GVDS Journal #4: How I like to construct a learning experience

A snapshot from last summer’s VDS Mastery Program. And no, that’s not the real Ricky Martin.

I’m currently working through the final parts of the learning module I plan on putting into Podia.

I detailed some of that in an earlier journal entry, but the rest is pretty straightforward. Detail out every day of a virtual design sprint, the optional exercises a team can do, what I recommend and finally… what our featured facilitators would suggest to do.

The last bit is the post-sprint, which can be a bit tricky. The end result of a virtual design sprint with/without a supporting pretotype can be all over the place, and the recommendations I’ve seen in other Masterclasses and seminars are just as messy.

I’m not 100% sure, but I think I’m going to go with “If this was your result, go in this direction”, and continue with recommendations from those with deep experience in the GVDS. It’s more prescriptive than I’d like, but better that I’m direct than ambiguous.

Related to this topic of constructing learning experiences, I recently engaged a conversation on LinkedIn on how I construct workshops (or learning experiences, since I’m not too keen on the term ‘workshop’ anymore).

Some practitioners preferred modular-style arrangements to build their learning agendas. Others had an activity-based set, where defaults set the foundation for add-ons, depending on what the workshop and its audience warranted.

I have a different way of thinking about it.

For me, I tend to start with the client and/or group and what they want to achieve or experience by the end of things… and think about that conversation more than anything. Between a recording and/or notes, I try to figure out what I’ve already done in the past that aligns with their goals/outcomes. For particular outcomes, I’ll likely create something new.

From there, I usually scribble a lot with paper and pencil. It’s mostly analytical thinking and arranging all the different components of the session and skipping the detail. I also factor in group size, technical aptitude and a ‘cognitive cost’ budget (i.e. how much online time can one person stand to do) so I don’t oversaturate the time with activities and balance those with conversations and breaks.

Finally, I create macro modular components in Mural with small digital cards to outline the details. From there, it’s scheduling blocks of time to get particular things done.

And that’s pretty much how I’ll be tackling the lessons and learning components of GVDS #6. 😁 Hope you found it an entertaining read, and be sure to write back if you’d like to see more content on a different topic.

Hope this finds you well!



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Robert Skrobe

Robert Skrobe

I run Dallas Design Sprints, The Design Sprint Referral Network and Talent Sprints.