What does it mean to make things easy to understand?

Jason Teteak
A free video tutorial from Jason Teteak
Author, Keynote & TEDx Speaker, CEO Rule the Room
4.4 instructor rating • 55 courses • 56,618 students

Lecture description

Learn the three different kinds of concepts, and how to determine which of them will be challenging for participants to understand.

Learn more from the full course

Intuitive Curriculum Development: Make it Easy to Understand

A Time-Tested and Research Based Approach To Making Difficult Concepts Easy To Understand

01:37:36 of on-demand video • Updated December 2020

  • Identify the top potential “lightbulb” concepts that will be challenging for participants to understand
  • Apply a 5 step recipe to target each of your tough topics using the three different kinds of challenging concepts every student faces
  • Harness 12 strategies for creating objectives using a format that will immediately allow you to start making them easy to understand
  • Complete a lesson plan writing guide that makes things easier to understand
  • Apply a “concept hook” to fuel the desire for understanding, and drive your participants to want to learn challenging topics
  • See real world examples to show you exactly how to identify and write your own lightbulbs
  • Present lightbulbs in an easy to understand way by giving a “synthesis directional”
  • Use questioning techniques to avoid giving away the answers by empowering participants to figure things out for themselves
  • Learn how to decide how to check for understanding and go over “the answers” in a way that helps them GET IT
English [Auto] This is called lightbulbs and I'll tell you something in this class that we're about to do is a very unique one. It's very advanced and I think you know this here's the deal. Light bulbs is a is a is something I created I create I didn't create a light bulb but I created the idea that you can take this recipe that I'm about to show you and you can insert it into any class of object objectives that you have and you can make it easy to understand. Now I'm just going to warn you upfront what I'm about to teach you is not easy to understand as a trainer. It's the one thing that if I take the most advanced trainers and they say Jason I want you to watch me train and I want you to suggest something I can do to improve. And so I showed the list of tasks trainers. Do you remember the list of tasks there's build poor credibility. Be able to engage people which includes hooking them and then keeping their attention and that includes teaching all learners which includes managing pace making things easy to follow along determining whether they've got it. And there's one inside there called what make things easy to understand. And there is answering questions which is being able to punt questions and answer in scope questions and all that stuff. But making things easy to understand. I've always found that even the most advanced trainers still struggle with we still do. What's more what I've found is that when I watch trainers train these same advanced trainers are absolutely amazing at building credibility. Everybody thinks they know what they're talking about and they do. These guys know their content cold and the next thing is they're amazing at building or poor. Some of these people I've seen build rapport. I can't believe how well they can do this. And then I see them answer questions they know everything and I even see them teach learners and engage people and everybody is paying attention. Everybody is following along. Everybody is writing stuff down and then they give a test. What do you think happens sometimes. People failing. And they tried hard. They didn't blow this class off. They tried hard and they still failed it or they go live they go live their software gets turned on. And what do you think happens. People can't do it. And they were trained and they worked hard at that training. They still didn't get it. That's what this classes for. What's worse about this is the problem with this is trainers who aren't easy to understand. Often times don't know it and it's not all the time. So it's a moving target. Sometimes they're easy to understand sometimes they're not and they don't know why and they don't know when and they don't know who. So this class is going to teach you how to handle these folks. So you're really going to have to put on your thinking caps here and I'm going to assume that since you're here you already know how to build rapport. You already know how to build credibility. You already know how to engage and you already know how to make things easy to follow along. And you can answer every question people ask you. But when I'm not going to assume is that you know how to make everything you know how to make somethings but not everything easy to understand. You have to hand out in front of you. The first one is called lightbulbs. How to make things easy to understand and there's a table of contents here like to open this one up. If you look at the table of contents there are six pieces to this class. The first one is what does it mean to make things easy to understand that's the first thing I'm going to teach you. What does that even mean. What am I even talking about right now. Second thing how do I identify these light bulbs. You want to put a star next to this one because this is called curriculum. You're an instructional designer. Then number two is for you if you write curriculum number twos for you that's what you do. You identify the places in