"How do you actually make those courses?" If we got a pound for each time we were asked that question, we could buy a Van Gogh (a little one) by now. Time to explain how a training comes into fruition- from idea to launch. Thijs Peters, as Editor in Chief responsible for the entire process, explains it in great detail.
Thijs explains it to you!
Step 1: An idea
It all starts with an idea. Naturally, we continuously research trends and developments and our coaches are our 'feelers' in the market. That already yields a cartload of ideas and subjects. Sometimes an idea comes directly from our CEO Maarten, or we often notice that customers have a strong need for information about a certain subject or sometimes the after work socials provide a brilliant idea. “I collect all those ideas all year round,” explains Thijs. “We often hear the same voices from the market, but we are occasionally so eager as to include an unusual subject ourselves. For example, no customer asked for training in recognizing fake news. But we found it as an interesting topic ourselves and guess what? In the end it became a training - which is done a lot by the way. ”
Step 2: The roadmap
Back to that list of ideas: in an extensive editorial meeting - every autumn – it’s decided which topics are relevant and topical for our students. This leads to the roadmap: the planning of 20 new training courses for the new calendar year. “We always make sure it is a nice combination of soft skills training, a few digital skills training and language training. Are the topics and the order final? Then I turn every training into a Coming Soon poster, as you know it from movies in the cinema. That poster contains the subject and a brief description of what we discussed. ”
Step 3: The educational design
The Coming Soon poster then ends up in the hands of an educationalist, who starts the initial research, delves into the topic for a week, and searches for online and offline resources. This is followed by a design sprint of a full working day, in which a large delegation of stakeholders discuss the content of the training. “That produces a wall full of yellow pages with sub-subjects, structures, working methods and learning objectives. In two to three weeks, the educationalist will thicken that enormous brainwave into an educational design. ”
Step 4: The content creation
In an editorial meeting, the educationalist presents the educational design, a bulky document of several dozen pages, to the other team members: the writer, animator, photographer, video editor, graphic designer and video producer. They then all set to work within their own speciality. “Everyone still does a lot of research in that phase and there is constant consultation in between. Scripts and texts are ping-ponged back and forth, external experts are interviewed, you name it. This is the most complex phase, because dozens of processes are intermingled simultaneously. For example, the Moments team works very independently, but regularly checks whether what they are making is still consistent with the rest of the training. ”
Side step 4a: The content
Contrasting sources? No problem! There is no singlular vision or insight for customer focus, or on coaching leadership or on project management. By consulting with multiple sources and letting contradictory experts have their say, you gain a more complete insight. “The interesting thing is that it is often culture-related,” says Thijs. “A Spanish expert has a different story than a German expert. On the exact same subject. And it depends on the context: a scientist often sheds light on the theoretical side of a subject, while we also like to speak to someone who is hands on about the subject and talks about practice.”
Side step 4b: Completion
“The training courses should read like your favorite magazine. You have to have fun, ”explains Thijs. “That is why we alternate substantive texts and complex models with a light animation or a video interview. You don't have to be able to beat everything up after a workout. If you pick out a number of things that are relevant to you and remember it, our mission will be successful. ” Moreover, at GoodHabitz we believe in the power of stories. Thijs: “Storytelling is now a huge buzzword, but we have been adept at it for eight years. The pinnacle of that storytelling are the GoodHabitz Moments. Everyone knows Louis Theroux's documentaries: his quest that always starts with a certain question or wonder. Although completely different in terms of implementation, you can see the same dynamics in our Moments. ”
Step 5: The content check and go live
Thijs's favorite part? The control round. “I am lucky to be the first to do the latest training sessions. I also do that with a team that includes an editor and an educationalist (who also made the design). Sometimes we find out that we have to go back to the drawing board or that we have to rewrite part of it because it just does not meet our requirements. But usually they can then go on to our support department for the technical test and go live. ” So what’s the total time frame from idea to publication? About three months. Immediately afterwards, the translation and localization machine starts running. The English variant is created first, followed by all other European languages. Localising courses also takes quite some effort, Thijs explains. “Every country and every culture is different. Sales training therefore has a different content in the Netherlands than in France. We are looking for local sources and experts, so that the training really gets a French look and feel. ”
The Black Hole?
What follows after a course has been published in all languages? Boredom? A void? The well-known black hole of uncertainty? “No, we do several training sessions at the same time, so we never stop,” explains Thijs. “Moreover, a training is never finished. Based on ratings and feedback from students, we know exactly which courses and training components are doing well and which are not. In this way, we are constantly improving training courses, even after they are online. ”