August 15, 2013

Creating Your Personalized Learning Portal


Educational institutions, companies and organizations often create online learning portals to act as entryways into learning resources and opportunities for their students or employees. Search for “learning portal” using your favorite search engine to see some examples. You can create your own learning portal using just your browser.

No matter what type of browser you use, they all share the common feature of allowing you to bookmark a web page and to categorize those bookmarks. You can leverage this capability to create your own learning and reference portal.

Online learning destinations tend to fall into a few general categories. By categorizing your bookmarked web pages under appropriate category names, you can emulate the links you would find in a typical learning portal, and this one will be tailored to your specific needs.

The trick is to decide upon the right categories. Here are some suggestions, but you should use these only as a starting point. Your learning portal should be individualized and relevant to what you want to learn, how you learn, and your areas of interest.

You might create these categories under a single browser category of My Learning Portal.

  • General Reference
  • Libraries
  • Professional Organizations
  • Tutorials
  • Blogs
  • Videos

Within each of these categories you might break it down into sub-categories related to specific subject areas. One alternative categorization strategy could be to use subject matter and topic categories as the first level of categorization rather than these higher level categories. Do what works for you. Ultimately, how you organize your links is up to you. Only you know best what organization makes sense.

Keep your links and their categorization current. Over time it’s easy to get lazy about organizing your bookmarked pages and that will significantly reduce the usefulness of your learning portal. If well maintained, your personalized learning portal can serve as your pathway to ongoing learning for the rest of your life.

Here’s a great site that learning guru Marcia Conner suggested to me as inspiration regarding the power of a well-organized link collection. Chuck Green’s field of expertise is specifically design, but you can clearly see how such a link collection could prove valuable for a self-educator.

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