[Enter the programme title] Pre-work activities



Add a short strapline for the course here

The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation”.

Issac D'Israli, Writer

This is a guided template for the Pre-work LearnBrix template. It shows a recommended flow and content blocks for a Pre-work, along with some worked examples to spark ideas.

Each Pre-Work template should include a Learning Outcomes content block.


Use this section to set the context for the pre-work. Perhaps remind participants that as part of their LBS experience, they will have access to a diverse group of business leaders and that the pre-work activities give them the background and context to help them to make the most of their time in the live session.

You may also want to include a video that sets the stage for the pre-work. Possibly you want to promote a learning mindset or to spark interest in the topic. If you have a video you would like to use, simply change the link to the video source below.


Learning outcomes

Use this space to outline the learning or performance outcomes for the pre-work.

Sharing learning or performance outcomes at the start of a LearnBrix helps focus participant's attention and frame what's to come.

For example: In this module you will learn how to use the LBS LearnBrix Builder to create pre-work for digital learning pathways.

By the end of this module you will be able to:

1.  Use the LearnBrix Pre-work template to create and share programme pre-work with participants.

2.  Recognise how to use the LearnBrix template content blocks to present different types of pre-work content and organise them into a suitable flow.

3. Edit content blocks and tailor them to your specific programme needs.

You can add additional introductory text here if needed.

Use a standard content block like this, to introduce the pre-work. Edit the text below for your specific programme.

As part of the programme's discovery and design phase you will have identified what pre-work to include. This might include:

  • Pre-reading – Asking participants to read an article or case study, or watch a video, allows them to come to the live session prepared and ready to discuss and explore their ideas further.

    Tip: For every piece of content you want participants to engage with, remember to set questions or a task/activity that prompt active engagement and begin the process of sense making.
  • Self discovery – Pre-work is a good opportunity for participants to reflect on their style, identity, and experiences ahead of a coaching session or facilitated group discussion. This might be via a formal diagnostic tool, or through some broader self-reflection questions.
  • Experimentation – Although often used as a follow-up activity to teaching inputs, you may want participants to undertake a small experiment before the session. This can be an interesting way of re-activating prior knowledge or initiating a behaviour change you want to build on during the live sessions.

In the next few sections, you'll see how you can use the LearnBrix Builder content blocks to set each of these types of pre-work.

Guiding principles for designing LearnBrix

When designing a LearnBrix as part of any learning experience there are a few key principles to keep in mind.

When you select content or activities to include, make sure they are:

Example: Pre-reading

This section usesa coloured subsection block for the title and a standard content block with large spacing to introduce the reading we are asking participants to complete. Edit this example text to introduce your piece of pre-reading.

[example] Top-down leadership is outdated and counterproductive. By focusing too much on control and end goals, and not enough on their people, leaders are making it more difficult to achieve their own desired outcomes. The key, then, is to help people feel purposeful, motivated, and energized so they can bring their best selves to work. One of the best ways is to adopt the humble mind-set of a servant leader.

  • You can edit, delete, or duplicate these bullet points depending on how much information is needed.
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[Example] Prior to attending the live session, please read the case study and complete the activity to capture your thoughts.

Dan Cable, Servant leadership case study

In this case study Professor Dan Cable describes how two organisations adopted a servant leader mindset to encourage innovation and improve performance.



Tips for introducing pre-reading

  • Give the context
    Explain how this case study relates to the live session.
  • Introduce the task
    For example, read the case study and capture your reflections using the question prompts in the activity section.
  • Explain how this will be used in the session
    For example, during the session you will have an opportunity to explore your thoughts with your peers and present your group's recommendations on how to stage a wise intervention.

Tip: As part of your programme design, be sure Pre-work is revisited in the session, so the value of completion is obvious to the participant. It’s frustrating to spend time on an activity if it’s never mentioned in the session.

Activity

What is servant leadership?

Having introduced the pre-reading, use an activity section like this, to set some focus questions. This encourages participants to actively engage with the text and come to the live session prepared to discuss and deepen their thinking.

[Example] Having read Dan Cable's case study on servant leadership, think about the following questions and capture your thoughts in the spaces below.


What is the role of a leader?

In the case study Jingkiu reflects on the role of the leader.

“The fundamental question I discussed with my executive team was whether the job of a business leader is the “emperor” – someone who rules above you – or the “facilitator” – a vision shaper and bottleneck remover. If we define ourselves as the former, the leader should keep the distance and retain mystique. If we define ourselves as the latter, the leader should be humble, close, open, transparent and honest."

