The three roadblocks to learning…and how to get past them

We all want transformation. We want to achieve it. We want to promote it. We want to see it happen.

BUT...(and this is only natural and to be expected), we don't want to have to actually change.  

We love the IDEA of transforming ourselves, or helping others do so.

But real change, which is what makes transformation possible, is messy and painful and HARD. 

And confusing and frightening.

And takes us out of our comfort zone.

Which is why, understandably, we resist it...and our course participants do too.

Part of being a skilled teacher (online or off),

 is being prepared to deal with the resistance to change that is a natural part of the learning process.

There are three main roadblocks or chokepoints where resistance shows up:

  • At the level of UNDERSTANDING what's being taught
  • At the level of being able to DO what's being taught
  • At the level of INCORPORATING what's being taught into one's life on an ongoing basis

Each of these roadblocks requires a different teaching strategy to get past it.

First roadblock:


The problem: learners can only take in a small amount of information at a time. 

The solution: Don't try to "TEACH ALL THE THINGS" all at the same time. 


  • Follow learning design best practices.
  • Keep your instruction tightly structured
  • Stay within the limits of working memory


Second roadblock:


The problem: Learners can't do new things on their own just by watching an expert do them.

The solution: Provide guided practice and facilitate independent performance.


  • Don't just present the instruction
  • Help learners "do it with you"
  • Then support them in doing it on their own



Third roadblock:  


The problem: It takes time and repeated practice for learning to become ingrained.
The motivation needed for ongoing practice often wanes over time. 

The solution: Provide individualized accountability and personal coaching.


  • Provide long term ongoing support
  • Help each learner overcome their unique resistance 
  • Be an ongoing force for positive change in learners' lives



What does this mean for you from a business-design point of view?

Structuring your online teaching practice to include different levels of social presence allows you to account for the roadblocks to learning wherever they show up.

At one end of the social presence scale, a book  affords learners the chance to absorb  big ideas at their own pace. 

An online course can also be a great way to promote understanding... and more.... as long as it's designed to keep cognitive load below the threshold of working memory.

Live group coaching is a great way to create community and help your learners find synergy and inspiring role models in each other.

And private one-on-one coaching allows for maximum accountability and support while tailoring your instruction to each learner's specific needs.

Including a book, a mix of courses, and different types of coaching 

in your online teaching practice

 allows you to meet your learners' needs

 and help them get past

 the types of obstacles

that stop many online learners from achieving their goals.

How many of these teaching modalities do you include  (or plan to include)

 in YOUR online teaching business?

Let's talk about it.... here are some ways to connect with me and other course creators:

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in these challenging times

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