Four Learning Gaps You Can Address with Courses

You Can Build More Than Skill Courses

I just got off a quick call about online courses and the paradigm that they were working under this notion that the only kind of course that you could create is a course that is solving a skill gap. You know those courses. It's all those “how to” courses. Of course, I said, no – those aren't the only kind of courses you can create. So I pulled up my little slide showing them four different kinds of learning gaps.

It is not just, “Oh, I'm an expert in something, and so I can explain how to do it.” That's solving a skill gap.

But you and I have both lived in situations where what we really had was a knowledge problem.

There Are Knowledge Gaps

We just didn't know things. If you've ever worked with someone where you know they're bright, they're super smart, and yet, somehow something doesn't work out right – it may be an exposure issue.

They may not ever have been exposed to the context, to the environment, to the information that you've been exposed to. When I did work with offshore folks, I discovered that we had an exposure issue.

I go to a bank and I use an ATM machine and I pay for groceries and use my debit card and punch in the same kind of keypad. I go to the bank and I take money out and I use the same kind of keypad. At the gas station I pump gas and I use the same kind of keypad.

I have technology that is exposed to me all the time. And yet, if I'm talking to someone who's not living in that context, they may not have that exposure.

So, knowledge gaps are where we try and solve that exposure issue by presenting information.

There Are Skill Gaps

The “how to” course is the one we see most often, and that is a skills gap. Of course, if you're building a course that requires both a knowledge gap and a skill gap, that can be really, really powerful.

But you know those courses. You've taken them and maybe even created them.

Then There Are Context Gaps

When it comes to learning gaps, my favorite is the context gap.

I spend a lot of time with software developers, programmers. And every time they have to go learn a new language, a new framework to use that language, they have what's called a context gap.

What's going on there is they're saying, “Hey, I know how to do something in this realm, now I'm going over to this realm.”

You can go to bookstores and you can go to the computer section and you can see title after title where it's saying, “This is Java for C++ programmers.”

The whole book is basically saying, you need context.

You've lived in this world, now you're going to be in this other world. Here's the context you need to succeed.

Lastly There Are Motivation Gaps

The fourth type of learning gap is a motivation gap.

You might have experienced this kind of thing if you were taking a course that was in the health and fitness space, where it's not so much that you don't know how to do a jumping jack or a sit up, but you may just not have the feeling to do the work.

A lot of times fitness programs or courses are all about motivation.

They're about getting you to the next bit of work, getting you encouraged to do something, taking something complicated, making it really small and giving you the scaffolding to navigate from one place to another so that you can look back and see the difference that's already been made.

Are Your Courses Addressing These Learning Gaps Already?

I'm working on two cohort-based courses for next year. It's for LearnDash customers who are struggling with either a) how to build their list to market their course, or b) how to shape their content or build their curriculum for their course. In that second one we start by talking about this very subject – the kinds of learning gaps you can solve with online courses. Be sure to pick up that license of LearnDash to get notice about our two masterminds.

Note: The video above is the first streaming video I've published to Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn using StreamYard. I'm checking out video for next year.

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