A well-constructed course is actually designed with intent. That is to say, even before stepping into the classroom, a teacher should have a clear notion of what they aim to teach, how they plan to teach it, what are the learning objectives, what content will be covered, and what teaching methods will be employed. All of these should be planned, designed, and developed in advance. The process of teaching is simply the final presentation of these prepared elements. Thus, the entirety of systematic instructional design begins with course analysis and progressively moves forward step by step.
Therefore, the most important element in the whole process is the 'learning objective'. In other words, what do you want your students to learn by the end of the course? What insights do you want them to take away? What capabilities that were previously unattainable do you want them to achieve? We've previously discussed this in an article titled 'Can Your Learning Objectives Be Assessed?'
A few days ago, I had the honor of once again attending a massive class: the two-day complete course on 'Super Numeracy' by the renowned Professor MJ Lin Mingzhang. Using the analytical structure of the ADDIE model that we've previously discussed, let's try to break down the key points of course analysis. This will also allow everyone to understand just how rich and detailed the considerations for an extraordinary course can be.
1. Master the three-dimensional interpretation of the three main financial statements: the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement (all within two days, which is truly remarkable!)
2. Learn the practical application of both corporate and personal finance management (with numerous case studies to explore).
3. Understand how to predict a company's future operation based on the numbers in its financial statements (Simply from these reports, you can discern which are well-run companies and which are not - this ability is indeed on a professional level!)
Each of these three learning objectives is far from simple. In conventional school education, it may take several academic years to cover these (and even then, not necessarily successfully taught). Yet, MJ manages to ensure students grasp these concepts and apply them immediately within just two days. For example, from a pile of financial reports, students learn to distinguish between the good and the bad, and by the end of the training, they can make accurate predictions in just 3 minutes! This is absolutely extraordinary. The simulation game on the first evening is particularly thrilling, fun, and intriguing! (I won't spoil any more of the surprises here. If you want to dive deeper, please sign up for 'Super Numeracy'!)
Running a business requires understanding financial statements; investing in stocks requires financial statements; personal finance management might not involve financial statements directly, but it necessitates excellent numeracy skills. If you wish to accumulate wealth, the ability to understand and work with numbers and financial reports is a vital and inescapable skillset.
Learner's Pain Points:
1. Financial reports can feel like an indecipherable language. Over 90% of people can't understand them, and reading them might even induce sleep. Even among the 10% who can comprehend these reports, many are unsure how to extract crucial information.
2. Many people want to quickly acquire basic numeracy skills but don't know where to begin. Formal education or school courses can take too long to deliver tangible results, which is not helpful in urgent scenarios.
3. The knowledge of how to apply financial reports and numeracy skills remains a mystery to many. They find themselves investing and operating blindly, making hefty investments but never learning from their experiences.
If you examine the analysis above carefully, you'll notice that the learners' motivations and pain points essentially intertwine with the educational objectives! Particularly the pain points, they essentially correspond directly to the learning objectives! For instance, if learners have limited time and wish for a fast-track entry, MJ is able to facilitate rapid learning in just two days. For those who struggle to understand and apply financial reports, MJ not only enables a three-dimensional understanding, but also immediate application through real-world cases and reports. Can you see these points of analysis converging?
Of course, besides course objectives, learning motivations, and pain points, other factors such as the learner's proficiency level (which can vary between public courses and internal training, and even more so between specialized courses for financial personnel and business operators), teaching materials and tools (MJ's expertise, which I believe is unparalleled in Asia), and the design of the teaching method (we will discuss this in the second part of the ADDIE model) are all to be considered.
Besides these aspects, the nitty-gritty details of conducting a class, such as the venue, table arrangement, on-site equipment, props, etc., all require thoughtful consideration. Take the "Super Numeracy" course as an example. This two-day, one-night course, from the guidance for on-site registration and large billboards, to the table cards, name tags, teaching aids once seated, to the blackboard writings, scoreboards, teaching aids on the wall, even the freshly brewed coffee at the back, and visual recordings of the course, it's safe to say that MJ and the Super Numeracy team have considered every detail meticulously! All these must be carefully thought through during the course analysis phase. There are actually many ingenious aspects on-site that I cannot list one by one, awaiting your own discovery!
A good course never happens by chance. It requires heart and time to plan to create a quality course! In accordance with the ADDIE model, starting from the analysis phase, you should meticulously focus on the needs and problems of the learners, then integrate the teacher's expertise to plan tangible and assessable teaching objectives. Afterwards, through preparation of other details, considering every possibility and making gradual improvements, you can craft a course that earns both critical and popular acclaim. Coincidentally, today is the enrollment day for the October class of MJ's Super Numeracy. If you want to verify if what I've said is true, you're welcome to sign up!
If you can get a spot, that is! (bitter laughter)