Preparation for the course launch
This is a moment to reflect on what we’ve learnt so far in the process of developing a way to teach mindmapping to dyslexic teenagers and their families.
I started the process with six months of research into how to produce online courses that teach mindmapping. I have a course on Udemy, as a result of that research, and it is doing quite well.
The next twelve months were spent developing a course that was specific to dyslexic teenagers and their parents. Once that course was filmed and ready we decided to do a test run with a group of ten families.
What Have We Learned In The Course
After completing this pilot course and getting the feedback from the families I’ve learnt that with tutoring completion rates rise to 80%. Up from 10% when its video only. But what’s more important is that they really develop the skill.
why live tutoring?
My goal is to get teenagers learning and using mindmapping in everyday life and not just getting their parents to buy a course that isn’t used.
What I discovered through the pilot course was the importance of combining a video course with tutoring. Online group tutoring by video was crucial so that it could fit into everyday life. One of the challenges for the parents of a dyslexic child is that you’re spending so much additional time on homework, speaking to school staff, that when it comes to one more thing, even if it’s going to be useful, can feel like it will be too much.
So how do you fit learning how to mindmap into an already busy life?
The answer that I’ve come up with is one hour of videos to watch on the internet in your own time and then a 45min group coaching session via video conference, which is where they get live feedback and often when the “ah, ha!” moments kick in.
We created a course with one hour of videos and a one hour tutorial per week and that seemed to be the ideal combination for getting people to actually complete the course. Our completion rates went from 12% completion with online videos only to 80% when we combined the videos with tutoring. What was of even more value to me was knowing that my students could actually mindmap in a way that is productive for them in the long term. They can use mindmaps to improve their exam results and then take the skill into the future lives.
The next question was, ‘How well are the students actually mindmapping?’
The pilot course ran for eight weeks and I realised that after four weeks they were mindmapping well and had learnt the core, foundational mindmapping skills. The next four weeks were focused on how to mindmap for exam revision.
On reflection, this was probably too much in one go and so we’ve split the course into two parts. A four week course to learn how to mindmap which you can then practice for a few months and then a further four week course to learn how to mindmap for exam revision. They are two quite different skill sets and suit being two different courses.
That’s been our learning journey so far!
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