July 20th, 2014 E-Learning

Anyone who has created elearning has at some point wondered if the training has the ability to capture, and then hold, the learner’s attention.

There is a lot of theory in this area, it is a topic that could result in thousands of words in explanations and various strategies. Instead of going into that level of detail, I will present 10 ways to grab a learner’s attention as depicted in an infographic created by Shift ELearning.

You may already be aware of a few of these, perhaps using them unknowingly because of previous experience. While all these will certainly yield results, I personally find that appealing to emotions is a better strategy for live training because you can control the tone of delivery (although be careful on how you go about using emotion to drive home a key learning point).

When it comes to attention grabbers, nothing works better than controversy. Even if it’s in the form of a fun story or claim, it’s a sure way to get the learner engaged. This doesn’t mean you need to be controversial, in fact you really shouldn’t (unless that’s the point of the elearning).

The one item that is not depicted in this infographic is “variety”. Specifically, you should use a variety of ways to grab attention and present information. People get bored easily, so try to keep things fresh by alternating between graphics, charts, text, stories, interactions, lists, and so on. The last thing you want is your training to become predictable.



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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


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This topic reminds me of a theory that was very popular in the 1980’s and 1990’s called ‘Accelerated Learning”. I DO think that the senses can be effectively engaged in eLearning and thus contribute to Learner’s retention of the material. Implementing that theory along with your ’10 things’ will make for a memorable, engaging product.

Avatar Meg Bay

Adding emotion to elearning is an important ingredient that can make the training more flavorful. Through design, feelings like anxiety; apprehension; motivation can be interspersed during the online program to keep learner wanting for more.

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