Growth hacking works for Learning. Here’s Why.
The Story So Far
I wrote an article recently focusing on how growth hacking could improve the way we teach and improve learning in higher education. The fact of the matter is that since then, this idea kept harassing my brain, but in a good way.
How could it be done?
How could professors and managers optimize their work and improve drastically their learning content and activities?
Growth hacking is very much focused on a company’s growth, but the processes used are so effective, how could we adapt it to learning?
How? How? How?
The WOW moment
Days have passed, a week and I finally stumbled on Jennifer Gonzalez’s blog Cult of Pedagogy. A gem for everyone passionate about innovation in Education. I read, I read and read again. And then another “wow moment”.
I think I found what I was searching for. The perfect example of a class working with growth hacking principles, helping learners complete their projects in a growth hacking way, learn fast and well.
The story’s about this teacher, Don Wettrick, who completely disrupted the way we can teach with his Innovation Classroom. Just take a look at how his course is fashioned.
What does an innovation classroom look like?
For further info, take a look at his Medium
It starts with 7 weeks of learning by reading, watching and talking. From TED videos to learning content on Youtube, from reading scientific articles to blogs, the goal here is to catch the interest of the students on a chosen subject (every student having different interests) and learn the basics about these: problematics, solutions, contexts etc.
Then each student choses a subject. His mission: learn more about it, become an expert. How? They’ll have to make a Youtube channel, a website/blog, and start talking about any projects they have on this chosen subject, anything they learn about it.
There are no grades. In fact yes there are, but in a different way. Students set themselves goals using SMART method. Throughout the year, they’ll give feedback on their progression by posting blog posts, videos ; by doing presentations, exchanging ideas with the others and so on. The professor guide them through their project.
The Roth IRA magic
By applying the Roth IRA process. No I’m not talking about the retirement plan. Roth IRA is equivalent to growth hacking processes.
It stands for Realization, Open discussion, The Tussle, Homogeneous grouping. Roth helps them develop their project once they chose their idea.
Once they have their project development plan and start to put it in motion, they guide themselves using IRA method.
IRA stands for Ideation, Reflection, Adjustment. Basically, it means students enter a process of developing ideas, testing them, getting feedback and adjust the product/project according to the feedback.
Why is it so incredible and important?
You have here the proof that growth-hacking-like methods work as hell to build an adaptive learning culture in your class. You have a glance at how fast students learn and, in fact, become expert and actors in the learning process, nearly entrepreneurs, when the class is based on a model like this one.
Now I know, this is an innovation class, so it’s meant to be like that. So what does that mean you can’t adapt it to your programs, to your courses? I don’t think so.
Take for example an International Relations class (Yeah I studied Politics) like “International Organizations and states”. Let your students learn about countries and institutions, let them understand the whys and the issues going on, the projects these actors have. Let them become representatives and put in motion a General Assembly/ Security Council during the class. Let them be creative and talk about it online. You’ll be astonished how well this works.
It was just an example, I know let you think about this, comment ideas or methods like this one you are already using. I go back to my researches and ideas.