I am one of those people who is constantly trying to learn something new. Whether it’s Microsoft Excel, painting, or astronomy, I love to expand my horizons and gain new knowledge! So when the Library added Gale Courses, one of our newest electronic resources, I was thrilled!
Gale Courses offers over 300 six-week, instructor-led courses in a wide variety of subjects, including certifications and Continuing Education credits. I’ve personally taken everything from Introduction to Microsoft Word to Personal Finance to Creating Webpages. The possibilities are endless, and the best part is that it’s free with your Library card! Find a complete list of courses here.
Classes start on a monthly basis and have firm start and end dates, with lessons coming out each Wednesday and Friday. You have to access lessons one and two within two weeks of the starting date of the class, but other than that it’s all self-paced. Instructors are available for help, too, so if you have a question you can post it on the discussion board and you’ll hear back within 48 hours.
To celebrate our new resource, we’re running a Gale Courses contest over the summer! The first fifty people to bring in their completion letter or certificate gets a free gift from us (limit of one per person), and every completion letter you bring in earns you an entry into our grand prize drawing!
To help you all on your quest for as much knowledge as you can handle, I present my Gale Courses Tips!
- Do the lesson when it comes out.
I’ve found it’s easiest to get things done on the day the lesson comes out. Each individual lesson only takes about a half hour (depending on the subject) to read all the materials and take the quiz, and spreading it out keeps me engaged and challenges me to remember the material!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
The best part about having an instructor is that there’s someone there to get feedback from. Instructors with Gale Courses are contractually obligated to respond to your questions within 48 hours of posting, so you know you have backup!
- Don’t overburden yourself.
I made the mistake of trying to take too many classes at once (there’s so much to learn!). Luckily there’s no penalty for not finishing a class, and if you don’t access lessons one and two within the two-week window, you’re automatically unregistered. If you find you’re just too busy, you can always stop doing the work and enroll in another course when you have more time.
- Take classes you’re interested in.
Gale Courses has a lot of offerings, so take classes that look interesting to you. And if you find you’re just not enjoying it, remember that there’s no penalty to drop out of the class and find something else to learn about.
You can access Gale Courses through our website under Research/Online Resources/General or go directly to the page here. We also have a wonderful overview video that will help you learn how to navigate the Gale Courses interface.
One of the wonderful things about working in a library is the opportunity to learn new things every day, and I’m so grateful we get to pass the learning on to you! I look forward to seeing all of the different classes you take this summer!