  • What do you think the role of a leader is? Should they act as an "emperor" or a "facilitator"?
  • What's the impact? – how might the leader's approach influence the culture of the organisation? What might the long-term impact of this be?
What does servant leadership look like?

Thinking about the examples from the case study, what are the characteristics of servant leadership?

Add extra bullets if needed...

  • Sometimes you just need the open question. Other times breaking it down with some bullets works well. You can duplicate this bullet point as needed, or simply delete it.
How can you implement a wise intervention?

How did PwC work with the UK food delivery business to implement wise interventions to activate the "roundsman's" seeking systems?

You might find it helpful to guide participants to consider different aspects.

  • Approach – What approach did they take?
  • Mindset – How did the approach tap into people's intrinsic desires?
  • Virtuous cycle – How can this approach encourage a virtuous cycle?
  • Add additional reflection questions as required.
Hints and tips

If appropriate to your programme, you can include hints and tips here. For example, you might remind participants that their answers will be saved and so they can bring them along to the live session.

If appropriate to the task, you might offer a download of a worked example (with model answers). To do this, link this button to the file on Canvas or the client LMS/LXP.

Example Self-discovery: Signpost diagnostic

If you are using a diagnostic tool or 360° assessment as part of the programme you can signpost it through the Pre-work LearnBrix.

In this example, we have used:
- a coloured subsection block,
- standard content blocks, and
- a YouTube video block
to introduce participants to the diagnostic.

[Example] As a part of the programme at London Business School, you will be investing in yourself by completing the Point Positive Assessment.

Point Positive is a strengths-based leadership tool, unlike anything you've encountered before. It is a powerful experience that will reveal your distinctive impact strengths, including some you may not even be aware of, empowering you to leverage these strengths and put them into practice more often.

It’s exclusively about you – a collection of stories about experiences from your whole life. Point Positive is not about collecting information on your weaknesses and it's not shared with your employer. 

Here what Jason has to say about how Point Positive helped him in his leadership journey.

Tip: Videos that share someone's story or introduce a different perspective are often powerful in asynchronous learning, when participants don't have peers to help provide these new insights.


[Example] How does Point Positive work?

Point Positive includes an external assessment and a self-assessment, which are combined into a report for you. You will receive your report during the programme.

  • Self-assessment
    You will receive an email from Point Positive inviting you to complete the self-assessment. You will be asked to consider who you are when you’re at your personal best.
  • External assessment
    For your external assessment you will be asked to nominate 10 - 15 contributors.

    The point positive system invites each of the people you select as contributors to take part by describing moments when they experienced you at your best - at home, at play, in social situations or at work.

  • What happens next?
  • What are the deadlines?
    Complete your self-assessment by [insert date]
    Nominate your contributors by [insert date]

Example Self-discovery: Reflective questions

In this example we've used:
- a coloured subsection,
- a standard content block, and
- an activity block
to introduce the self-reflection pre-work.

[Example] What are three life learnings you have experienced?

[Example] Your leadership learning journey began long before you started this programme. This exercise is designed to capture past and present lessons and focuses on the lessons that you still want and need to learn.

In this exercise you will be asked to identify three important life events which have which have had a positive impact on you and your leadership. These might have been influenced by special people in your life; or events and challenges you faced at different times in your life.

You might find it helpful to consider the following life stages to help prompt your thinking.

  • 0-7 – Early childhood and influence of parents, culture, and environment.
  • 8-14 – Special friends, teachers, and the school environment.
  • 15-21 – Early responsibilities, relationships, nature of peer group, sporting success and failure.
  • 22-28 – Early career successes and failures. Good managers and bad managers.
  • 29-35 – Family commitments and children.
  • 36-49 – Career changes, opportunities taken or missed, pressure of work, power, and status.

Activity

Three life learnings

Use the activity content block to set self-reflection questions and give space for participants to record their answers.

[Example] Please complete this activity before attending the session, where you will have a few minutes to transfer your reflections to a white board to present to the rest of the group.


Life event 1

What's the first life event that had apositive impact
on your leadership?

  • What – What is the event and context?
  • Why – Why does this event stand out in your memory? What is important to you about it?
  • Impact– What is the learning about leadership qualities or attributes that you take from this event?
Life event 2

What's the second life event that had a positive impact
on your leadership?

