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We love Sharon Bowman’s work with Training From The Back Of The Room (TFTBOTR). Ever since Karen attended a TFTBOTR course we have incorporated these techniques to make our in person training more memorable, effective and fun. I find it sad that most trainers use the standard more traditional format of walls of text in powerpoint slides, and occasionally great images with some text. They miss out on the interation and energy that is created with TFTBOTR techniques.

These days almost everyone I know has tried an online course. And the majority are video only. Some have talking heads, others just have slides and a voice. We wondered how we could incorporate TFTBOTR techniques into this and blogged our thoughts here: https://www.growingagile.co.za/2014/09/online-education/

We have improved on this and instead of a 4C plan we have created a 6C plan. This is how it works:


C1 – Connection

A short 5 min or less exercise to connect the student to the topic, and how it applies to their work. This should be done before students watch the concepts video.

C2 – Concepts

A short 5-8 min video with us teaching the key concepts for the topic. We usually have a video with talking heads and a few slides. Some people are surprised about how short our video’s are. But think about the last time you watched a video to learn something. How long did it have your undivided attention? We find there is a rapid drop off rate after 10 minutes.

C3 – Curiosity

Additional reading (mostly blog posts) and videos (like a TED talk) for students to watch. We also list books we recommend related to the topic. This section allows people to go deeper into ideas we mention in the concepts video, if they are interested. We don’t expect everyone to read every article, but rather have people pull the content they find most useful or interesting.

C4 – Concrete Practice

An exercise students can do immediately after watching the video to apply the concept they have learned. Sometimes this is just answering some questions in a journal, other times it’s a hands on activity. The idea is to make the barrier to entry fairly low so that people actually do this as soon as they have watched the video.

C5 – Capability

A technique or experiential game that students can use with their teams or others. We don’t expect people to use this immediately, but it shows how the topic can be applied in the work environment. Since we include one of these in each topic, we find people leave our courses with a bunch of new techniques in their toolbox, which they can use in the future when the opportunity arises.

C6 – Challenge

A challenge for students to do. This usually involves doing something with other people, and so is more difficult to do that the C4 – Concrete Practice activity. It may involve using the technique from the C5, or it might build on from the C4 and apply the practice with a larger group. We expect students to only go through one model a week of our course, so the challenge could be something that will take a few days to setup and do.

Download our 6C template here if you’d like to give this a try yourself.

If you would like to see how this works – try our free chapter on Users and User Experience, you will need to download the workbook for this chapter as well: Workbook.

So far we have noticed that some people love this style and others don’t like it as they are expecting more traditional video content. Those that enjoy it are taking the time to do the exercises and apply their learning. They are seeing a difference immediately.  We believe that this style of training is the way forward even though some people might not be ready for interactive online training. We would love to hear your thoughts on this 6C online training style.

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