Propelling a Learner Experience

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Fall is here. The switch between sunny days and rainy grey days is constant. The weather is still lovely and windy. Then, the leaves start falling, and I can see how the trees change while walking.

Like leaves that morph in different shades of colours, which personal growth evolutions have you noticed from Summertime to Fall?

It makes me think of teaching at a French apprenticeship school.

Propelling a Learner Experience

Teaching requires a lot of energy, patience and optimism.

Subjects covered will include creativity and innovation, digital project management, communication and marketing, entrepreneurship, IT and digital literacy.

Each session per course or workshop includes a deep dive, an individual or team activity, templates to use, a deliverable to produce, a space to drop the deliverable for evaluation, and resources to go further. The content is integrated and shared in a dedicated Moodle space per class, one session at a time. The activities are done in-person or remotely, live or asynchronously.

For each course or workshop, I go through the same process.

Step 1: Scoping a Learner Experience

The aim is to identify the specific profile for the learner experience. To do this, I answer the questions below related to the specific theme I will cover.

Question Response What’s in it for my learner experience?
Who is the person ?

What is his/her profile?

What does he/she knows in the subject?
Any bias?

Any wrong habits?

What is he/she doing today that needs changing?

What’s in it for the learner?
How is the learner experience likely to be welcomed?

Step 2: Designing & integrating a learner experience

This step is the one I enjoy the most.

I ask myself the following questions:

  • What changes do I expect?
  • What does a beginner do?
  • What does a skilled person do?
  • What do people find difficult?
  • What steps, situations or themes should learners have in mind and in practice?

To do this, I specify the learning moment, the suggested activity and the time spent for each learner’s goal.

My pedagogical sequence should contain more exercises than passive transmission. The activities must be spread out over time, and must include sufficient breaks. I start by setting aside these breaks.

I don’t forget to give reminders and alternate subjects.

A teaching sequence looks like this table and can have several teaching methods.

Learner Moment


Face-to-face learning approaches


Remote learning approaches


Self-assessement Coaching session Quizz
Deconstruction Immersive session Quizz
Content delivery Course, book, practical guide Webinar, how-to, wiki
Practice Role play TBD
Reflection Mentoring, knowledge sharing & co-creating workshop, book club Forum, chat
Automation Flashcard, Q&A in duo or trio TBD
Evaluation Peer evaluation, exam Quizz

It involves curating and connecting the dots between the knowledge I pull. From my blog, archives, environmental scanning, experiences, use cases, conversations and knowledge sharing from my network and the communities I engage. It takes time and involves sensemaking, content management and clarity. At the same time, use personalized templates from decks to sheets and documents.

Here is how I go each time: I create the outline, frame questions, share deep dives on basic skills, approaches or tools, roadmaps for an individual or collective activity to practice and reflect on, and resources to curate to go further.

Designing in-person live and asynchronous learner experiences is an individual craft. This work can also be done in collaboration.

Rotana, a quality person, I particularly appreciate his calmness and, at the same time, his liveliness of mind. We built modules for apprentices BUT TC in the second year of their specialization.

The exchanges were fluid and fruitful, and we were able to build on each other’s skills.

He brings a lot of advice and tools that he proposes to his clients, and that favours the methodology.

A rich and relevant relationship: we were meant to work together.” — Christine, Digital Learning Manager / Learning Designer

Once the outline and content are ready, I integrate them into a Moodle space so each class can explore it one session at a time.

Step 3: Coordinating a Learner Experience

I am planning live and asynchronous sessions – remotely and in-person over months on the school’s learning portal, Clickup and my calendar. That way, I can anticipate which session is upcoming and has been hosted. Which time estimated and time done are per session to scope, design, host and review each session.

I often block slots on my calendar to dedicate time and energy to each step of managing pedagogical projects.

Step 4: Onboarding a Learner Experience

Each course or workshop comprehends four to six sessions of three hours spread over several months. To get an overview, I send an onboarding message to the class. In that way, they can save the dates in the calendar and know the intent, the skills to develop, the theme per session, the on-demand support, and the next step for the first session.

Step 5: Hosting a Learner Experience

For each session, three possibilities

Possibility 1: Live session in-person

Hosting gatherings per cohort and team takes patience, refinement and practice. When it is in a physical classroom, I often start with the traditional setting of the space with tables and chairs in rows, especially when I introduce the session, take deep dive into an essential skill, approach or tools, show and explain, share instructions and tips to produce the expected deliverables.