  • What – What is the event and context?
  • Why – Why does this event stand out in your memory? What is important to you about it?
  • Impact– What is the learning about leadership qualities or attributes that you take from this event?
Life event 3

What's the third life event that had a positive impact
on your leadership?

  • What – What is the event and context?
  • Why – Why does this event stand out in your memory? What is important to you about it?
  • Impact– What is the learning about leadership qualities or attributes that you take from this event?
Reminders/Hints and tips

If appropriate to your programme, you can include reminders or hints and tips here. For example, you might remind participants that their answers will be saved, and they can bring them along to the live session.

If appropriate to the task, you might offer a download of a worked example (with model answers). To do this, link this button to the file on Canvas or the client LMS/LXP.

Example Pre-work: Experimentation

Perhaps there are times when you want participants to try something out and bring their reflections with them to the live session.

In this section we have used a coloured subsection, a medium sized Vimeo video block and a challenge block to introduce the experimentation pre-work.

  • [example] Your challenge – Throughout your experience at LBS, you will be encouraged to experiment with aspects of your behaviour. In this pre-work we would like you to have a go at one small experiment.
  • Lorem ipsum – You can edit/delete or duplicate bullet points to introduce aspects of the prework.

[Example] Hear from Dr. Laura M. Giurge, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at London Business School, about how she works on changing her habits.


Challenge

Change one habit

Edit this section to set a challenge for the participants to experiment with before attending a live session.

[Example] Throughout your experience at LBS, you will be encouraged to experiment with aspects of your behaviour to develop your leadership skills. In this pre-work we would like you to have a go at one small personal experiment. As you conduct your experiment, reflect on how it feels and what you can learn from it.

Change one habit:


What new habit would you like to bring into your life?

Think of one small habit you would like to bring into your life. Here's a few suggestions but choose one that resonates with you.

  • Create a morning routine – Put down the phone and turn off the email. What habit could help you kickstart your day in a way that makes you feel supercharged? Perhaps it's a healthy breakfast, a power walk or 5-minute meditation.
  • Make time to exercise – Working out regularly not only improves your physical health, it also boosts your creativity and cognitive skills. What simple steps could you take to include exercise into your schedule? Which appeals most? A sun salutation, walking meeting or power workout?
  • Gratitude – Increase your happiness and wellbeing through practicing gratitude journaling.
Break the habit down

Creating new habits is easier when you start with something small, specific and that you have the opportunity and ability to easily build into your life.

  • What is one small action you can take? – e.g. I do 10 squats every day.
  • What will trigger you to take this action? – e.g. Waiting for the kettle to boil.
Keep Track

Create a tracker, or use you phone to keep a record of each time you perform the new behaviour.

  • What happens if you skip one? – Research has shown that skipping a habit once, no matter when it occurs, does not impact your long-term progress. Rather than trying to be perfect, abandon an all-or-nothing mentality.
  • Get back on track – What's important is how quickly you get back on track. Make a commitment not to skip two in a row.
Reflect

As you practice your new behaviour, reflect on the process, and capture your thoughts in the box below. We've included some questions to help prompt your thinking.

  • What did you notice about your motivation as you practiced your new habit?
  • How easy did you find it to stay on track?
  • Did it begin to feel like a habit?
  • What were the barriers?
  • What could have helped?
  • What would you do next time?

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[Example] Myth - It takes about 21 days to form a new habit

According to Phillippa Lally; a health psychology researcher at University College London, on average a new habit takes a little more than 2 months — 66 days to be exact — and as much as 254 days until it's fully formed.

You might want to include a template or a worked example to accompany your experimentation pre-work. Link this button to the file on Canvas or the client LMS/LXP.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

Aristotle

In this template you have seen a number of different ways that you can use the LearnBrix Builder to share Pre-work with participants.

It's worth remembering that although LearnBrix may be a new tool to you, the processes and skills you use to define your audience and design pre-work activities to align with the programme are the same as what you already use.

Let's take a look at an overview of the process for designing a Pre-Work LearnBrix.

Challenge

Design your Pre-work

Now you've seen an overview of the process, it's over to you to start designing Pre-work for your programme.

Here's a checklist to help you on your way.

Plan Pre-work activities

Before you start building anything in LearnBrix Builder, it's important to plan the Pre-work as an integrated part of the overall learning experience.

  • Audience and goals – know who your audience are and align the Pre-work with the goals of the programme.
  • Learning or performance outcomes – Define the learning or performance outcomes for each piece of Pre-work that will be set.
  • Design the activities – What do you want participants to do prior to attending the live session? Perhaps this is pre-reading, self-reflection, a diagnostic or an experiment.

