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How an Instructional Designer Can Evoke Emotions in eLearning?

Emotions are generally associated with desires and feelings, which help us perceive moods. A common insight to emotions is that they are irrational and cannot be trusted. Emotions in learning were never considered to be cognitive; Ever since the emotional quotient has been linked to the intelligent quotient, emotions are given a greater consideration in any form of learning.

Instructional design and other learning sciences have been making efforts to consider the role of emotions in learning.

When it comes to instructional designing there are numerous ways to generate emotions while learning, be it interactive or static. Even the most basic eLearning course can create a stimulus to emotion. Let’s take a look at a few ways in which learning and emotions go hand in hand.

Acknowledge emotions and respect your audience:

Most learners in an eLearning course are adults, and adult learners have a wide range of emotions and life experiences. So it is best to direct your course keeping emotions in mind; this can be done by stating how your course will help them to be more effective and capable. It is important never to underestimate your learners’ capability. For all you know, your learner can be a beginner in an organization or a subject matter expert. There is a fine line of distinction between being arrogant and souding ignorant in the tone of your teaching.

Weave a story:

Story telling is a very powerful tool to generate emotions; we are more connected to a particular subject when there is a scenario involved. It is a known fact that storytelling as a narrative is an age-old practice of transferring knowledge from generation to generation. Storytelling is ideal when there are case studies, scenarios, simulations, role plays and testimonials. Adding narratives to storytelling is the most effective because they generate emotions as well as keep the learners glued to the screen.

Generate emotion through background music:

Music today is an integral part of our lives; it dictates emotions and decides energy levels. It’s not only a great stress buster but it also elevates the tone of the course. Music can do wonders to human psyche; just like feature films utilize music for creating the maximum impact. E-learning too can emulate the same steps for a better and more engrossed learning experience. Music on the whole is a fun element that creates excitement and heightens imagination.

Imagery (use emotionally charged visuals):

It is always better to show rather than tell. Both pleasant and worrying images directly convey emotions. Pictures showing different expressions not only provide the right context but also arouse emotional reactions from the learner. Graphics and videos are stronger than images in terms of inciting emotion in learners. Even showing a simple process in the right way can create an emotional connection where the learner can imagine himself or herself in the situation.

In today’s society, emotions hold a higher significance, be it everyday life or learning. For humans emotions are the very core of our being. So it is desirable that we learn to inculcate emotions in anything and everything we do, even in eLearning! As learning never ceases, it is best to change with the trends of our times.

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