Designing A Course Always Feels More Complicated Than You Think

Designing A Course Always Feels More Complicated Than You Think

When you’re starting to plan out a course it can feel overwhelming trying to determine what needs to be taught.

Figuring out what’s important, and what’s not, or determining what’s too overwhelming for your people to absorb.

It can leave you questioning yourself – like how do I even explain this thing?

But there’s a reason why it can feel so hard.

In learning psychology, there’s a concept called the 4 stages of competence.

It starts with stage 1: Unconscious Incompetence -> you don’t know what you don’t know. You’re probably not even aware that you don’t know something.

Stage 2: Conscious Incompetence -> you are aware that you don’t know how to do something. For instance, I am (painfully) aware that I don’t know how to ski…like at all.

Stage 3: Conscious Competence -> this is where you know how to do something, maybe you can do some ski runs, and you’re not falling down too often but you are consciously focusing on what you’re doing. You’re thinking about your feet position, where to turn, how to angle, and how to stop. It’s taking some brain power.

Stage 4: Unconscious Competence -> this is where something has become second nature. You don’t even have to think about it, you just do it.  An Olympic skier is in the zone, they’re in a state of flow. If they had to stop and explain how they effortlessly glide down the mountain – they would probably struggle to describe it.

The problem we run into when we set out to create a course is that we are teaching from a place of Unconscious Competence.

Our skills and our knowledge are so deeply integrated within us, that they almost feel like intuition. And we are teaching to people who are usually somewhere in the zone of Conscious Incompetence (if you’re geared towards beginners) or early on in Conscious Competence if you’re supporting more experienced learners.

Putting ourselves back in the shoes of our learners is HARD!

You’ve probably never been taught how to take something that is intuitive to you and break it down into micro components, actions, skills, thoughts, and mindset shifts, and then sequence those so that your learners encounter them in just the right order and distill them into the most essential pieces needed to guide your learners to a transformation. 

It’s not as simple as dumping out everything in your brain and chunking it into modules and calling it a done deal – because often the ideas or skills that we take for granted, that we probably even skip over because we are so fused with our expertise – those are the things that need to be brought to the surface, called out, and made tangible in your online program. 

That is why I am such a huge advocate for working with a learning designer when it comes to creating an online program. This is something that I help you do in my self-study programs and the Incubator because my zone of genius is helping you conceptualize your knowledge and experience to architect your program in a way that your learner gets exactly what they need, when they need it, in order to get massive results (instead of information overwhelm and confusion).

And if you’re looking to get started on your own, the best thing I recommend you do is to get really, really clear on your actions.

Get as specific as possible.

Because one of the first things you can do if you’re trying to teach from this place of feeling where things are so integrated is to try and write down every single micro action that you’re doing – because that can start to surface things that need to be taught.

I want you to be able to fully lean into your expertise and to bring that magic out into the world in a way that is actually accessible and impactful for your people.

If you’re feeling like it’s time to make this happen, you’re invited to check out the Incubator.

psst... you might also enjoy these
How To Design A Learning Journey

Where do you start when you want to create an amazing, engaging online learning experience? With the learner of course! Read The Post >>

What Is A Goal Statement (and why do you need one)?

I'm sure you've heard a lot about goals, but how does that apply when you're creating a learning experience? Today's Read The Post >>

The Secret To Actionable Learning

How do you keep your course focused? How do you keep your learners from getting overwhelmed? This episode dives in Read The Post >>

The Quick & Easy Way To Help Your Learners Succeed

As course creators, our number one priority is empowering our learners to succeed. In today's episode I share why activities Read The Post >>

Mythbusting: Are Online Courses Dying?

If you've been anywhere in the online space recently, you've probably heard something along the lines of, ‘Ugh, courses, no Read The Post >>

The Key People You Need When Creating An Online Program

With all the noise out there about all things online programs and online courses, it can be really easy to Read The Post >>