Episode 3

The Amazing Student Story

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About this episode:

Your students take learning journey once they decide to join your course. It's an 8-stage journey that starts from when they feel they need to learn something new, and ends with the final transformation you promise in your course. In this episode, we'll discuss their journey and what it means for you as a course creator.


After listening to this episode, you will know:

  • The 8-stage learning journey called the Amazing Student Story.
  • Why each stage of the Amazing Student Story is important for your student's success.
  • How you can help your students in each of the 8-stages of their journey

Stay in touch:


Please note: This transcript may be automatically generated and may contain errors. I appreciate your understanding.


Hey course creators, it's time to amplify your genius. Welcome to Course Creation Station where we talk about creatively sharing your expertise and designing the most awesome learning experiences. I'm Gwen Tanner, Career Course Creator, and in this episode, we're gonna take your students on an amazing journey. They're gonna put on their superhero capes and their tights and take off on a new knowledge adventure that you create for them called The Amazing Student Story. Stay tuned to learn more about how their story unfolds.

I call it The Amazing Student Story. It's the journey that you guide your students from when they first get an idea that they need some new knowledge or they need to know how to do something new all the way through learning it and using it and getting the transformation that your course promises.

Like I said, it's a journey. I don't want you to get it confused with a learning path. When I say learning path, I mean the plan you have for your students to get through the final transformation or learning goals. And it could be a series of lessons or even a series of courses that you plan for them that make up a learning path. While The Amazing Student Story can form any learning paths you might create for your students, it's more about their internal journey through the learning experience. And it's all gonna become more clear as I lay it out for you.

So it all begins with them having an idea that they need something. Either they come up with this need on their own like they want to learn a new hobby or they want to do something, but they don't know how. Or it could be that someone has told them they must learn something new and that could be their boss telling them that they need to learn a new policy or a new technique for their job. However, they came up with this need, that sets their story in motion.

So our little hero, your student, starts their journey in what I'm calling the declaration stage. This is where they declare they need to learn something new. And in their mind, they're on a journey of transformation to learn a new thing. And they start looking for the course, your course that's right for them. The next stage they move into is inspiration. This is the part of our story where our little hero gets inspired. There's something about your course that has caught their attention and they believe it's the right choice for them. The selection has been made. They chose you to lead them through this journey.

Something about what you have promised, the transformation you promised inspires them and they're ready to learn from you and they are so motivated to learn.

Then they move into the preparation stage. In this stage, things start to get exciting because they're learning more and more about your course. At this point, you're sharing the agenda with them and you're sharing the course goals and you're saying to them after completing my course, you're gonna be so amazing. You will know this and that and you will no longer do this nor that. So in their mind, they're getting prepared. Their mind is open in understanding what it is that you expect for them to be able to do as a completion of the course. And in addition, you're also telling them how to prepare for this course. You're explaining to them what supplies they need, how you want them to be ready for the first lesson, for the first session or for the first module. You're telling them to download workbooks or you're telling them to find a partner or you're telling them how to log in. You're getting them ready to learn and they are getting fully prepared to be part of this learning experience that you've created.

Now we're in the part of the story where our hero gets a chance to think back on what they already know. This is the recollection stage. You will encourage your students to assess what knowledge they already have on the topic at hand. You may say things like, "Think back to a time when you first tried to do this." Or, "Remember when you learned about so-and-so?" Or, "Have you ever worked with this?" Or, "Do you recall what you were taught back maybe in high school or even kindergarten?" Or, "Tell me what you already know about this topic." Or, "What is your previous experience with this topic?" You can even present a scenario and ask the students, using what you know, how would you handle this situation?

When you ask students to go back in their memory and retrieve prior learning experiences or things they may have done related to what you're teaching, you're helping them to make connections with the new material and the new concepts that you're going to be teaching them. You're letting them know, "Hey, in a way you already kind of know all of this." Or, "This isn't gonna be so new or foreign to you. It's connected to what you already know and you're gonna be building upon the knowledge you already have." It really helps them to feel, "There's some way I can already latch on to this new stuff and that's gonna help me understand it better by starting with what I already know." This is so powerful and so valuable for your students. So that's why the recollection stage is very important.

Now, the four stages that I just described are all about the knowledge that your student already has. It's all dealing with their existing knowledge. Now, as we move into the next stage, we're gonna be working on new knowledge or the knowledge that you will now be teaching them. So in this part of the journey, it's kind of like our hero is entering into act two of their story where their world is gonna change. And this is where they begin learning the new material.

So in the introduction stage, and that's all it really is, just an introduction to the materials that you will be teaching them. It's the very first time that they're learning about this new material, the very first time they're seeing this content, and it's the very first time that they're hearing it from you, an expert course creator, what this new material or content all means for them.

The next two stages, they kind of work together. So these are the exploration and the integration stages. In the exploration stage, you give them opportunities to work with the new information that you've shared. You have them do activities or practice with the new content. They may use this new information to create something of their own or to do something with your guidance. Or they may use this new information to analyze or evaluate case studies. But as the course creator, you will choose the best way for them to explore the new content.

Something that happens naturally as they work with their new knowledge is integration. In the integration stage, they will experience instances where they either acquire their new knowledge easily. For example, they may be able to memorize facts or a series of steps to complete something, or they might experience failures, which are also good. Failures are good. As you know, the hero never wins on the first try, right? So it's the failures that make our little hero stronger. And in learning, those mistakes are so powerful and they help them to really take in their new knowledge. Integration could be something as simple as a quiz with feedback or an assignment. You have them submit back to you. But as part of integration, you will review their work and point out what is incorrect or what could be improved and ask them to do it again. With your feedback, they're gaining more knowledge in a more hands-on and practical way. So that's why exploration, which is practice, and integration, which is the feedback, they go together to make amazing transformations for your students.

And the final stage is reflection. In this stage, you take time to summarize what they now know. This is kind of like at the end of a movie when the hero beats the bad guy, but we're always skeptical that the bad guy is still alive, right? So we want our hero to just double check that the bad guy is truly defeated. Well, you want to just double check that your students have gotten the correct information, especially the main takeaways from your course. This helps them to confirm they understand what you wanted them to know and that they're leaving the course with the transformation that you promised.

So that's the amazing student story. Our hero student goes through an eight-stage journey, declaration, inspiration, preparation, and recollection. The first half of their journey reflects the knowledge they already have. Then in the introduction, exploration, integration, and reflection stages, they gain new knowledge and the transformation you promise in your course.

Now that you know the journey your amazing students or future amazing students take to reach the transformation you promised them in your course, think about how to design learning experiences that engage them at each of these eight stages.

If you have any questions about the amazing student story or have any other burning questions about course design, please feel free to connect with me at any time.

Thank you for joining me today for this episode of Course Creation Station. Be sure to visit CourseCreationStation.com to view today's show notes and subscribe.

About the Podcast

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Course Creation Station
Course creators, level up and amplify your genius!

About your host

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Gwen Tanner

I'm a career course creator and I am passionate about designing amazing learning experiences! I love working with other course creators, coaches and experts to build their awesome student-focused courses and workshops.