Your Success Path
In this section, you are going to be thinking about your “Success Path”. Now that you have your steps, how are you going to provide these in an easy-to-understand format? This step will show you a handy system for converting your list of steps into an easy-to-understand “success path” with 3 main elements:
- Where your ideal students are now.
- Where they want to get to.
- The steps they will take to get there.
3a: The Customer Now
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
In order to really help your students learn what you are teaching in your course, you need to put yourself in their shoes. Try to remember a time when you didn’t have the skills or knowledge that you have now and build a model of the journey you went on to get them. Then you can use that model to bring your students on a similar journey. Think about where your ideal student is now – imagine a typical student who doesn’t have the skills or knowledge you have, but wants to get them.
Crossing The Bridge
Think about the “bridge” analogy: Before you acquired the skills or knowledge you have now, you were over the other side of the bridge. Through your efforts and learning you have gradually crossed over the bridge to this side. Now you are going back over to the other side of the bridge and offering to guide people across.
Who Is Suitable For Your Course?
This step is about defining your “success path” and this will consist of 11 sentences: where the students are now, the 9 steps they need to take, and where they want to get to. The first part of this is thinking about people who are good candidates for your course. Try to describe fully the characteristics of someone who will be interested in your course.
3b: The Customer After
Where They Want To Go
The next thing to think about is “where your students want to go”. Think about the main results your customer wants from completing your course. You have already considered this in Step 2. For example, you teach a course in “guitar playing” – what are the main reasons why people want this course? Is it so they can impress friends? So they can teach?
Why Someone Does Your Course
There are different reasons why someone will want to do your course – list out these reasons and put them in order of what is most important overall. Your students will be much more likely to complete your course if they can understand the benefits of completing the course in terms of what results they will get. For example, a guitar course could promise “After completing this course, you will be able to play 20 popular songs on guitar, impress your friends and start a band”. Notice how the focus of this statement is on the results the student wants (playing songs / impressing friends / starting a band).
Use Your Common Sense
Finally, do another “sense-check” of the main reasons why someone will complete your course. Ask yourself (or your friends/family): Are these the real reasons why someone will do your course?
3c: Why Each Step
The Steps Of Your Course
Next, you are going to explain to the students what each step will be and why they will complete it. You are going to try to explain the mini-results they will get from each step so that there is a reason for them to want to complete. If you can describe each step in terms of the results they get, rather than in terms of the work they will have to do, it will be much more appealing for them. They will be much more likely to show interest in a result that they want rather than the work they need to do to get there.
Result From Each Step
First, describe the resulting skills or knowledge from each step – this is the main reason why someone wants to complete the step. The course will provide someone with an overall result, e.g. “become a better guitar player”, but each step will have a mini-result that contributes to the overall result. By writing out the result from each step, you will make it clear why this step is important.
Rewrite The Steps With Excitement
After you have written the result from each step that your student will get, think about the benefit your student will get from that result. Then try to rewrite the result and make it sound more exciting, especially in terms of what benefit your student will get from completing it. In this way, you are focusing on what the student wants from your course, rather than what they are doing in your course. By describing the steps in a more exciting way and by emphasizing the benefits, you will make it much more likely that your students will want to complete the steps.
3d: Visual Character
The last thing to get ready for your success path is to think about the graphic display. You are going to design your success path with graphics to help your students quickly understand what your course is about and you need to think about the character and shape the course will take.
If you write out your course in 11 sentences with no colours or graphics, it will look boring and will be difficult to understand. By using images to represent the course with colours and graphics, people will find it more enjoyable to understand what’s going on. Your success path will have colourful images showing the journey of your course.
Course Journey Shape
Think about the overall shape of your “course-journey”. Is it going to be a winding path or is it going to be a staircase of achievement? For example, a course on health may be a winding path around different areas of “health” knowledge. On the other hand, a course in computer coding may be steps up from easy tasks at the beginning to difficult tasks at the end.
Finally think about the character of your course and the types of images that you can use. Is your course very serious or is it playful, does it require lots of learning or does it require lots of practice, how can you represent the character visually? Think about colours and symbols. For a start you can think: do you want bright colours, dark colours, playful icons, serious icons, stylish icons, etc…