The CoachAccountable Blog

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Archive for Courses

Delightful Collaboration XII: Smarter Links to Course Items

The impetus for this instance of delightful collaboration came as a simple question.

In wanting the experience of doing her Courses to be a smooth as possible for her clients, Katharina Hille asked:

When I set up a new action for a client, the clients gets an email with a link (“View this online”) that brings him/her directly to the corresponding action.

But when I design a course I can only add a general login-link. Therefore I have to explain to new clients, that they have to got to “Actions” etc…

Is it possible to add this “View this online”-link in courses also?

I sat with this question for a little while, realizing how perfectly reasonable and natural the request was.  After all, one of our express aims in the design of CoachAccountable is to remove every last bit of friction from the client experience that we possibly can, making it as easy and seamless for them to show up for the life-changing work they’re engaged in.

So put in those terms, Katharina was absolutely right: if she (or anyone else!) needs to explain to clients how to find a given item in their system (when they could’ve been simply taken right to it), that’s a problem, or at best, a real missed opportunity on CA’s part.

With Course Pages, a login link in the notification email for a new section of the course has the spiffy behavior of taking clients directly to that section of that course“Brilliant!”, I thought, “I’ll just extend that ‘go-right-to-the-item-in-that-course-page’ behavior to items of all types [for page-enabled Courses]!”

So I did!

And it was good.

And then I realized Katharina wasn’t using Course Pages at all in her Courses.  Therefore that spiffy enhancement, though a step forward, would be meaningless to her use of the system.

Now since the beginning of CoachAccountable Courses, the login link for notification emails about Course Worksheets took clients right to that Worksheet, so a client was always just one click away from being able to work on it.  Course Files have also always been similarly accessible from the notification email.

So really what Katharina was asking for was to extend this spiffy behavior to the other types of Course Items, namely Actions, Metrics and Whiteboards.

And this is now done: [loginLink] magic tags in notification emails for Course Actions, Metrics and Whiteboards now just work better for everyone, no changes to the design of any Course required.  A nice win for all!

Thank Katharina for asking the question in the first place, coming from an understanding that those links could (and should) be better.  Sharing that little bit of perspective–the slog that is having to explain more to new clients–was a real gift, one that made clear the right thing to do to make CA better for all.

Building a Routine Tracking Course

One of the more powerful features of CoachAccountable is it’s ability genuinely change behavior and nudge clients into good habits and regular performance.

This all happens through a very simple practice: the routine check-in.

The routine check-in allows clients to report on WHATEVER KPIs, practices, habits, etc. that they’re working on, prompts them to do so on regular basis, and has the accumulated results appear in graphs that reveal the trends and tell the story.

By popular request, here’s step-by-step video tutorial on how to create these tracking regiments, complete with full automation that will make is easy for your clients to show up regularly.

Enjoy!

Better Courses

Since the release of Course Pages a few months back, we’ve introduced a few enhancements to for how those work, and to Courses more broadly.  Let’s see what’s new!

» Continue reading “Better Courses”

Course Pages

CoachAccountable Courses allow you to automate the delivery of coaching materials and assignments, either as a slow drip over a multitude of days, or as an interactive sequence wherein completing the current step leads you to the next (allowing clients to work through the course in self-paced fashion).

Courses are built from items of various types: Actions, Worksheets, Files and so on, and these types correspond to how the system is organized for clients: Actions live in a client’s Actions tab, files live in a client’s Files tab, and so on.

This siloed grouping of course items (by type) generally works fine for clients to work through a course: one’s attention is usually on just one item, and prompts to move on to the next one allow you to jump you right to it.  But then afterwards there’s not really a place for one to go view the course in its entirety: one can easily view the parts, but not see them as a sequential whole.

Here’s where Course Pages come in.

By designing your course to be broken into one or more sections, and adding in static content (content that augments the more interactive bits like Actions and Worksheets), Course Pages become an alternate way for your clients to elegantly view and work through your course material.

Let’s see how they work!

» Continue reading “Course Pages”

Step-Based Courses for Self-Paced Programs

Courses are great.  They allow you to create a coaching program as a progression of items that are to delivered over a days, weeks or month, where the items include videos, readings, worksheets, action items, and more.  They are super flexible, allowing you to set in motion a slow drip of materials to as many clients as you like with just a few clicks, precisely according to the schedule you define–you can have the system send an intro message on Day 1 at 8am, an audio lesson on Day 2 at 9am and a review worksheet 20 minutes later, and so on.

You can even make it so that completing one item triggers the release of the next, such as completing Day 9’s Worksheet triggers a “well done” message, or watching Day 2’s audio lesson triggers the assignment of a follow up Action.   You can make a rich, interactive experience for your program participants as they go through the timeline of your course.

