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Work Out Your Course Foundations
Now you have unpacked your idea and have roughly structured those ideas, you now need to create solid foundations to build your awesome course upon. The first steps to setting your foundations are to decide who your target learners are for your first course and to work out what those course goals are.

Who Are My Target Learners?

It can be tempting to want your course to be suitable for everyone, but if you try and aim your materials at everyone, you’re actually tailoring them for no one. You’re course would end up being huge! You’d need to go back to basics for novices and have advanced information for experienced learners… undoubtedly there would be some irrelevant information for all learners. Your learners don’t want to wade through materials to get to the bits that are relevant to them. Learners want a targeted, well paced, easy to consume course with chunks of information that helps them develop a specific skill, solve a problem, makes life easier or broadens their knowledge.
To help define your target learners, you need to think about the purpose of your course. Ask yourself these questions:
  1. 1.
    Why should my course exist?
  2. 2.
    What problem is it helping resolve?
  3. 3.
    What knowledge gap is it going to fill?
  4. 4.
    What day-to-day pain points are a group of individuals experiencing that I can help with?
  5. 5.
    What prior knowledge or experience would learners need to be successful on my course?
Based on your answers, it should become more apparent who your course should be aimed at. If you find that you have identified multiple problems for different audiences all on the same topic, then great! That’s what this step is about. It’s breaking down your topic idea down to potentially several bite-sized courses for different audiences. If you find yourself in this position, you have to start somewhere so focus on one group of learners who have specific learning goals. You can work on developing all the other things later.

Prerequisites: Return To Your Unpacked Idea

With your specific target audience in mind, you should return to your unpacked idea, highlight all the things that are relevant to them and consider the order in which they would need to learn things.
Next, consider if there is any prerequisite knowledge, skills, courses, readings, software or tools that they need before taking your course.
Make notes on any prerequisites or recommended learning as these should be shared with prospective learners, so they can hit the ground running when starting your course and get the most out of it.
By returning to your unpacked topic idea, you hopefully will begin to identify a rough structure to your first course or a learning pathway containing several courses. However, if you’re finding yourself getting in a muddle, well as Bob Hoskins says “it’s good to talk”. Find a testing buddy familiar to your field, and talk through your thoughts and ideas. You can also reach out to members of our Dojo Team who will be more than happy to offer feedback and/or be a sounding board.

What Are My Course Goals?

It’s also important to share the course goals with learners, having these available allows learners to determine whether your course is the right course for them. Creating these early on and keeping them in mind will also help you make decisions about which content to include in your course.
Your course goals are brief, broad statements that should cover what you want your students to learn during the course. Think:
  • What skill sets (e.g., problem-solving skills, creative skills, writing skills) will learners improve or walk away with?
  • What Ideas students will understand (e.g., theories, approaches, perspectives, and other broad themes in your field)?
  • What attitudes will learners develop ( deep love of testing, critical stances, a more open-mind).
  • What problems they will be able to solve?
  • What are the benefits of completing your course from the new knowledge/skills gained?
Your learners should be able to identify if they want to meet the goal or not, so use action verbs. For example, in a course on ‘The Building Blocks of the Internet’, you could have the following course goals:
By the end of this course you will be able to:
  • Understand the underlying principles of the web
  • Work with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Network Protocols to build your own testing project.
  • Quickly analyse web pages and test individual parts of a site.
Last modified 2yr ago