I was hired as an Instructional Design contractor and Trainer/Facilitator for a well-known Fortune 100 Company and one of the tech industry’s Big Five FAANG corporations.
Together with a Subject Matter Expert and co-teacher specializing in web design and development, I designed and facilitated a six-month, non-tech-to-tech apprenticeship program. Learning utilized a flipped classroom model and a blended learning environment, with a focus on social constructivism, active learning, andragogy, and project-based learning. I was also one of two live (in-person) facilitators for a class of over 60 adult learners.
I designed blended courses to meet usability, accessibility, and inclusion guidelines, as well as legal standards and corporate requirements.
The feedback we received from our beginner-level, non-technical learners was that the code drills were among some of the most useful activities that helped them grasp the coding concepts and begin to have “A-HA!” lightbulb moments.
Numerous studies have shown that including mentoring in an apprenticeship program develops skill, loyalty, and engagement among a corporate workforce. We incorporated optional group and 1:1 mentoring sessions for those who wanted to strengthen their coding knowledge or prepare for the upcoming assessment and certification exam. Those who attended mentoring sessions were able to boost their scores and improve their understanding of key concepts, leading to more successful course outcomes. Each mentoring session included demonstrations, lectures, hands-on practice activities, and helpful visuals to increase understanding of the fundamental and complex concepts being covered in our course. For instance, CSS padding, margins, and box model were covered in-depth as a concept that many beginner-level coders struggle to comprehend.
Paired Programming and Peer Reviews
For additional social constructivism, we implemented paired work and group work into each week. Learners paired with 1-2 peers to help each other code, review each other’s work, and debug each other’s code. Additionally, we incorporated larger group activities where 4-5 learners would collaborate at a time on a single project, real-world problem, or more complex block of code.
To provide opportunities to practice, apply, and demonstrate “real world” coding skills in a safe, collaborative, and supportive environment, I designed a series of small, scaffolding projects throughout the course. The projects gradually build on top of each other and relate to skills that we taught throughout each week of class.
For instance, learners practiced HTML and CSS by designing a search engine homepage, or the landing page for a travel website.
The purpose of the immersive technology apprenticeship program was to prepare hundreds of learners for certifications from Microsoft and CompTIA.
By the end of the six-month training, we exceeded Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
- 93% pass rate
- 90% test score average
- 4.6/5 star student ratings
With over 60 students and stellar reviews, this made our course the client’s largest and most successful cohort experience of all time.