing right now. And this might be a trap.

How to stay grounded in the practice while working on a course

[00:22:41] Joel: So, so one of the things I think that's interesting when you start to teach or you're doing this sort of thing, or you're developing courses is you get away from the practice, right? Like, so if you were teaching UX design, like how do you keep yourself grounded in the prac practice of UX design to be able to like confidently teach as an expert?

[00:22:59] Greg: Yeah, that's a great question too. I feel that many people have this, like for start they don't know whether they could teach because they know the topic well, but they are not great teachers and they question themselves. Right. But I, you know, I'm not the best person to pass the knowledge to, to, to anyone because I don't know how to teach, but you can learn how to teach.

[00:23:21] It's easy, but as, and on the other hand there are people who basically. They think that they know how to teach or maybe they know how to teach, but they don't know the topic because they teach too much and they lost, you know, the connection with the topic itself. And I've always been like what we've done for years now.

[00:23:40] And what I try to do is always have people on board who are the best. You know, in class programmers like you do like, so those are not, you know, teachers who doesn't prac practice the topic. They are always the best in class. Sometimes not the best in class. You don't have to be the best.

[00:23:59] Sometimes it's even better. If you are. Exploring the topic, learning the topic, and then you have better connection with people who are actually willing to learn it. But but the thing is that you cannot lose this connection to the topic itself. And for example I've never taught subjects.

[00:24:15] Twice. That's why I love video courses. because you can just, you know, record it. And BA actually, I, this is how I started doing video courses for a short period in my life. I've been training people in class and I've been teaching was a long time ago. I've been teaching them action script and flash

[00:24:32] So, so. Yeah, but I've run, you know, like maybe five classes. And obviously after, after the fifth class I've run, it was, I felt that there's not much to improve. And I was so bored on the sixth that I've just, you know, tried to do it differently. And then I figured that, okay, I can record the sixth approach, which is pretty good.

[00:24:52] And then you know, I don't have to do it again. so for me, it was always. Teaching something new. And this is, I think this is crucial. If you're always trying to teach something new, then you are always learning and you are always practicing the craft and you, you basically pass the new skills to people.

[00:25:11] And there, this is nothing to be afraid of because a lot of people are like, For me I wouldn't teach blockchain right now, but I think I could, I mean, I could pass the information that I've learned through the period of this three weeks. And I think that having all the background that I have the technical background and I mean in tech four years now, this.

[00:25:32] Actually gives me the confidence to pass this knowledge and teach this new topic, even if I'm not the best, you know, expert in, in blockchain. But I feel that I would be better suited to sympathize with the people who are just starting out and they will learn a lot from me.

Learn UX

[00:25:46] Joel: So you've built you have multiple. Course platforms and one of them is learn ux.io. And it's a great place for folks that are, they're interested in UI design tools and it's full of video courses. And I'm wondering how do you describe learn UX?

[00:26:00] Greg: So learn new access a platform for UI and UX designers are willing to learn some new skills and tools that are like pretty hot in the space right now. And and this is a library that I've created quite a few years ago, I guess, in, in 2018 since then I've updated it few times, but. I feel that this project is like, for me, it's complete.

[00:26:24] I could, now I can record, you know, new courses because there's always something new in the and UI space. But sometimes this is a, this is an example of the project that I just let it go for some time. And I always come back to this product that I create. After some time I try not to burn out too much, I've created this and I felt that it served many people.

[00:26:47] And then. I have when I have the real urge to go back to the project, I'm just you know, I have this this real PA passion to, to put in it. So, so basically that's why also you told that this is one of my a lot of different projects that I run and I run. SA businesses. I also create my own apps.

[00:27:08] I have my info products like UX, and also I have a big portal with courses for Poland. And this is basically the great way for me to to not to burn out and to have some space. That would enable me to get new energy. And for example, for learn new X to go back to this project from time to time and create really great materials.

[00:27:30] So also, maybe this is a realization that I have now that sometimes it's not like it. The course or the courses that you create. The teaching process sometimes is this shouldn't be a full time job because you can easily, you know, probably run out of maybe not ideas, but run out of energy quickly.

