See What You Might Miss
Blind spots are tricky little buggers. Teaching has blind spots and is my #2 reason why you shouldn’t plan your course by your lonesome. Reason #1 HERE!
Literally, blind spots are areas of the retina without receptors thus you can NOT see images projected in this area. In regular speak, it's when you lose understanding.
Let me illuminate.
You teach because you want to share your know-how, serve your community and inspire people to take action. Yet at some point this may have crossed your mind,“I thought they'd get it better than that".
A quick place to look first is how you sequenced your content.
You might have been in a blind spot.
As the well-experienced deeply knowledgeable professional that I know you are sequencing content may not be on your radar when developing a course. You are teaching as someone who knows. Someone who has already processed and internally integrated the knowledge you are teaching.
Unfortunately your knowledge and experience may be causing the blind spot.
Here’s an example.
I give an assignment to education students where they create a lesson plan to teach multiplying double digits, say, 12 x 34.
They are so psyched because they have knowledge of multiplication, have a lot of experience, know all of the steps and research is not required to write the lesson plan. Simple yes?
Yet the complexity lies in the fact that there are multiple ways to multiply and multiple ways to sequence the steps in multiplication. Remember “new math”? There is more than one way to multiply.
Before they know it my students have entered Blind Spot Alley.
Their experience and knowledge gets in the way of figuring out a logical sequence of steps participants can build on culminating in the intended outcome - participants multiplying 12 x 34 by themselves.
Barring things like participants already knowing how to multiply double-digits and motivation, successful action at the end of a course can hinge on the order in which you teach your concepts.
Here are my tips:
Step outside of yourself (let your experience rest for a moment - it will be there when you need it)
Break the material down into simple repeatable steps (Repeatable? Yes. Because you want participants to take action).
See if you can to be reorder the material so learning is optimized
Walk another person (trusted colleague) through your lesson. Often you don’t realize you’re in the midst of a blind spot until someone points it out to you.
Can my trusted colleague do what I am teaching?
Do the steps build on each other?
Are my steps logical?
Is there other information a participant would need before they do the next step?
Be clear about what you want participants to learn then sequence the content so you AND your participants achieve your goal.