Most courses are just content dumping

Many courses do this:

  • Define a set of Learning objectives;
  • Describe or show everything you need to know in order to meet those learning objectives;
  • Check you’ve understood the information you were presented with.

But that isn’t doing anything to help you actually learn how to do anything. This is a content-first approach, rather than a learning-first approach. Instead of asking “What do we need to explain or show in order to meet the learning objectives”, we need to be asking “What are we trying to help people do? And, based on their context, goals and motivations, what are the most effective ways of helping them to do that?” And the answer might not even be a course or a learning experience.

We need to be developing either:

  • learning experiences which build on existing knowledge and provide lots of deliberate practice;
  • or resources which can be accessed at the point of need, which help respond effectively to a situation.