Help Participants Tackle the Right Projects in your Course

course design instructional design learning experience design Jun 30, 2021

I want to explore the concept of tackling appropriately-sized projects.

Someone does not know how to sew, but they take a sewing course and the first project they want to sew is a wedding dress... which makes no sense.

But this actually happened. And it actually happens a lot. Your learners probably do this too. They want to tackle a big, important project right away and, often, they set themselves up for failure. As course creators and coaches, we can help our learners avoid failing on something important by tackling the right projects in our courses and programs.

Over the years as a music teacher, I've seen many students come to me with high expectations of themselves and the progress they'll make that is just out of whack.

Students wanted to play difficult violin songs on a strict timeline without ever playing the violin before. It was disappointing to point this out to my students, but it allowed me to find an alternative song they could perform successfully and proudly.

As a teacher and a course creator, we have to steer people towards an appropriately-sized goal.

When it comes to goal-setting, we've been trained that you're a loser if your goals are too easy. That a goal has to be hard to be worthy. Our learners often think the same way, so they pick massive goals.

But, if you start trying to sew by making a wedding dress without any earlier projects, you'll easily make a small mistake that will require starting over and require further investment. The same goes for some of our learner's projects.

Fun, low-stakes practice allows learners to gain experience and grow their skills incrementally to take on a much loftier project down the road. Helping your learner set reasonable and manageable goals will make your courses much more finishable.

Throughout the course of our programs, we need to recommend ways that learners can practice their skills and knowledge in a fun, low-stakes way with simple exercises or case studies.

Look at your current courses or the ones you're planning to design and keep this in the forefront of your mind. Designing your course to enable learners to achieve an appropriate goal without frustration will leave them better off and you better off. These successes lead learners to refer your program to their friends and family because you can get the results your learner wants.

Through conversations with global leaders and the credibility of personal industry, Your Greatest Work digs deeper into learning design in useful and applicable ways. Listen to Episode 3 here. Stay tuned for coming episodes. Let's start the conversation about making your current work into your greatest work.



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