Search is like driving a car. Most people think they’re in the top 10% of performers.
Google just opened enrollment for an online course, Power Searching with Google. I signed up for several reasons:
- I’m insanely curious and search the web many times a day. Becoming a better searcher will save me time.
- Customer learning is the new frontier. The knowledgable customer is a better customer. Moreover, co-learning forges deeper relationships. We trust companies we learn from.
- I wanted to see Google’s instructional design. As Picasso said, “Mediocre artists imitate; great artists steal.”
- Perhaps I’m in the top 10% of all drivers (although I doubt it), but I’m definitely not in the t0p 10% of all searchers.
I just completed the introduction and Class 1.
A Google scientist leads you through five lessons per class, each followed by a simple quiz which is graded on the spot. I’ve learned a number of tips and tricks: word order matters; capitalization doesn’t matter; filter image searches by color; use Command-F to pop up a text search of a page. The videos are three to six minutes long. The instructor is folksy.
Often the instructor shares the screen with an example.
This morning someone in a web discussion told me she was in the “Google MOOC” along with thousands of others. Turned out she was talking about this course. From the responses posted in the companion Google Group, I’d say about a thousand people have completed Class #1. If there are other discussions going on, I’m unaware of them. It’s early yet, but so far, this course is your standard one-to-many, linear learning experience. No way this is a MOOC. That said, I’m still with it and can’t complain.