Sometimes I use a wheel of names to nudge participants to share their experiences or Learning of the week collectively.

When it is time to gather and collaborate to co-create a deliverable per team, I invite the cohort to stand up and move the chairs and tables to bundle two tables with chairs around them to create a pod. In that way, they are in a better mindset and conditions to communicate, reflect and collaborate. In addition, I often leave an empty chair on a pod to come, observe, jump into the conversation, share feedback and leave anytime during the session.

The roadmap per expected deliverable with the deadline and resources to use to produce it is always visible on the physical whiteboarding of the classroom. I project one of my slides with the instructions on it.

Possibility 2:  Live session hosted remotely via Zoom

There are always five moments. The welcoming, the icebreaker, the collective moment in the same room, the activities and virtual peer assistance in breakout rooms, and the regrouping for a debrief and wrap-up.

Possibility 3: Asynchronous session guided remotely

The session is asynchronous. I use email, Google Chat, Google Meet, and Moodle to communicate and bring virtual assistance on demand. The apprentices are autonomous and often in teams to get the work done.

On the D-Day of each session, I provide a roadmap, templates and resources to go further via a programmed email. In that way, I am ahead and not drowned by the workflow.

The templates and resources to go further are canvases, tools, and questions to nudge apprentices and encourage them to share their inputs to create added value and share. Name a few: business strategic analysis tools, digital strategy map, personal business model canvas, whiteboarding, agile project management tool, brand identity and essence canvas, and marketing tactics.

Step 6: Supporting a Learner Experience

I teach to share knowledge, questions, experience, and use cases and highlight the reflections, insights, deliverables and results brought by apprentices. I am also here to support, coach and level up each person regarding their strengths, skill set, IT and digital literacy, drive and leadership.

Providing links and resources before each course or workshop is another way to nudge the apprentices to be responsible for their learning and team projects. Especially when I am away, they are learning and working outside the school building.

Next steps: Evaluating, Debriefing, Improving a Learner Experience

The following steps are evaluating, debriefing and improving a learning experience. Stay tuned for deep thoughts. In the meantime, here are actionable insights from my network:

“Teacher is a hierarchical title to approach learning with students. Go beyond that with coaching and not being above the students but at the same level as them. You learn among and with them.

Create the environment so that they learn and reflect, you encourage them to learn on their own, together by doing.” — Paul Simbeck-Hampson

I try to embrace what Harold Jarche shares in his post on modelling as the best way to teach:

“(…) With a standardized curriculum and constant testing, there is never enough time for most school students to fully learn. There is too much information and much of it is without context. But mastery often comes from modelling. It is how the apprentice becomes a journeyman and in time a master. It is not done in isolation.

The core method (of six main components) for the teacher/master in cognitive apprenticeship is modelling. This can be aided by external coaching and scaffolding, but it is up to the learner to spend time on articulation, reflection, and exploration. Developing mastery requires deliberate practice over time.


“You hosted Digital Marketing workshops at CFA Descartes, which enabled me to develop a strong passion for the field of digital marketing.  Your teaching style and guidance throughout our projects and deliverables truly made the difference.”

“The Sneak’Renov project, carried out as part of the workshop dedicated to business startup co-design, was a very rewarding experience for me. Despite certain difficulties encountered with my team, we were able to demonstrate great perseverance and remarkable discipline.

Team spirit, often considered a stumbling block, was an innate notion for us throughout the project. Everyone’s ideas and experience enabled us to be effective at every stage.

What’s more, the experience enabled me to develop new skills and reinforce those already acquired. Finally, Sneak’Renov proved to me that the collective aspect is stronger than the individual.” 

“Being able to create a project from scratch as part of the workshop dedicated to business startup approaches like this has been an instructive experience. It teaches us to stand on our own two feet, collaborate and build a common project. For me, the group work was a great success, with everyone pitching in and working seriously. This enabled us to work quickly and productively. Finally, I’m proud of my team.

It’s not always easy to work with several people, and it’s even harder to stay motivated on a project like this.”

“Co-creating the Sneak’Renov project as part of the business startup workshop was an enriching personal experience for me.

I learned about business creation and developed my leadership, planning and teamwork skills. This experience has given me confidence as an entrepreneur and helped me grow personally and professionally.” 

“This workshop, dedicated to the process of setting up a business, was very well supervised and gave me a good grasp of the business creation process. What’s more, handing in deliverables enabled my team and me to make faster progress despite the workload involved. Mr TY guided us well in terms of task organization and was always looking for us to outdo ourselves.”

