Are your eLearners bored to tears, counting the minutes until the training session ends? If so, you haven’t motivated or engaged them. A fatal E-LEARNING DESIGN mistake is the one-way street training with little-to-no interaction from the learner. There’s no magic-bullet recipe to engage your learners and keep their attention, but a good start is to design to your audience while remaining true to the goals of the training. INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN COMPANIES have risen up to produce content and learning plans which have begun to replace the instructor in classroom training, so the next battle is to engage learners with relevant activities that relate to their real-world challenges.

Emotion: Wearin’ It on Your Sleeve

Content is never king. Emotion is always king. Why do people buy cars? To get from Point A to Point B? Hardly. They buy cars that engage their senses and their emotions, and often the cars reflect what they believe is their image or what they want to project to others. In sales, the sizzle sells, not the steak. In instructional design, you engage through sizzle so you can get buy-in on the steak (the content). Without tapping into senses and emotions, sales don’t occur.

Book Smarts vs. Street Smarts

Context is important, so today’s eLearning must be relevant, and the learner needs to know up front that it’s relevant to their workaday world. Unless you’re dealing with an older audience, they don’t care about why. They want to know the rest of the W’s (who, what, where, when) and how.

Interactivities: The Marriage of Interaction and Activities

Interaction and activities, engage the learner and provide assessment for immediate correction where necessary. The results of “interactivities” (interactions and activities) can lead to branching that moves along learners who “get it” and sends learners who need a review to a remedial module. Add a little fun to the mix, and you’ll engage them every time.