But what if your Course is better suited as a time-independent delivery?  You might have a bunch of material wherein completing one section naturally invites flowing into the next.  There might be no reason to not let someone who’s cruising through the materials and assignments simply move through more quickly.  Similarly, when someone takes a two week vacation it might well be much better to not let assignments and messages pile up while they are away.

» Continue reading “Step-Based Courses for Self-Paced Programs”

Delightful Collaboration VII – Course Whiteboards

Sometimes a would-be user of CoachAccountable just knows what they’re looking for.

This past Wednesday I got an email from Jason of Merchant Capital Partners, a company which offers loans and training programs to help entrepreneurs build sustainably profitable businesses.  He and his colleague Robert that got right to the point:

Hello,

We are evaluating your platform for use with our customers… would it be possible to hop on a call and talk through some of our questions and what a possible partnership would look like?  We’re looking to make a decision quickly so the sooner the better.

Please reply with some times that you are available.

The following day we spent nearly 2 hours on the phone and connected via screen share, them showing the ins-and-outs of the program they’re aiming to deliver at scale, and me taking it in and in turn advising how to best deliver it via CA.

» Continue reading “Delightful Collaboration VII – Course Whiteboards”

Piping Worksheet Answers Into Metrics

In the two previous posts we’ve covered the basics of using Worksheets within CoachAccountable, and how to wield their Form-Based variant.

Now let’s look to the next level of power in using Worksheets: setting them up to have your clients’ answers feed into their Metrics.

This is a bit abstract, so let’s consider a concrete example to see how this is useful.

A quick warning before we dive in: the ideas to follow are the stuff of putting a lot of features of CoachAccountable together to make elaborate, sophisticated setups to serve your coaching clients.  It is cool stuff, but requires a certain familiarity with some of the basic building blocks of the system, like Actions, Courses and Metrics.  If you’re familiar with these things already then you’re set, and might be delighted to learn of the fancy, integrated and automated setups that are possible.  If you’re NOT familiar, you might want to learn those basics first (though reading on here may serve as good motivation for that learning!).

Right then, let’s dive in.

» Continue reading “Piping Worksheet Answers Into Metrics”

Course Action Projects

Courses within CoachAccountable allow a coach to design a timeline progression of materials and assignments, to be delivered automatically according to the schedule to course participants.

Among items that can be delivered are Actions: assignments of what to do and by when, plus helpful reminders, e.g. “Read Chapter 3 of the Workbook, due 2 days from now at 5:00pm with a text reminder to be sent 24 hours prior to the deadline”.

Action Projects are a way to group separate Actions as contributing steps to the overarching goal or milestone.  With their progress meter and summary display they do a great job of visually organizing the bigger picture of tasks which your clients are undertaking.

You can now bake project structure right into your Course Actions, and CA will do the work of creating those Action Projects for your course participants.

» Continue reading “Course Action Projects”

Group Courses

Courses allow a coach to define a timeline of assignments, materials, and communications to be given to a given course participant over a span of days, weeks, or months.

Groups allow a coach to put 2 or more coaching clients together and allow them to jointly participate in Group Actions, Group Metrics, and Group Worksheets, wherein each group member does their thing which counts towards the overall progress of the group (for example Group Metrics, wherein each person reports their number which contributes to the overall Group Metric, computed as either the sum or average of individual performance).

These two tools for structuring sophisticated coaching programs used to be completely separate: Courses could be taken only by individual clients and their progress and results were kept completely separate, and there was no such thing as a Group going through a Course all together with shared results.

With Group Courses these structures for program delivery can be combined: Groups of coaching clients can embark together on the same course, and all items of the course will be delivered as group items.  Say Day 1 of a course entails an Action assignment to call on five prospects.  Members of a group taking that course would each have that assignment, and could all see the overall progress of everyone in the group, i.e. who is done and who is not.

» Continue reading “Group Courses”

Quick Client Setup with Starter Kit Courses

Consider the following scenarios:

  • Nutrition and wellness coaches routinely have their clients track things like weight, exercise, and dietary intake.
  • Real estate office managers training their agents on performance will often be concerned with typical metrics like appointments, touch points, and showings.
  • Business development coaches commonly start their clients with a standard action plan which has owners taking stock of their operations and getting generally prepared for the process.

In these cases and so many more it is common for a coach to have a standard set of Metrics and/or assignments that applies to every new client they onboard.

Especially now that they’ve been freed up for everyone, CoachAccountable Courses provides a way to quickly set up new clients according to these standard templates using what I call “Starter Kit Courses”.

» Continue reading “Quick Client Setup with Starter Kit Courses”