Getting to Grips with Tutorials on YouTube

YouTube can be a fantastic repository for learning how to do a massive range of different things, thanks to the sheer wealth in instructive tutorials that you can find on almost any topic. But it can sometimes be a little difficult to wrap your head around the volume of content out there and find the right place to start. So, to help you out, I’ve put together this handy little list of tips to help you get to grips with tutorials on YouTube. 

Use Tutorials to Supplement Learning 

YouTube’s tutorials are best utilised when you use them in tandem with practice and other forms of learning. Picking up a well-recognised teaching course and combining it with copious practice will help you to get the absolute most out of YouTube’s tutorials. A good approach to using tutorials is to use them as help while solving specific problems, rather than following them as an end all teaching course. For example, a tutorial channel might offer lots of videos walking you through all the basics of 3D modelling. However, I’d recommend setting your own goals and trying to reach them through practice, and only using tutorials to help you solve the problems along your way, is a more engaging and effective way of learning. 

Set Up Custom Playlists 

Lots of tutorial channels will have their own playlists walking you through a particular series or topic, and while these are often very useful, the real value lies in creating your own playlists using a mix of videos from different channels. Mixing and maxing playlists allows you to construct reference materials that are relevant and specific to exactly what you’re working on. On top of that, creating your own playlists will require a level of understanding about the topic, so it incorporates more elements of critical thinking, than simply following a premade playlist does. 

Follow the Comment/Vote Trails 

There are a lot of tutorials out there, and when I say a lot I really mean – a lot -. Just like anything else online, you’re going to want to make sure the information you’re getting is accurate and correct. One of the simplest ways to do this is to browse the comments of a video or look at the like to dislike ratio. Since a tutorial is unlikely to have controversial viewpoints that split opinions, the ratings are more likely to be an indication of tangible quality, either in the form of the accuracy of the information or the quality of its delivery.  

From time to time you might find that you’re needing to watch a tutorial on a fairly obscure topic that doesn’t have many views, so checking comments and votes becomes less reliable. In these cases, the best option is to try and find a secondary source to back up the information in the tutorial. Most importantly you should remember to participate by leaving a comment and/or rating the tutorial, as this will help out those that come after you. 

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