The problem with milestones

~ 2 min read | Category: Newsletters

At the risk of upsetting any sacred cows, I have a confession…

I think milestones are overrated.

For context, when planning your online course, it’s common advice to break the journey into its major milestones.

You look at the “big result” your course delivers and then work out what smaller results lie on the path to it.

Then you design your lessons and assignments to move people from one milestone to the next.

All makes sense so far, right?

But here’s the problem…

For many perfectly meaningful and course-worthy results, it’s tough to devise good milestones.

Let’s say your course helps busy managers experience less stress at work. What’s a meaningful milestone on that journey? Reducing their daily stress levels by 50%? How would you even measure something like that?

But over the years I’ve found a way to map out your course that actually works better.

Instead of picking hard milestones, you divide the journey into different phases of focus.

So with the workplace stress example, maybe your course starts by getting people to focus on noticing what situations trigger stress. After that it gets them to shift their focus somewhere else.

Or if the big result is growing a large and thriving LinkedIn network, you might start by getting students to focus on optimising their LinkedIn profile, then on building their immediate network, then on posting and engaging regularly, and so on.

You actually don’t need to draw hard lines upfront between each phase of activity (aka milestones). But once you’ve nailed the different phases, milestones may present themselves anyway.

For instance, “focus on noticing your stress triggers until a week has passed where you don’t notice any new ones.”

Or “focus on building your immediate network on LinkedIn until you hit 500 connections.”

It’s a small shift in emphasis but I’ve found it makes mapping out your course curriculum a whole lot easier.

See you soon,

Glen git


« Back to Newsletters

Want More Like This?

To get more content like this, delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for my email newsletter: The Art of Course Creation.