Start by setting the foundation
• Set learning expectations before you start teaching the
How long will the session last?
What are the primary learning objectives?
What is the expected experience level of the students?
What are the specific skills they should expect to learn?
Explain environmental factors - break time, collaboration
expectations, turn off cellphones, etc.
– Introduce yourself and share experience relevant to the class –
this reaffirms your “authority” to teach.
– If you have time and are comfortable, have students introduce
them – one of the best advantages of this is that students can
develop “learning buddies” through shared social
Syllabus / Agenda
• Provide a syllabus or an agenda to give the
student a tangible piece of material to refer to
during and after the session.
• Even if they don’t listen to everything you say,
it will help put student’s minds at ease and
transform them into a learning mindset.
• This allows students to reflect on their
progression through the class.
Defining primary learning objectives
• You should be able to express your primary
learning objectives for the course:
– Simple, straightforward English sentences.
– Avoid “run-on” sentences.
– Use as little technical jargon as possible.
• These bullets will make up the heart of your
agenda and the framework for your course
• Be general with these primary objectives, and
then use your course material to break them
down more specifically.
• Use each one of your primary learning objectives as the basis of a
• A class can consist of one to many modules depending on time and
• Each module should consist of the following
– A foundational overview of the topic: Referencing where possible knowledge
about the topic likely known by the students.
– A deep dive: How you can take what they already may know and extend it
using your knowledge of the topic.
– Real-world examples: A way for them to harness and use their new
knowledge in a tangible, real-world example.
– Feedback opportunities: Allows for them to give you a signal (literal, or
emotional) that they’ve understood what you’ve said and feel comfortable
they can move on to the next objective.
– A summary review: Reinforce what you’ve taught them by sharing it again
About “stretch” learning
• Be extra aware of content that is something new or
potentially difficult, and may be difficult for them to
– Take a little extra time to explain those points more thoroughly.
– Be prepared to explain these things in parables that may not be
directly related to the course, but are common real-world
• Watch for emotional signals that they do not understand –
usually students will give you a “tell” (watch their eyes and
reaction) that they are lost and need a little extra guidance.
– Note: you can’t wait for everyone – if there are people who
don’t understand, try to follow up later if you can.
Summarize what they’ve learned
• Recap what they’ve learned!
• At the end of each module, break down the
key new things students have learned to
remind them. This helps for recall later.
• Use short bullets here as well.
• In a collaborative environment, it’s usually
easy to see the students who are stronger in
the source material. Use them to help explain
the material to others.
• Do not let any one voice dominate the
conversation. Try to get the entire group
involved if you can and it feels natural.
After the class
• Make the course material available for
independent learning after the fact
• It’s unrealistic to expect students to
understand everything you’ve shared – make
yourself available for follow-up questions,
either at predetermined times or via email.