As an instructor at General Assembly, a Global Tech Bootcamp, I discovered that the local onboarding process for new instructors was unsustainable, unscalable and unsuccessful. How did poor onboarding effect the Instructors, the students and the business? And how can we design a better onboarding process?
General Assembly's main product offering is 10-12 week long immersive learning that provides people with the skills to get a job in the tech industry. With 20 campuses in 6 different countries and around 40,000 alums (this includes part-time and online courses) GA's impact in both the tech ed and job markets is strong and growing.
However, as the tech ed market becomes increasingly competitive, GA's success hinges on their ability to deliver on their value proposition.
I broke the Value of GA educational product offerings into two main components:
1. Success of the courses, meaning the ability of students to get a job post-course
2. Quality of the GA experience, which includes a variety of factors: the curriculum, the campus facilities, the peers and of course, the instruction.
Why Invest in Onboarding?
Instructional Quality is a fundamental driver in the delivery of GA's Value Proposition - successful and consistent instructor onboarding is the tool to ensure company wide instructional quality.
The current process for onboarding new instructors is decentralized -
with each local campus implementing its own communications & processes. In Los Angeles, most of the know-how of how to teach each course lives within people, which proved to be a problem when I was tasked with onboarding 3 new instructors at once while also leading a classroom.
Through a variety of evaluation methods, my co-instructor and collaborator, Katharine Hargreaves, and I dug into the current onboarding process in Los Angeles to:
Uncover systemic onboarding issues
Discover how these issues impact quality of experience for both Instructors and Students
Assess the business impact of poor onboarding.