your curriculum that are hard to understand. I mean to show you how to do this with a specific recipe today. Number three how do I present small light bulbs in number four how to present large light bulbs. I'm going to get to I'm going to define a small light bulb as a concept. It's not too hard but it still can challenge some. And I'm going to define a large light bulb as a concept that is unbelievably hard and almost everybody who trains it can't get some people to understand it. I don't care how good you are they still don't get it. What's an example of this. Somebody is holding up a calculus book. It's a great example of this. I actually taught Calculus in high school so I know what it's like to teach it. And that's where I started to discover this actually so I'm glad you brought that up. And then I applied it to English and then I applied it to training and then I applied it to physicians and nurses and I applied it to CEOs and basically everybody else who needs to make things easy understand. You can use this for anybody. I applied it to developers who develop software. I applied it to people who have to technically serve software and quality assurance software and be able to project manage things. We applied it to them. It works for anybody. That's what's cool about this. This recipe you can take and put anywhere I like to think of it like that little iron man heart that if you put it in the right suit the suit flies. That's what this is. So next part how do you write a lesson plan. Curriculum writers started this one again. Not only do you need to identify your light bulbs but then you need to write a lesson plan so you can present these. And notice there's two kinds of lesson plans. There's the small lesson plan for the small light bulb. And then there's a lesson plan for the large light bulbs. Which one do you want to start with the large ones are really tough or the small ones. OK we'll start with the small ones. So let's do that first thing I want to do is on the very first page you'll notice it says what does it mean to make things easy to understand them and to define a couple of things. Engagement is getting trainees to pay attention. Pure and simple. That's all it is. If you engage people they're listening to you they're paying attention their eyes are on you and you've hooked them and they're interacting with you. But it does not mean that they want that they understand. Next one making things easy to follow along is getting them to follow along with the screen the visual aids the companion and what you say. But it does not mean that what they understand however you should know engagement is a prerequisite to what to follow along. You can't follow along unless you're paying attention. So your job as a trainer and if you want to know how to do this. Watch foundations or watch maverick it will teach you how to get people engaged in how to get follow along. But once you've done those things let's say you've gone to those now you're ready for the third one which is to make things easy to understand. This is the last one and I'm going to define it as this one says it's easier to make non-conceptual algorithms and conventions easy to understand that's easy. What's a convect convention in an hour room. You remember what a convention is. It's a definition. It's easy to make a non-conceptual definition easy to understand what's a non-conceptual definition. This is a glass of water memorize that water. Somebody says Why is it water. Would that affect when would I do water. What's the effect of doing water. You would never ask that stuff. It's water. This is a chalk and this is a marker. Memorize that it's not conceptual. Nobody would go on Parker. Only gosh I've been trying to figure out what that was for three weeks I finally got it. But they would say that about what calculus so Conventions are not hard to understand. And I need to say this to you because when you go through your curriculum instructional designers I'm going to suggest that the first thing you need to do I'll say this later is you need to write out every single objective that you plan on teaching people. They'll probably be in the hundreds. If you teach someone for eight hours you're probably going to have about four or five hundred objectives and about a third of them will be what kind conventions some of them will also be conceptual. I'll give you a calculus example the word derivative ever heard of it. Derivative is a definition. Could I define derivative. I probably could write but there's also a concept behind it that people need to understand. So I'm saying to you if it's a convention that's not conceptual like this marker it is not a lightbulb. Now let's talk about algorithms. There are steps. Right. Make a note if you didn't know that an algorithm is a step. If I said to somebody right now how do you get to the bathroom from here. Number of steps is how you do something. Could you describe for me actually what you describe for me right now how do I get to the bathrooms here. What do I do now when I'm starting here. So I walk I take 45 paces forward twenty paces left six paces right walk through the doors turn left this way and when I finish with all this and I look at somebody would anyone go to me. I don't understand. I don't get it. Why would you do it that way. Clearly they would not do that. Because there is no why. I mean I could say well look that's where the construction crew put it 35 years ago and they built this building or however long it was but there is no way for