Have multiple projects and take breaks to avoid burnout

[00:27:50] Joel: I feel like I, I kind of fell in that trap with a head where I was trying to like, just, it was everything, right? I'm doing this one project, it's a head and it just gets monotonous almost, and you lose perspective and it affects that, that product because it's your only thing you're focusing on.

[00:28:04] And for me I've recently split off and started working on several products and it feels. It feels more interesting because I circle back and they're all related to each other in some form or fashion, but like this ability to like circle through various interests keeps your brain fresh when you know, like you're working on this long term.

[00:28:21] And it's like, for me, it's like for, I'm gonna be working on these products for a long time and how do I bring my best self to them? And that's been a kind of a nice thing to, to be able to have multiple things to work on.

[00:28:31] Greg: Yeah, that's great. Right. And you always have this new levels of energy when you come back. And sometimes . It's like, for example, for me recording a new course or creating a new material, it's like, I'm not recording until I have like, this each until I'm like, okay, I have to record right now.

[00:28:49] Okay. If I don't have this feeling. Prefer to, you know, switch to some other task or maybe create some more examples, some more materials learn some more. And this might be also a tip for people who want to, you know, jump into the studio. Many times we have a studios here in Waro and we record many courses and you know, people come to the studio and I feel that.

[00:29:11] They are not ready. Most of them are not ready to record in order to record, you have to be like, oh, I have to let this out. Okay. You have to have this approach and this this enthusiasm. And if this is not the case, if you think, oh, I can create a course on this and that, but so let's go to studio and, or maybe, you know, turn the mic on and see what happens.

[00:29:33] It's always frustrating. It's always a really bad process, but when you spend a lot of time creating the content and you feel this each and you feel like, okay, I have to, I just have to tell it I just have to pass this knowledge to people. Otherwise, I dunno. I forget what I wanted to say, because it's too much and stuff like.

[00:29:51] Then you have this great material and then you can have this fresh energy, right? You get the, and you also get it from this different projects of yours, right? When you work on different projects, you get so many ideas on what to teach. You know, you learn something basically every day, and this is so great about you know, online projects as.

Why create your own playform and whats missing from pre-existing ones

[00:30:09] Joel: One of the things that's interesting is that learn UX and ed UE, both are custom platforms. You built your own platform. And I was wondering what was missing from the kind of existing white label. That had you decide to make your own platform to deliver your courses?

[00:30:24] Greg: Yeah, everything was missing. I thought that . Yeah, it was really it was really a painful experience you might say to develop the platform from the ground up. And we've basically never finished, you know, like it's like, , it's like, I had probably,

[00:30:40] Joel: Yeah. Every day is something

[00:30:42] Greg: Yeah.

[00:30:42] So, so it would be so much better and the world would be so perfect. If I could just take the solution that's already there on the market and just build on top of it and then only have to worry about, you know, recording great courses. So we were trying to, I was trying hard to find solutions that would be okay for me and me being perfectionist.

[00:31:03] Unfortunately I could. Find the solution that was perfect for a, you know, learning platform and basically I feel that there is, it's really hard to find it, even nowadays we've been working on this different platforms for like, maybe. 10 15 years now. And we came up with all of the custom things that that we've developed, like, like the payment process and subscriptions and the player itself.

[00:31:29] So why is that? Well, I think that there's no. One great way again. What I try to do probably all my life. It's the biggest mission of my life is to create this learning experience, this online learning experience better than the experiences that you have in class. And. And I, I truly believe that, but I still feel that no one has done it yet.

[00:31:51] And I feel that I'm on the mission to do it. So I try to just, come up with all of the different ideas that will bring me closer to this goal. And this is how I'm trying to rebuild all the things from the ground. I always question myself, you know, why is, for example the most important part of your online learning experience when it's video course?

[00:32:12] Why is this. Player video player just, you know, a blank rectangle for all the other things on the website. Like it's not connected to the learning experience at all. You have the video, but it's not connected to the notes you take to the experience to, that's why we came up with these cue points with tagging with searching the library, because obviously there is.

