LTGR Ep. #57 – “e-Learning with an Edge”

Susan and Dan explore the notion that a lot of e-learning courses lack an effective, catching beginning. This premise is one of the main points in an article entitled “Edge and Emotion – What e-Learning Programs Are Missing” which the LT Green Room hosts discuss in this episode.

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Show Notes:

Susan and Dan discuss the main points in “Edge and Emotion – What e-Learning Programs Are Missing” by Paul Clothier and Carmen Taran. This article can be found in the October 27, 2008 edition of e-Learning Guild’s Learning Solutions. (Sign up for an account – it’s worth it.)

The main premise is that a lot of e-learning courses (probably self-paced) lack an effective, catching beginning. The first 30 seconds are Carman Taran’s specialty.

Are instructional designers pressed from the same mold? Do they all begin with boring title slide, legal disclaimer and objectives?

First Dan talks about the benefits of having a good visual opening. Then they move to questioning as a beginning. Questions build relevancy and a need to know. Generate an edge by adding the emotional element.

How do you build anticipation? Dan shares a metaphor of a gift.

Color and aesthetics are also addressed in the article. Susan is reminded of an article by Judith Boettcher in Innovate Online about the idea of targeting critical content and allowing learners to build the details around that. (less is more) Ten Core Principles for Designing Effective Learning Environments

Cognitive tension: “…communication pieces that decode complexity and messy information … attract attention.” What do you know about your topic that you can help your learners decode? THAT is engaging!

Avoiding calorie-free language.

Carmen says your opening line is a promise to your learners.

Susan questions the subject mater expert and instructional designer relationship. Is an instructional designer neutral to the content?

Listeners, read the article and tell us how you engage your learners. What are your first 30 seconds like?

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One thought on “LTGR Ep. #57 – “e-Learning with an Edge””

  1. This make me think of a book I read called “Emotional Design” by Donald Norman. The book talks about how we design for three levels of emotion.

    Visceral – which is the gut reaction to something – it is what makes us say “I have to have one of those” – impulse items

    Behavioral – which is how we interact with it – does it work – how does it perform – etc

    Reflective – which is how we remember the experience – was it fun – was the experience satisfying – how might this be better – etc.

    I think that online course design can be much improved if we consider these aspects as well when creating a course. Certainly, the first 30-second hook would represent the visceral level as in the picture that grabs us. The questioning speaks to the reflective level and hopefully the layout is good enough to please the behavioral level as well.

    Great show!

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