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  • Writer's pictureJess Pare

Why You Need to Know Your Audience

Week Two: The 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 Two 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.

#2 Know Your Learner

Many new course creators get excited about all the content they want to share with learners and they think that this is the starting point for planning their course. I'm here to tell you IT'S NOT! The best place to begin is with who your audience is.

Just imagine if you were coaching a novice jogger versus an experienced professional marathoner. These individuals would need very different approaches to make the coaching effective.

For novices, consider providing:

  • Lots of guidance

  • Ease into the content

  • Quick wins

  • Strategies for increasing self-confidence

  • A gradual progression of difficulty, with opportunities to rest

  • Coaching and feedback on how they're doing

A more beginner audience needs a lot of structure and guidance, and a more advanced audience needs more autonomy and resources that they can choose to access as needed.

So how do you do this?

It's all about how you structure the content.

A few ways to help your learners connect with your content are:

1) Use a framework or a structure that will help them organize the information you're about to give them. This could be a road map of the broad categories, an overview of basic principles, or an acronym.

2) Use visuals to help your learner remember what you've shared

3) Use a story because people pay more attention to stories, especially those that arouse emotions

4) Walk through an example to allow learners to apply the concept to a situation

5) Have learners teach it back to you -- in an evergreen course, this could be as simple as a quiz at the end of a lesson or as interactive as inviting the learner to share a video of themselves teaching the content

6) Use a metaphor or analogy because by comparing the content to something your learners are already familiar with it helps them know how to shelve it in their brain to be easily retrieved later

*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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