[00:32:34] A lot more to learning than just watching the video and probably that's why maybe that's why we don't have this maybe this is great way to learn as a beginner now, because there nobody invented the platform that would allow you to quickly scan through the material search through the transcripts and.

[00:32:54] The technology is there, but you have to work really hard to connect the pieces together. And I feel that we are getting closer, but it's really hard task.

Difference between his two platforms

[00:33:03] Joel: technology. Are they built on the same. Kind of core or are they separate projects?

[00:33:08] Greg: No, there are separate projects. And ed web is is quite a big project because it's like it has this database history of like maybe 13 years. And it's a big platform. We have over 200,000 clients on the platform. And we have, you know, our own hosting and stuff like that. It's really complicated.

[00:33:28] It's really a big project that we've been developing for years now. And we are still working on it and. Learning X is just like a website that I quickly assembled. And there, there's not much in, in terms of like this, you know, whole learning process and experience. However, I feel that it's also valid points to, to mention that, okay.

[00:33:50] Sometimes you don't really need it for the purpose of learning X it's okay to have this. Pretty simple player like embedded Vimio and just a simple thing, because people who are taking the courses, they want to go through the material and they want to just update themselves on the new UI UX tools like Figma or sketch and something like that.

[00:34:11] And probably this is like maybe the, a good way to, to put it. But if you have bigger platform with many courses, like we have like 700 courses probably on ed web, you want to have better technology to cross reference the courses. You want to have better transcripts and. There is so much more that you can do.

[00:34:30] We even, we create, for example, we try to engage people who are learning and we try to give them tasks. We have a custom built system that will put them in small groups and. Let them have their own mastermind groups. And this is based on the progress in the courses that they have. So if you are a beginner and you've learned JavaScript, now you're progressing to react.

[00:34:54] Probably I can give you five people that are in the same. Place and have the same problems. And I can allow you to just meet in person you know, in a zoom, like experience with the specific task from react that you can work on together. And this is so much better than just, you know, having a simple learning experience, but sometimes you, you really don't need it.

[00:35:19] Now I've created I've created a platform, right? On web flow and it's great. It's web flow LMS on the web flow and it's so great. It allows you to create your own course platform in, in a matter of minutes. And also it thanks to automations and thanks to web flow itself, it allows you to, you know, just customize it to the pixel.

[00:35:40] And and this can be great for, you know, a large part of of learning experiences. But on the other hand, it will never be something that I want to create. You know, that I take as a goal for me because I want, and I truly be in, in the technology helping solve this, you know, learning problem.

[00:36:00] And there is a lot of problems but basically I believe in in changing the landscape with technology, not the better courses, because you can always create better course. Yeah but I want to change. Change it to the better with technology, because I feel that there is a huge gap in there.

[00:36:16] Joel: I think it's. It's a lot easier to create when there are valid examples and it's a lot more difficult when you are forging the way and actually creating those examples for other people. So like right now in this space, there is not a lot of advanced examples of these, you know, like learning experiences.

[00:36:34] And I feel like you are a person that's dedicated to creating those examples that, that we can. Look to and follow. And I really appreciate that in terms of your goals and how you approach online learning and, you know, like, like setting these examples and, you know, like this mutual kind of collaboration and it's asynchronous and it's not explicit, but like, I love that, that we kind of have these goals and we're working on them together in a way.

[00:36:58] Greg: Yeah, of course we do. And we are all, you know, looking at different solutions and things that people come up with. And I'm really excited about the technology that's that's, you know, right now changing the light landscape and it's progressing pretty quickly and yeah, we can all learn from each other.

[00:37:16] That's so awesome. That's so inspiring.

[00:37:18] Joel: Thank you so much for hanging out with me today and chatting about this stuff. And I really appreciate the work that you do.

[00:37:23] Greg: Thank you, Joel. And likewise, thanks for thanks a lot.

[00:37:26] Joel: Cheers.

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