...Maria has kindly let me share one of her blog articles - 4 Key Pillars Creating Professional Courses - originally posted on her website on 27 October 2015 - http://mariadoyle.com/4-key-pillars-creating-professional-courses/ (Read Maria's complete article)
So what are the 4 Key Pillars crucial to creating professional courses?
PILLAR 1 - Connect
What happens when some of these things are out of whack? You get grumpy clients who didn't get what they expected.
There's a fair chance there wasn't a complete picture of how the course would operate, including the complete user experience, how the teacher and learners would communicate, what would be included, how the content would be accessed, OR what the course, program or workshop series would achieve overall.
When you fail to really identify your client needs, the different ways people learn, and the exact expectations around the full user experience, you open yourself up to refund requests, mismatched expectations and a minefield of 'but I thought I was getting X' type complaints.
PILLAR 2 - Create
Something that most formally qualified teachers take for granted, is a solid curriculum document. We use them daily, and with good reason. When they're missing? Nightmare material.
The content is disorganised, there doesn't seem to be a consistent thread to follow, you've no idea what's coming up next, the content isrambling or poorly connected and the user experience leaves a LOT to be desired. We've all been a learner in THAT classroom - right?
Passionate, well meaning professionals come to me in confusion and overwhelm because they have created so much content, but have no idea how it all fits together, no idea where anything is, their filing system is an endless rabbit warren of duplicate information and they've totally lost the love with it. All of it. All that hard work, and they've created themselves a monster. Don't do this to yourself.
You run with a course like that? Your learners will know it, YOU will know it, and you'll get to the end of the experience and completely rethink your plans to ever teach again. Forget feeling overwhelmed, confused and out of your depth. Have a plan that will keep you organised, your learners (and your reputation) will thank you!
PILLAR 3 - Communicate
Be they workshops, worksheets or online webinars, the structure of your content, visual aids and delivery mechanisms dictate whether or not you provide a user experience that will inspire and motivate your clients to engage with your materials, stay engagedand actually apply the new knowledge to changing their lives for the better.
When you fail to create learning materials that cater to the different ways people learn, and basic best practice teaching and learning principles, your clients get bored, drop out, or never really engage with your content. No one wants to be in that classroom - right? Worse still, you're unlikely to get raving reviews or testimonials, your reputation may start to take a nose dive, and you may even begin to lose hope that your content is actually as powerful as you thought it could be. Don't go there.
Sometimes it's a simple as a few tweaks here and there to the way it's presented, ordered or the questions you've asked to get them to open that document. Don't be that Physics teacher you had in high school that had the class hypnotised within minutes. Really. Not. Necessary.
PILLAR 4 - Critique
All courses that have 5 star ratings have a solid set of evaluations embedded to source timely feedback that can enhance the user experience.
There's nothing worse than getting to the end of a course, then getting a tonne of feedback on items that could have been rectified in a heartbeat, saving frustration for a number of your clients.
There's also nothing worse than being known as the type of professional who creates a bunch of content then just recycles it over and over, never adapting or improving the resources or adding any further value.
Clients can sense that sort of 'professionalism' (or lack thereof) from a mile off. What category do YOU fall into?
If you want to know more about "How does your course or seminar stack up" head over to Maria's blog - read her whole article and take her quick quiz - The Training Skills Assessment, or download her 12 Step Blueprint she has available. She also has videos if you prefer to watch on each of the 12 steps and a 12 day challenge to help get you started and on the right track
Check out a bit more about Maria by visiting her website - mariadoyle.com
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