this. So make a note that algorithms that don't have a Y. Those aren't light bulbs either. You say to me Well why do I need to know this. Look I'm going to teach you anything you need to know to make anything you teach easy to understand. And you need to know which things are hard to understand and which ones aren't. And there are algorithms However that are hard to understand. Try getting a freshman in college to solve an equation with derivatives or integrals or to perform the differential of these things. Try getting them to do this and tell them about the steps that it takes to do it and you'll find that some of them can't do it because they don't know why they're doing it. I'm going to give you an example. I want you to watch this. I used to teach math and I've used this example before but I want to use it one more time for some of you haven't seen this. And those of you who have seen this I think this will be really valuable for you to see this. Watch this. I have this equation right here and this is an algorithm that's also conceptual. There are in fact steps to do this. And if I asked you the steps you could probably tell me the problem is if I don't know the concept I can't do the exact same thing. In base nice there's two different problems up here. One's in base 10. One's in base nine. I cannot apply what I learned in base 10 to the bit with the one in base 9. If I don't know the concept behind what I'm doing you say to me prove it Jason. Well if somebody asked me to add these two numbers together and I'm a fifth grader or a third grader and all I know is how to add single digits. I would say to them. All right well here's what you do. Yeah. These two numbers together. So add the numbers. Now if I'm third grade and I've never done this before I would go like this and go OK four plus six is 10. He said no no no no no don't do that. What would you say to me to do stirred from the right hand side OK so start from the right hand side. That's the first step. And why would I do that. You haven't told me. Most teachers don't. They just say do that. That's how you do it. They're not teaching me the concept. This is going to be a problem by the way when I try to do base 9 by the way if you're an adult you're wondering why I'm showing you this right now. I'm telling you if you teach a student who has to take a test or go live life or go get certified or go live and you don't teach the concept they will fail when they try to apply this to something else. And you wonder if they were even trained. You wonder if anyone really even taught them give you an example. I had some students that I taught in math pre-calculus seniors. They go to college. They come back to me the next year and they go oh my gosh Mr. Tubruq thank you so much. And for what. Said well for teaching me the stuff that the person next to me didn't know how to do. What do you mean. Well I could do it and they couldn't and I thought I thought to myself. They said Why can't you do it so easy. And the person goes it's really hard. I mean it's easy. The reason why the person that I taught could do it is because they were taught the what the concept. That's the light bulbs so that when they got to the new thing that nobody ever taught them how to do they could do it. So here's an example when I take three plus seven I get 10 and you guys have been taught that when I do that I put the zero here and put the one up there in April 6 is 14 plus one's 15. I put the five here and the one up here and you just learned this. And if you couldn't do it they gave you 50 more problems. Until you could they're basically trying to teach you a bulb through algorithmic steps. Not cool won't work because as soon as I challenge you in pre-calculus or calculus to deal with binary numbers which by the way is how developers code. If you don't think there's an application of this. Think again. But if I say base 9 you how would you do this. You wouldn't know what to do. That was based not I'd say well three possible. You put the one here one up there. It's easy. And then eight plus six plus one is 15. So I put the six here and the one up here. Now how many of you I want you to be honest with me when I do this are looking at me and literally thinking I'm crazy I'm doing some foreign language. Raise your hand if that's you then you really never learn how to add actually let me rephrase. You really never learned why to add did you. Because if you learned why you could do this here's the proof. What's what is this really. This is the 10 to the zero come are what most people call the one column. Agreed. This is the 10 to the two column or sorry 10 of the one column which is what most people call the tens column. This is the 10 to the two column which is what most people call the hundreds come look at all of these conventions and concepts that haven't been taught. You can get a kid to learn how to add how to add and teach. None of that stuff you can say go to the right column and add your two numbers just like you were taught in kindergarten or in the next column at the two numbers. And by the way the ones on the right to get down there and the one that's in the left. Move it up. In practice 50 times to you. Got it. And they have no idea why they're doing this. They don't even know what tens hundreds and ones are that's a problem and most teachers don't care. If you look at most teachers that teach this they don't care. No the same. Jason that's that's so rude. They care. That's true. The reason they don't care is because they don't know. Some of these teachers don't even know these concepts. Some of you don't. This is a problem. This is why it's elusive. It's why it's challenging this is why it's called light bulbs because if you look up here these are the ones tens and hundreds. Then what is really three plus seven. Three plus seven is how many nines in there. It's 10. Right. But 10 is the same as what one nine. And one more one left over so I can take the. Sorry. Number one ones left over so I can take zero ones and put it here. And I can take this one nine inch stick it's up. Sorry. I'm in base nine. Let's try 10. What is three four seven is ten ten is how many tens. 110. So that goes up here in the tens column. And how many ones left over. Zero. That's the concept try with this one eighty six plus one is 15. 