Getting Clear on Your Destination

Week Three: Handbook for Course Creators


Maybe you've heard this quote: "It's not about information, it's about transformation." Ok, great. But how do you design your course so that your learners experience transformation?


Welcome back to Week Three of this 13 week series where each week I distill down some key strategies and concepts you need to know to design courses that WORK.


#3 What's the Goal?


Last week, we looked at how to identify who your audience is. Once you've gotten clear on that, the next step in creating courses that work is to identify the destination for your learners and the path they will take to get there.


In determining the path for your learner, you want to do these four things:

  1. Identify what problem you are trying to solve

  2. Set a destination

  3. Determine the gaps between the starting point and the destination

  4. Decide how far you are going to be able to go

Think about it. Would you hire the guide who tells you they'll get you "somewhere" or the one who can tell you not only the exact destination, but also the route they will take to get you there?


So how do you do this?


It's all about the questions you ask yourself during the design process.


Below I've outlined a few questions to ask yourself to help you with each of the four steps listed above.


1) Identify the Problem: What bad thing will happen if they don't know this? What are they actually going to do with this information? How will you know if they are doing it right?


*Tip: Sometimes a topic is too big to be precise and you need to break it down to formulate your route to the destination.


2) Set the Destination: What does the learner need to be able to DO after your course? Can I tell when they've done it? To what degree does the learner need to be able to do this thing (do they need to remember it, understand it, apply it, analyze it, evaluate it, or create from scratch)?


3) Determine the Gap: What are the gaps between their current situation and where you want them to be? Are there knowledge gaps, skills gaps, motivation or attitude gaps, habit gaps, environment gaps, or communication gaps?


4) Decide How Far You Will Go: Is what you are teaching a "fast" skill that can be learned relatively quickly with some teaching and practice, or is it a "slow" skill that might require higher-level conceptual and strategic skills, expert coaching, or extensive practice?


*Credit to Julie Dirksen, Design for How People Learn


Happy Course Creating!


Have a spectacular week folks!


Jess Paré

Founder & Chief Learning Alchemist

















About The Lab!

Thanks for joining me here in the "lab" as we explore what it takes to transform your wisdom and knowledge into programs, courses, and products you can share with your clients in physical reality. Just as the alchemists of old experimented with combining different elements to see what the outcome would be, I see myself as a bit of a mad scientist (with better hair!). By pouring the content swirling in your head into the beaker of my design process, we alchemize your content into something magical that you can share with your audience.

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