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  • Writer's pictureErin Crisp

Put me in Coach

Our learners come to us like this baseball player on the bench. There is a game playing out around them, and they want to be a part of it. Being a part of the game, they have realized, is about much more than skill development. Maybe they’ve spent hours in a batting cage or throwing a ball through a hoop in the front yard. That’s skill development. But the coach still isn’t putting them into the game.

Why? Sometimes moving to the next level, getting into the game, means more than skill development. Adult students enroll in college degrees because they depend on us to show them what that “more” is. We are their coaches, but sometimes we function more like a trainer (and not a personal trainer but rather a video training program).

I share data collected from 25,000 student end of course survey qualitative comments. These are adult learners from the same institution.

Why are our students so adamant about instructor involvement? Why do they feel a disservice if we even take 48 hours to respond to them? Why do they call us for feedback on a paper three hours after they submitted it? They’re saying: “Coach, I need to be ready to play. I want someone to put me in the game. Tell me what I need. Is what I’m doing working? Am I ready to get off the bench? What’s my position? What should I practice next?”

Students are really asking: What if I get this degree, and I’m still on the bench?

I share about the research behind the instructional design iron triangle as a model for measuring the effectiveness of our instructional designs.

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