Being a successful course creator and coach means stepping into your role as a teacher. This can be a little daunting, especially if it’s your first course launch or coaching opportunity. Luckily, you don’t have to get your degree in education to be a highly effective teacher for your course. Whether you’re brand new to course creation, or have multiple courses under your belt, read on to find out how you can sharpen your coaching skills and strengthen your mindset. So that your students can get the most value possible for your course.
Own your expertise: mindset
The first (and very essential) aspect to sharpen your coaching skills is to pay close attention to your mindset. If you feel hesitant to claim the title of expert, teacher, or coach, then observe that train of thought. This is a step of course creation where it’s common for imposter syndrome to creep in, which could cause you to question who you are to be delivering this information. If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to do some reframing!
In a society that places great value on degrees and certificates, it’s vital not to get too caught up in “official” qualifications. Remind yourself that your passion and experience in your content area are enough to qualify you to create a course to teach others. If you feel doubtful of this, just check out some of our creators. They didn’t need a degree in machine knitting or bread baking in order to help others learn. People will only truly see you as an expert when you own that for yourself first.
Be open to coaching and learning yourself
Stepping into a coaching role in your course can really deepen the value of your course. As you do this, keep in mind that you don’t need to know every single thing about your topic. You just need to be a few steps ahead of where your students are. If questions come up that you don’t know the answers to, own that. There’s no shame in saying, “That’s a great question, let’s find out!” Get curious alongside your students and embrace the opportunities to learn even more to sharpen your coaching skills.
Download our coaching product checklist to help guide you through creating your coaching product for students.
Intentional module creation: action
The structure and format of your course may seem like small details, but these parts are what could separate your course from being “just fine” to highly effective.
Try to be consistent with material across modules
If module one contains a video lecture, journal prompts, and hands-on homework, then try to keep those elements across modules. The more students know what to expect, the more at ease and open to learning they’ll be.
Take time to craft each module with an objective.
You likely know what information you want to share in each module. But here’s where you get to decide what skills you actually want your students to walk away with after the module. For example, “After this module, students will be able to identify and use each part of a loom.” Putting the objective at the start of each module will also help students know what to expect. And it will prime their brains for learning. Not to mention, it also shows the value of your course.
Ask yourself how you are going to measure if students actually met the goals.
You can do this by including reflective checkpoints woven throughout the course structure. This could be in the form of an actual quiz, during coaching meetings with your students, or as self-reflection after each module. Metacognition, or reflecting on the learning that’s taken place, invites even deeper levels of learning. This is because students feel more in control of the learning process, and it solidifies the new information.
Get better at asking questions.
Being good at asking questions is essential as a course creator and especially as a coach. Ideally, you are asking higher-order questions, or questions that can’t just be answered by simple recall or regurgitation of facts. These questions invite students to apply the information you’ve taught in order to increase the cognitive demand so that students are learning and retaining more. Instead of just asking about the facts they learned, posing questions that ask them to analyze, reflect, and to create are going to get the wheels turning even more. Asking students to actually weave their own rug, maybe before they feel ready, is going to elicit deeper states of learning than just quizzing them about the process.
Becoming a better coach or teacher
No matter where you are in the course creation and coaching process, being a teacher is an ever-evolving role. As long as you’re open to the process, you’re going to grow just as much as your students, which is beneficial for both you and them. Happy teaching!