When I first entered the L&D space, online learning was, more often than not, the compliance training we had to do. Perfunctory. Check the box and done. Sure, we used words like “innovative” and “revolutionary” to describe it, but it wasn’t able to transition the learner from training to application. The transfer was missing.
Back then, who would have thought you’d eventually be able to improve your ball handling skills with an online course? But with the announcement of NBA superstar Stephen Curry’s soon-to-be released MasterClass, we’re seeing once again that there’s a world of untapped power and potential in virtual learning.
Based on Steph’s recent comments to ESPN about the course, he’s got the right idea about how to craft effective online learning. And, incidentally, his approach is much like Grovo’s Microlearning® methodology that is built to actually change learner behaviors. Here are a few reasons why:
He prioritizes the fundamentals.
I’m no ball player, so I would never have attributed Steph’s stellar shooting to his ball-handling skills, but it turns out these two things connect after all. In describing the content of his course, he brings the basic components to the forefront, saying: “It starts with fundamentals, it starts with footwork, it starts with balance, it starts with coordination.” Steph empowers his learners to immerse themselves in the foundational elements of the skill, emphasizing a building block approach to hone their craft. And after all, isn’t that where all great learning should begin?
He builds reflection into the process.
In addition to straight-forward skill-building, Steph values the pause between to reflect upon and deconstruct his game. He recognizes that great learning comes through practice and reflection, and takes time to assess his in-game choices—“why I chose to do what I did, versus what I could have done better”—as part of the course. The mind needs a rest in between to reflect and attribute meaning—and that’s precisely what Steph is building upon here. Spaced learning is powerful learning.
He emphasizes the journey.
Despite popular belief, learning, like ball-handling skills, is something you can get better at, it just takes a little practice. That’s why learning is a lifelong process, and those who are the most committed to improvement are those who are the most likely to succeed. The beauty and promise of virtual learning is that anyone with a wifi connection can access high-quality insight and instruction to improve and excel. Steph muses: “If I think about where I was when I was 13, if I had access to this type of curriculum, I would have been a much better player faster.”
He is authentic.
As learning practitioners, we can struggle to find the balance between the promise of learning and the experience we deliver. Steph chooses to keep it real, saying: “There is no dunking chapter. So, if you’re looking for that, then this is the wrong place to go.” It’s this authenticity that resonates with learners. In the virtual space, we could learn a thing or two from Steph. Let’s focus on building a trust contract with our learners. That means every time they click, we give them what we said we would. Because that’s the only way they’ll keep coming back.
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