Learning well

This course was built to match the way people learn skills. You can read that on the Skilling website.

Use the site the way it's designed, you'll learn effectively, and efficiently. Take shortcuts, and you might make things harder for yourself.

Work through the lesson tree

The lesson tree is your table of contents for the course.

Lesson tree

Start at the top, and keep going until you get to the end.

Each entry in the tree is a lesson. They're designed to be read in order.

Read the lessons

Yeah, I get it. Many people don't like to read. Do it anyway.

Some courses give you too much reading. This one doesn't.

This course it about problem solving. Less time reading, more time doing. That's why the readings are short, and focused.

Read actively

Don't just run your eyes over the lessons. Take your time.

Don't skip things you don't understand. That will cause problems later on. Instead:

  • Read it again, running through code in your head. Do it, even if it hurts, and strains your self-confidence.
  • Try the code samples in the lesson, in Excel. Use the debugger.
  • Ask friends to explain it to you. <- This is a good one.
  • Ask your instructor.
  • Ask the interwebs.

The last one is tricky. This course covers only the basics of VBA. You'll find a lot of answers on the 'net using concepts you haven't learned. Stick with this site, if you can.

Don't work backwards through lessons

Most lessons have stuff to read, then an exercise at the end.

Lesson organization

One way people try to save time is to jump to the exercise, and search backwards through the lesson, finding stuff that helps them do the exercise.

Work backwards through the lesson

Efficient, right?

That's good in many situations, just not for this course. Lessons are written to be read from top to bottom. They introduce a concept, then add a little complexity, then a little more. This makes things easier on your brain.

When you work backwards, you hit the most complex stuff first. Brain overload! Confusion! Frustration!

So...

Work on lessons from top to bottom

Go through lessons in the obvious way. Do exercises as you come across them in the lessons.

Read lessons from top to bottom

Don't skip the More buttons

The More buttons break lessons into chunks. Makes it easier on your brain.

The More buttons have an arrow, with a "Show all" option.

More button

Click it, the More buttons vanish, and you can see the entire lesson.

Don't use "Show all" the first time you read a lesson. "Show all" is for when you've already read a lesson, and are coming back to find something to review, or code to cut-and-paste.

Answer the embedded questions

You'll find questions, like this:

Question

Answer them.

The questions are not there to test you. Instead, they're to remind you of things you already know, that relate to the lesson you're about the read. They help you tie things together, make your learning time more effective.

Suggestions

There's a Suggestion button (when you're logged in).

Suggestion button

If you think an explanation is confusing, please suggest that it be improved. That will really help!

The person who made this site is an expert. Experts know a topic so well, they've forgotten what it's like to learn that topic. Things that are problems for beginners won't even occur to them.

If an explanation confuses you, most likely there's a problem with the explanation. And other people are probably confused, too. So, please suggest away!