"What can we get the students to do to take action? How can we make that deliberate practice? Like in the truest sense of Anders Ericsson's research into this, how can that action be delivered? How do they reflect, you know, intentional reflection to figure out what they need to improve. And how do we create tight feedback loops so that they can get that feedback and reflection and then practice it again and do the part that they need to improve" - Andrew Barry
Our guest today is Andrew Barry. Andrew started off at KPMG where he built out their training, then he created Curious Lion where he and his team help the likes of Pinterest and many other companies to create corporate training programs. I first met Andrew when we were both taking an online writing course called Write of Passage, and I have been eager to talk about learning online ever since.
In this episode, we learn how everyone can design online learning experiences to repeatably effect transformations in their students' lives. Then we try to sketch out a future of what happens when more and more teachers can generate these transformations, what a world that will be!
In our discussion, we cover:
I love Andrew's strong conviction that everyone has a course in them. It's not just an optimistic "You can also do this" type of message. He recognises that on the one hand, the online learning techniques he describes so clearly can effect student transformations in a repeatable and predictable way.
05:24 - I truly believe that everyone has an online course in them. And I say that quite a bit. What I mean by this is that if you're able to help people in a meaningful way that you improve their life, their business, and that could be anything from teaching them how to code or how to write really persuasive sales copy, or how to learn a hobby, teaching them the hobby that's made your life more fun or more enjoyable. If you can do that to your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your friends, and you can do that in a repeatable way, then you can teach and then you can use the internet to scale that ability to teach.
But also, on the other hand, his new concept of teacher identity means that we'll all want to learn from different teachers not because the content is better but because we resonate more with one or the other. Learning is hard and very emotional.
25:04 - There are lots of different ways to learn anything. And so every teacher has a style and something I'm starting to talk about and think about with a couple of collaborators of mine is the idea of finding your teaching identity. Really fleshing that out, like world-building or creating a picture of what that is. That way that a student can go, "well, if I want to learn the same thing I'm going to go with you of this, and this reason. It's very personal, it's very relational. And I think that then creates the opportunity for a lot more people to enter the teaching space.
It feels like Andrew is working on a mathematical formula for course creation, something like: Student-centered content + Beginner's mind + Deliberate Practice + Accountability + Reflection = Student Transformation
15:15 - What can we get the students to do to take action? How can we make that deliberate practice? Like in the truest sense of Anders Ericsson's research into this, how can that action be delivered? How do they reflect, you know, intentional reflection to figure out what they need to improve. And how do we create tight feedback loops so that they can get that feedback and reflection and then practice it again and do the part that they need to improve
There's a craze around cohort-based courses and probably for good reason. Andrew neatly explains the "beauty of the cohort" in the safe environments they create.
30:49 - The beauty of the cohort that makes this all possible is it creates safe environments. People get to know each other, they get vulnerable with each other, so there's an openness to say, "Hey, I tried this thing out. This is what happened. The conversation didn't go so well ." And then people will come in and respond with, " oh, that happened to me and this is what I've tried and this worked, and this didn't work." And so the facilitators that run these programs can step further and further away and just let the cohorts of students, of learners, of employees learn from each other. And once you do that a few times, just keep this process, it acts as like a flywheel and people get into the habit of "Oh, I get to learn this cool new framework, I get to go and apply it and make my team more efficient, make them happier, whatever the outcome is, and then if it's not going well, I've got this, this trusted brotherhood of people that I can talk to.
Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:
- K. Anders Ericsson, Deliberate Practice - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K._Anders_Ericsson
- Why You Need Two Kinds of Groups to Power Group Learning, Andrew Barry - https://curiouslionlearning.com/why-group-learning/
- David Perell - Write of Passage - https://perell.com/write-of-passage/
- Global Teacher Prize - https://www.globalteacherprize.org
- Ranjitsinh Disale 2020 - https://www.globalteacherprize.org/winners/ranjitsinh-disale-2020/
- Peter Tabichi 2019 - https://www.globalteacherprize.org/winners/peter-tabichi-2019/
- The Economics of Superstars, Sherwin Rosen - https://www.jstor.org/stable/1803469
Where to learn more about Andrew:
- Twitter - https://twitter.com/Bazzaruto
- Luma - https://lu.ma/bazzaruto
- Curious Lion - https://curiouslionlearning.com
- Course Creators Collective - https://www.coursecreatorscollective.com
Where to learn more about Enrollhand:
Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com