My Notebook

Harness my expertise in Course Experience Design to diagnose and treat your courses for optimal health. Together, we'll revolutionize your offerings through comprehensive wellness exams and personalized treatment plans, empowering your learners to achieve exceptional results.

#DesignForward Day 07 – Finding Your Course’s Solid Foundation: A Personal Journey

Recalling My Early Racing Days

Just this morning, I jogged along a cliffside with iFIT Coach Tommy Rivs, soaking in his wisdom about goals like “don’t get dead” and “eyes up.” His training approach reminds me why I’ve loved my treadmill since meeting Rivs and other iFIT coaches two Februarys ago.

Those who’ve known me awhile likely remember my racing years – beginning that summer before high school when I finished on the heels of a classmate, our time flashing above us in the commemorative photo. That hometown July festival run hooked me into fall cross country as our coach scouted new talent.

I showed promise, even placing 10th in our conference meet. But in retrospect, poor nutrition and mechanics led my passion to exceed proper discipline. Our training was simply to complete the routes assigned, maybe without enough customized plans or recovery time factored in.

Military Service and Health Struggles

After serving in the military, its effects on my body and years without proper fueling, I confronted serious health issues. Rather than accept this as just “aging,” I decided to take control – which led me to order a treadmill in February 2021, despite doubting my commitment.

This proved a pivotal moment. My treadmill, and Coach Rivs himself, introduced heart rate training – adjusting based on effort rather than raw pace. Now even when picking up speed, my running feels stronger than even my swiftest high school days.

That tailored structure granted a strong foundation for growth. Now injuries rarely sideline me for long thanks to the base we’ve built – I rapidly return to form after breaks.

The Powerful Parallels Between Running & Courses

Just as expert coaching transformed my running, the same principles apply for crafting high-impact courses.

On Running: The Winning Combo is Systems + Structures

Expert systems provide tailored training plans and actionable data to drive progress. Meanwhile, strong structures ensure adequate rest, recovery and nutrition to support growth. Systems motivate you forward; structures make sure you don’t go too far.

With both firing optimally, breakthroughs happen. Guidance pushes you right to the edge of your abilities…then supports ease you back just enough to sustainably continue rising over time.

This Same Combo is Key For Courses

Effective courses embed welcoming systems guiding students upon enrollment:

  • Clear learning paths
  • Milestone celebrations
  • Motivational coaching

Then they provide strong structures to facilitate ongoing learning:

  • Intuitive interfaces
  • Useful resources and communities
  • Time to practice and absorb

Guiding systems propel your students forward. Supportive structures ensure the challenges don’t overwhelm. Together, they enable meaningful progress each step of the journey.

The best courses move learners to the edge of their knowledge…then provide the right scaffolds so they can sustainably build on top of what they’ve gained.

That’s the combo that elevated my running. And it’s the winning formula for transformative online courses too.

Parallels to Creating Strong Courses

Just as expert coaching transformed my running, the same principles apply for crafting courses. Students need personalized welcome systems and intuitive structures guiding them through celebrate-able milestones.

Your course should balance challenges to push growth while retaining personal touches that keep students feeling supported. Meeting learners where they are…then leading them forward – that’s the heart rate training philosophy that changed my running, and it can empower your teaching too.

I challenge you: Walk through your course as a new student. Have your latest tweaks made progress? Let’s connect to audit areas to guide learners one step further on their journey.