Many studies reveal that learners feel more interested and engaged when they connect emotionally to the course. In a traditional learning platform, the trainer handles this emotional component as he/she interacts in person with learners in the class. However, e-learning courses are self-paced, devoid of any external stimulation for such emotional component. We cannot assume that all learners who are taking an online course are self-driven, and take efforts to complete the course on their own. Just as an instructor is responsible to establish an emotional connect with the subject during a classroom session, course developers need to work on eLearning courses to make them richer by adding an emotional component to it. How do you do that?
Taking few points from e-learning guild’s e-magazine on learning design strategies, let us see how courses can be designed with emotional connect:
- Firstly, you gain the attention of learners by highlighting the consequences if they do not acquire the knowledge available from the course. For example, take a safety training course that is required to be taken by workers in a manufacturing plant. Show learners through pictures or videos about the consequences of not knowing safety precautions to be followed while working in the plant. On the other side, you can also talk about benefits of knowing about the correct practices in handling equipment – both for workers as well as for the organization. Such approaches act as motivating factors for learners.
- Once you succeed in getting learners’ attention, you can then elaborate in detail about what they are going to learn from the course. Convey this as an objective of the course. This expression should connect them. For example: “After this course you will be able operate the equipment correctly and safely according to the statutory requirements”.
- Once a connection is established, set a certain level of expectations in their minds about the course. This can be done by illustrating clearly what they cannot do now and what they will be able to do after completing the course. Explain concepts with the help of examples taken from their real work situations. These examples can be expressed in the form of stories supported by pictures and animation such that learners understand them and relate to them.
- Use games or exercises to enable them to practice their knowledge and once they complete the exercises or quizzes, celebrate their success with certain words of inspiration that can be motivating to them.
- Finally, it is good to end the course in such a way that learner remembers to apply the knowledge he acquired in relevant situations. Key takeaway tips or reminders could be provided to support learners retain the knowledge acquired to be applied on real job situations.
These are some of the ideas to add emotional component into e-learning courses. It does make learners more interested and engaged in online courses. Please do share your thoughts on the same.