Motivating job seekers with storytelling and rewards-based learning.
Kadima Careers' kJAM (Kadima Job Acquisition Method) course was lacking gamification and learner feedback to take the experience to the next level.
I provided these deliverables in partnership with the team within 2 weeks.
Responsibilities: Instructional design, visual design, project management, client management
Tools: Illustrator, Adobe Acrobat, Kajabi (LMS), Google Docs
Increased utilization and engagement by Kadima Career's clients.
Define the goals
Kadima Careers provides learning, coaching, and resources to help underrepresented talent land jobs at their top companies and, ultimately, accelerate their career.
Alan, the CEO, and the team was finalizing the content for their kJAM (Kadima's Job Acquisition Method) course when we met. They were looking for ways to gamify the learning experience and gather data from learners throughout the course to ensure they got the support needed.
In the discovery session, we defined these objectives:
Business goal: Accelerate 1 million careers by:
Getting people jobs quickly
Increase the percent of those people getting jobs
Increase their compensation
Audience: Registered course participants learning to interview and get an offer at their target technology company.
Learning objectives: At the end of the course, learners would be able to:
Apply for jobs using Kadima Career's GROWTH framework.
Identify how much progress they've made in the course.
Complete the actions of the module to land a job offer.
Experience map (interactive PDF)
Check-in surveys per milestone completed
The proposed solution to address Kadima's gamification and learning assessment needs: experience map, check-in surveys througout the course, and a rewards system.
I compiled several ideas into an inspiration board and the Kadima team and I brainstormed additional ones (blue text). We liked the concept of learners "steering" their career and taking action on their job search.
Create the experience and story
After aligning on the learning objectives and outcomes, I proposed a three-part solution that we'd execute in two weeks, just in time for the launch:
Experience map - an interactive PDF with a theme that guides the participant through the course and makes it fun and engaging
Check-in surveys - quick points of contact with the participant to check in and see how they're doing, provide support as needed, and gather feedback on the module
Rewards system - provide incentives that encourage the learner to continue and are operationally feasible for the small Kadima team
Overall, these elements added connection, storytelling, and results-driven behaviors to drive participants to complete the course—and ultimately, increase their chances of landing that job offer.
What theme would wrap this whole story together? Participants should feel empowered to take control of their career journey, even through the ups and downs.
I first proposed a music tour theme: the "kJAM music tour," with the participant as the "musician of their soundtrack." However, Alan made a good point that Kadima's brand is all about "steering your career." In the end, we landed on a roadtrip theme: the "kJAM road trip: you're the driver of your career." The experience map outlined the GROWTH framework, with each "stop" (module) listing the key deliverables to complete, followed shortly with a "check-in" (short survey) to share how they're doing and any feedback they have.
The Kadima team and I brainstormed and iterated on the rewards system and check-ins that would incentivize participants to complete key actions and provide feedback throughout the course.
Incentivize with valuable rewards
Now came the real challenge, how do we thoughtfully incentivize participants to complete key deliverables?
In learning, it's important to motivate learners and provide support throughout rather than at the end. Through multiple brainstorming and feedback sessions, the Kadima team and I focused on providing incentives after participants completed each module (a "stop" along the GROWTH framework) along with providing feedback (a "check in"). We also focused on rewards they could use in their job search, such as 1:1 or group sessions with a Kadima coach to get feedback on their resume.
The next challenge was how to make these incentives operationally manageable for the small Kadima team. This involved a lot of discussion and thoughtful questions with the team to ensure supporting the incentive was manageable now and scalable for the future.
In the end, we were happy with the initial version of the incentives system, with the plan that the Kadima team will iterate and refine as they go.
Check in with intention
If you're asking learners to perform yet another task, there has to be a clear benefit for them.
The Kadima team was looking for ways to provide support to struggling participants as well as gather feedback for future improvements. I introduced the concept of a "check-in": a short survey (less than five questions) with intentional questions. When participants complete all deliverables for a "stop" (module) and check in, they'd be eligible for a reward (the clear benefit).
I created an initial set of questions for each check-in and the Kadima Team reviewed and provided feedback. The questions were short and intentional so it'll feel like rest stop along the journey rather than a survey (cause no one likes to take surveys!). We also built it within the course's LMS, Kajabi, for a seamless user experience.
I partnered with the Kajabi analyst on the team to build the surveys in the LMS.
The Experience Map introduced at the beginning of the course is an interactive PDF that guides participants through the road trip as they "steer the course" of their job search.
Guide learners along the journey
Stories add connection and relevancy to the content.
Building upon the road trip theme, I built an interactive PDF guiding participants along the course. It sets a fun tone, clearly outlines actions to complete, and helps them navigate the course.
Since the GROWTH framework is the foundation of the kJAM course, I created a background visual of the acronym as the path of the road trip. Each "stop" on the trip clicked to the module in the course with an itinerary of actions they must complete. Each "check in" after a stop took participants to a quick survey with less than 5 questions. A reward is given if the participants completes each stop's itinerary and checks in.
The Kadima team provided feedback on language and actions as the SMEs, which help us land the final version above.
The landing page of the kJAM (Kadima's Job Acquisition Method) course.
The experience map is introduced at the start to help participants navigate the stops (modules) in the course.
At the end of a stop (module), participants can check in to share how they're doing, provide feedback, and earn a reward.
An example of a question in a check-in. We had to work through some limitations with the Kajabi questionnaire feature, but ultimately thought it was important to keep participants within the course (rather than another survey platform) for a user-friendly experience.
An example of a reward after a check-in is completed. We focused on rewards that participants could immediately apply in their job search.
The last step was applying the road trip theme and materials to the course in the Kajabi LMS.
This involved updating the imagery and language in the course and within the modules to ensure consistency.
Finally, I facilitated a hand off meeting with the Kadima team. I provided future recommendations (from low to high effort) that would support the theme even further, such as in marketing materials and video updates. I also conducted a retrospective, which I like to do to recognize everyone's efforts and also learn for future partnerships.
I was proud that we were able to do all of this work in two weeks! It was a team effort, and I'm excited for the success of Kadima Careers.
On the client
"I met Christina through a mutual friend when I was seeking help building out an online course. I was told Christina had expertise on learning design, and wow, did she deliver on the goods.
Christina has a passion for the user and thinks through how they will interpret and learn from course material. She asked questions that I didn't even consider asking and her approach was thorough.
What really set Christina apart though was her professionalism and organization. She took diligent notes from our meetings, captured all the action items, and drove the project forward.
Despite a tight timeline, and Christina entering late in our process, she delivered above expectations. She helped us to build gamification into our online course which has led to increased utilization and engagement by our clients.
Perhaps the biggest way I can express my appreciation for Christina's skills is that after she delivered on our first project, we signed up to work with us again on a much larger endeavor that will impact many more clients.
Christina is a pleasure to work with, cares about the user experience, and takes her job seriously. I highly recommend her to anyone looking to uplevel their learning and development efforts. If anyone has further questions as they evaluate partnering with Christina, feel free to contact me as I will gladly sing her praise."
Alan Stein / Founder, CEO & Chief Accelerator @ Kadima Careers