Live Cohort Course Portfolio Example
Topic: Business Process Documentation
This four-session live cohort course helps people document their business process to experience the benefits of efficiency, reduced stress, scale, and more.
Responsibilities: Instructional design, development, educational template/workbook creation, live instructing/training, communicating with students
Target Audience: Small business owners, operations managers for small-to-medium-size businesses, founding team members at startups, agency team members
Tools Used: Google Slides, Google Docs, Canva, Zoom, Maven.com
Client: My own business
Resources about business process documentation are very difficult to find online. Not many people share their knowledge about this very important skill and activity for growing efficient businesses and creating great employee cultures. I couldn't find the information I needed when I was creating documentation and knowledge management in my previous role at a small agency, so I had to create everything from scratch. I wanted to prevent other people from having to start from scratch. I also wanted to help people stay accountable for doing this important but rarely urgent activity that often gets procrastinated until it is too late to be useful.
A live cohort course was the best solution to help people reserve time on their calendar to actually complete the course.
The class sessions were designed to include time for individual work and breakout discussions to help people start their real documentation for their jobs, get feedback and support from peers in addition to the instructor, and gain momentum for documenting their processes to have a better chance at continuing this work after the course ended.
- Completed the Maven.com course accelerator for tool, process, and marketing guidance.
- Analysis: Created a survey to learn the most important topics to include, the expected outcomes, demographics, challenges, and more. This was a condensed and public needs assessment. A second survey was later sent to decide on the class times that worked for the most people.
- Design: Created learning objectives, class lesson plan outlines, class format (alternating lecture/presentation, individual work time in workbooks, breakout partner discussions, and group discussions), workbook/template outlines, deciding which features of the Maven platform to use to achieve the objectives, which tools to use for content delivery, and more.
- Set up the informational sales page with the class outlines, personas, and objectives. Sent the survey respondents the class information when it was ready to enroll as a first beta test. Marketed the course on LinkedIn and in many relevant communities to enroll beta testing students.
- Development: Created and tested the slides, scripts, workbook, surveys, communications, and other materials for the beta test of the class. This included uploading materials to the Maven platform.
- Content was curated from my previous public presentations, articles, internal onboarding presentations, knowledge, and new research, all related to the survey responses for what learners said would be valuable.
- Implementation: Completed the first cohort of the beta test, adjusting the following sessions as feedback arrived after each of the four sessions. I also kept track of my own ideas for improvement in real time. Interacted with students outside of class in the Slack-like community, email, and other communication methods.
- Evaluation: Followed-up with students again the day the entire course ended to ask for feedback on the course as a whole, and created an improvements document with all ideas from myself and the students. Set up follow-up assessment emails for 1,3,6,12 months after the course ended, with the same assessment of the learning objectives that students took before the first class, to compare their progress and make sure the course was achieving the intended outcome.
- Continuous Improvement: Made the feasible improvements before the next cohort, continuing to improve and iterate after each cohort. Created processes for running and making improvements to the course.
Results & Takeaways
9.7/10 and 4.8/5 ratings (rating scale changed throughout the year)
Examples of some of the changes/improvements from learner feedback:
- Adding more class time for individual work and breakout sessions for discussion
- Limiting breakout sessions to two people per room
- The two highest-rated class sessions were later offered on their own as one-session workshops, from feedback that stated some people may have only needed that information
- Adding space in the workbook for learner notes, so their notes and the class templates could all be in one place
- Some people already had some amount of documentation or system in place, they weren't starting from scratch, so class content was added about improving a current system
"This is a must-take course for anyone wanting to get better at the documentation or someone who wants to make documentation a priority at their organization. The course has a lot of great information, examples, and templates for you to leverage. This is a great course and I would highly recommend it to anyone."
"Jen’s course is jam-packed with knowledge that will get you writing your first piece of documentation. I greatly appreciated learning how to discuss the value of documenting processes and getting buy-in from stakeholders when you need to start writing things down. Jen’s knowledge is top tier and her lectures, discussions, and templates are a great starting point for anyone who wants to start documenting their processes."
"This course has really helped me start documenting processes within my business. It was difficult to know where to start, how to document and manage the change for the team. I now have one in place with 10 more to start! Jen knows her stuff and is great trainer."