“This workshop, dedicated to the steps involved in setting up a business, was very enriching and enabled me to get a real idea of the stages involved in carrying out my project. There are often stages that are overlooked, but which are essential if the project is to succeed.

We were really supervised for this project by Mr TY, which was beneficial because we felt the daily support of the workshop host and had a complete framework for our work.

The expectations were clearly stated, and with each intermediate deliverable we had feedback on the work done, which enabled us to improve and deepen the work for the final rendering.” 

“We would like to express our deepest thanks to our workshop host Mr Rotana Ty for his help and involvement in this entrepreneurial project.” 

“I enjoyed the work; we were able to divide up the work well. Thanks to this project within the workshop on entrepreneurship I was able to use the skills I had seen in place to apply them in class and learn new skills. I developed my document writing skills as well as my presentation skills thanks to the various appearances in front of the class during the face-to-face sessions.” 

“This workshop on the theme of the marketing mix was very stimulating and instructive. The fact that we were able to develop our project over the year enabled us to immerse ourselves in the startup spirit. Indeed, we imagined a concept in small groups and developed it over the course of the sessions: from competitive analysis to marketing and communication plans and costs, we were able to practice all aspects of the marketing mix and discover new digital tools.

Despite the difficulties we encountered, we were able to organize ourselves and to build on each other’s strengths to bring the project to a successful finale. ” 

“Carrying out this project during this workshop on the theme of the marketing mix was both very rewarding and very interesting to accomplish. I particularly enjoyed having to apply what we’d learned in class to our personal project.

However, thinking about how to design an application in its entirety is not an easy task. Nevertheless, our group managed to meet the workshop’s expectations. I’m very proud of the work our group accomplished.” 

“This workshop on the theme of the marketing mix enabled me to develop new skills. We were able to clarify our ideas according to our passions and interests. I liked the project because it highlighted our creativity as well as our priorities.” 

“This workshop on the theme of marketing mix gave me confidence in my choices, more organization and a certain satisfaction with the product chosen and produced.” 

“I learned how to analyze a market for a product and build a detailed study using the different methods proposed.

The project carried out during the marketing mix workshop was very interesting and rewarding. In fact, as the sessions progressed, we were able to learn a little more about how to carry out a project properly, and what needed to be done/achieved in order to be able to create it in the best possible way.” 

“We were able to consider all the steps involved in designing and promoting a product/service, which isn’t exactly easy because there are so many stages and so many things to think about.

We learned a lot from this project, which we carried out during the marketing mix workshop. It even made all seven of us project ourselves into the future.

What’s more, our host was with us from the start to the end of our project.” 

“This multidisciplinary workshop was a different experience for me from other workshops, with a very thorough follow-up by the host, who made himself available. I was able to understand all the steps to follow and the development of the project. The expectations were concrete and useful.” 

“Our experience on the project during the multidisciplinary workshop waś extremely positive and waś a valuable source of learning for our team.” 

“I found this work during the multidisciplinary workshop very interesting, there are several steps that I often find in my daily business life. It helped me visualize certain points more clearly and improve them.” 

“This multidisciplinary workshop was very different from the others, in that we had to draw on our coursework to come up with ideas, but also on our general culture. Our project also involved the aspect of civic awareness, and I also enjoyed working with new and enriching people.” 

“This multidisciplinary workshop was more than enriching; I was able to develop many skills that I think I’ll use every day for my future projects. I learned a lot about project management and environmental issues. I was able to put my finger on things that seemed abstract to me, and that enabled me to assimilate them.” 

“It was an extremely rewarding learning experience. I learned how to set deadlines, break tasks down into achievable steps and set priorities to reach our objectives. I was also able to develop my skills in researching and gathering official information. Gain valuable experience in using analysis and planning tools.

Although there were challenges, the positive results were achieved, and the lessons learned were invaluable.” 

An enriching experience that confirmed the importance of working together. This multidisciplinary workshop required a great deal of effort and a great deal of thought in terms of our work and the coherence of what we said.” 

“Through this multidisciplinary workshop, I developed a huge number of skills, in particular: autonomy, creativity and responsibility. The theme was extremely enriching and captivating, and I developed new skills in particular: REX, Clickup, SMART Objectives, and so on…”

“We would like to thank Mr Rotana Ty for his commitment and availability during this multidisciplinary workshop.” 

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