15 is how many tens one ten seconds on the next column. Or how many of it's 15 tens actually isn't it. Which is how many hundreds. One 100. Some of you are confused don't worry. I'm going. I'm doing a lot of stuff in math right now and very short period of time. So when you are with me right now 15 tens is 1 100. And how many tens are left. Five tens So five tens or left and we move this up to the 100. Place Well let's look at base 9. Now three plus seven is equal to 10 isn't it. Now it's the example I was going to show three plus seven is 10. So how many nines are in 10. One I can put that up here in the nines column because this is the 81 column and this is the ones column just like this is the hundreds 10s and ones 81 nines and one's changes and makes your brain hurt doesn't it. Good that's what concepts do. Concepts make your brain hurt. That that's how you know you're teaching them. Somebody else asked I think as Rusty said why in the world would somebody add these. Well you should know that our civilization our western civilization. We decided to go with the base 10 because it CCN we can cheat right. I mean if you are picking something that's efficient which one would you pick which one's easier to do based 10 way easier. But developers who work with binary numbers deal with zeros and ones you never heard that expression zeros and ones. That's because in base 2 there are no number twos because if it was a 2 it would go to the next place. Just like in base 9 there there's no number. Nines. Did you notice there's no number nine up there in base 9. Because as soon as it's nine it becomes the next one doesn't it. You might ask yourself why is he spending so much time on math. I'm trying to get you adults to be with me. You have to be hooked. You have to believe that lightbulbs exist and that they're important. And I have to prove to you that if you don't know them you in fact can not apply them and you will fail. You with me those students did fail when they got to my pre-calculus class. They could not do this. And why did they need to do it. Because they needed to add polynomials and multiply polynomials and deal with derivatives and integrals and they really had to get into this stuff. Why did they have to do that because all of you who were driving cars in maximizing profits are using math. The people who are making amazing cars right now are using math as we speak and they know this stuff really well. So why would you need to take this class. Well let's talk about this for you now let's actually get into this. I'm going to make a couple of definitions here. Take a look at this first page. I'm going to suggest to you that a neon light bulb. Now this is the page that says light bulbs how to make things easy to understand bottom of the page says neon light bulbs. Highlight this are anything that if a non trainer can teach this in one to two sentences or less and most everyone will get it. Who's a non trainer This is somebody that has not been taught how to explain things clearly. I'm not even talking about lightbulbs right now I'm saying they just can't explain stuff clearly. That's a neon light bulb and you can still understand if I say it for non-trained or walks up here and goes hey it's a marker. This is a piece of chalk. Memorize this or rest. Got it. Here's I get to Bath and doo doo doo doo. Got it. But as soon as non-trained tries to explain that it can't do it. What's a small light bulb like this. This is with good explanation. The trainer knows his trainer can tell the concept in one to two sentences and what will happen. Most everyone will understand. So I'm going to define a small lightbulb now as something that even if you're good I say if you're good I should say you can come up here and explain it because it's you. They're going to get it. All the trainers I work with in all of you are good so you can handle small light bulbs you probably won't need much of my help with that. Look at the next definition. A large light bulb is everything else. The trainer has a gut level need to review leader get synthesis before people understand it. The trainer says it in one or two sentences they nail it. They got great tone everybody's engaged are following along and still people look at you and go I don't get it. Example that problem some of you are still looking at that saying what I don't get is good. I wanted to prove that to you. That's a large bulk up there I would have to do more. It's not going to happen in one or two sentences. I probably need a good two hours with you and three or four labs where you're actually trying things and synthesizing things until you can tell me what happens here. That's a large lightbulb recipe's that's what I meant to teach you how to do powerful.