Like the last movie you watched, instructional design has the ability to evoke emotions, which can create a better overall response to the material. When learners become emotionally connected to the curriculum – whether it’s through humor, understanding, teamwork or another emotion – they enjoy better performance and understanding. Of course, unlike a movie, you don’t have access to actors and tearjerker storylines. Instead, you’ll have to use tools at your disposal to elicit an emotional response.
1. Get Personal Perspective
You’ll have a hard time imagining the emotional connection that learners have if you can’t form one yourself. By gaining perspective and viewing the instructional design from a learner’s point of view, you may be better able to see where a connection could be made. If you’re creating training materials based on a new sales method, for instance, consider not only how the new sales tactic will work, but how it will make the sales staff feel – relieved, energized, etc.
2. Utilize Emotional Imagery
Graphics and video have a way of creating an emotional connection that words sometimes miss. By utilizing graphics throughout the material, you’re better able to show rather than just tell. Even something as simple as showing the proper way to use a new tool can help create a positive emotional connection between the material and its application for future reference. In short, learners should be able to imagine themselves in the situation.
3. Create Personal Interactions
Being able to discuss, converse about and apply the new information with peers can help learners become more emotionally in-tune with the course material. Group discussions and social sharing allow learners to become emotionally invested in their course. The personal interactions create a positive learning environment and improve employee retention.