    Remember, if you are asking participants to read or watch something, there should be an activity wrapped around this.
  • Integrate Pre-Work into the overall experience - be clear about how the outputs of the LearnBrix activities will be used within the live programme.

    As part of your programme design, be sure Pre-work is revisited in the session, so the value of completion is obvious to the participant. It’s frustrating to spend time on an activity if it’s never mentioned in the session.
Gather source content

Once you know what the activities are, the next step is to gather all the assets and content you need. The first place to look is in the Digital Asset Register (DAR) where you’ll find a library of existing LBS content that, with the appropriate licences and permissions, can be repurposed for new programmes.

  • Videos – What videos do you need? Gather links to videos you are repurposing or schedule in the production of new videos.
  • Images – Collect all the images you will use. You can find lots of these in the Brand hub, but you might want to commission new images for models or diagrams you are introducing.
  • Content – Write out the content you will include in the Pre-work. It's a good idea to do this in Word or a similar package. Make sure that you use the spell and grammar checker before copying it into LearnBrix Builder.
  • Assets – Create any additional assets you need to link to. For example: downloadable templates, checklists or instructions for offline activities.
Design the flow

Once you know what you need to include, the next step is to think about how you will present this in LearnBrix.

  • Chunking – Break the content down into manageable chunks and think about what type of content block would be suitable for each chunk.
  • Flow – What order will you present the information in? For example a simple Pre-work flow would be: Introduction, learning outcomes, subsection title, standard content, activity, summary, additional resources, signposting.
Content population

Next you are ready to start building your Prework LearnBrix!

  • Import a new LearnBrix template into your personal instance – You can either use a guided Pre-work template or, once confident, a blank template.
  • Add or edit the content blocks – If you're using this guided template, you can edit the existing blocks and tailor them to your content, or Add and Delete content blocks to match your learning flow.
  • Content population – Populate each block with the content you have collected or written.

    Note: If you are copying text from Word or another source, avoid having formatting on your source content. Simply copy the basic text and let LearnBrix Builder make it beautiful.
  • Upload assets – Upload any assets you will link the LearnBrix to. For example, videos are generally hosted on the LBS Vimeo account, other assets can be uploaded to the LMS (e.g. Canvas) course that will host the LearnBrix.
Review

It’s important to carefully check your Pre-Work in the LearnBrix builder before exporting it.

  • Preview – Review your Pre-work LearnBrix in Preview mode, this way you can check all the links work.
  • Visual checks - Does it look good? Have you got a good flow and included suitable images? Are there any typos that need fixing?
  • Links – Do all the links work? Check linked assets hosted on the LMS, external websites, videos and animations.
  • Stakeholder review – share your LearnBrix Preview with any other stakeholders that need to review and/or approve it before it’s published.
Export

Once you've finalised your content, the next step is to export it.

  • Export the finished LearnBrix – Exporting the project creates a zip file for you to download.
  • Upload the zip file to Sharepoint and DAR – Upload the zip file to the appropriate folder in SharePoint, and add your asset to the Digital Asset Register (DAR).
  • Share the file link with the developer – Create a file link to the zip file in DAR and share it, along with the project completion criteria, with the developer.
  • SCORM – The developer will package the LearnBrix into a SCORM file and return it to you.
Publish

The SCORM file is now ready to publish.

  • Upload the SCORM file – Upload the SCORM file to Canvas or the client LMS/LXP.
  • Final checks - take a final run through the content to check everything is as it needs to be.
  • Distribute – give participants access and distribute following the programme’s communications plan.
Need some more help?

This checklist has given you an outline of the process of creating a new LearnBrix Pre-work, but if you are new to LearnBrix Builder you might want some more detailed instructions and guidance. Download the file below for a step-by-step guide.

LearnBrix user manual
Summary

Edit this section to summarise the pre-work requirements and generate excitement for attending the live session

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Want to find out even more? See the ‘Additional Resources’ section at the bottom of this Challenge.

Additional resources
In addition to the pre-work, there may be an optional set of reading and resources for the programme. You can edit/delete/duplicate items here.

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Acknowledgements

If you have used images or other materials that need acknowledgements list them here. You can also use this content type for listing references.

  • Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash
  • Photo by Iker Urteaga on Unsplash
  • Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash
  • Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
  • Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash
  • Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash