In this article, I’ll offer some tips on how to create eLearning courses that appeal to learners’ emotional nature so as to engage and motivate them. Always remember that every aspect of your e-Learning course, from the fonts to the images you will choose to use, can have a direct impact upon the feelings and the learning capacity of your learners.
To develop eLearning courses that are meaningful and powerful for the learners, emotional connectivity is a key aspect. They have to feel as though they have the encouragement and positive motivation they need to succeed, or else they simply won’t play an active role in their own learning process. Creating emotionally driven eLearning courses can give you the opportunity to offer your audience a memorable and engaging educational experience every time.
How To Design Emotionally Driven eLearning Courses
- Use stories and real world examples to make the content relatable.Interesting and compelling stories have the power to make the learners feel emotionally invested, while real world examples allow them to see how the subject matter relates to their personal and/or professional lives. Create stories that include memorable characters and a plot that both entertains and engages the learners. Additionally, include a variety of real world examples that allow them to link the lesson to concepts or ideas that they encounter in their everyday lives. Feeling connected to the content is key when you’re trying to create emotionally driven eLearning courses. The learners have to feel as though they are immersed in the learning experience, and that what they are learning is not only relevant, but beneficial to them when they step outside of the virtual classroom. If at all possible, use examples and stories that not only illustrate key points of the lesson, but create an emotional pull that makes them want to learn even more.
- Graphic design creates visual engagement.The fonts, layout, and even the colors you use all have a direct impact upon the emotional engagement of your learners. Using bold and bright colors might be inspiring and motivational, while dark or drab colors might have the opposite effect. The key to choosing the right graphic design elements is to determine which emotion you’re going for. For example, if you are trying to create a more fun and playful eLearning course that deals with a more lighthearted subject matter, then using more whimsical fonts and vibrant colors may help to achieve that effect. On the other hand, if you’re creating a training module that is for compliance training, you may want to incorporate clean and crisp fonts and use colors that are more subdued. Before you commit to a particular font, color scheme, and the overall layout, try working with a few different combinations to see which conveys the emotion you are striving for. Then, have a few learners or focus group participants use the eLearning course and afterward survey them to see which emotions were evoked. This way, you can easily determine which particular graphic elements are triggering the right emotion. As a general rule, vibrant and bold colors, such as red or orange, typically evoke feelings of excitement or power. More subtle colors, like lavender or soft blue, will help to relax learners and make them feel calm, which might be ideal for quizzes or assessments, when they may be feeling anxious.
- Never underestimate the power of a well chosen image.The images you use for your eLearning course design have the power to stir a variety of emotions in your learners, all depending upon the nature and content of the image. For example, if you include a photograph of a woman who looks empowered and self assured, then your learners are more likely to feel the same way. Conversely, if you include an image that shows a man who looks stressed or worried, your learners will pick up on this and it may have a direct impact upon their feelings about the eLearning course or subject matter. So, when selecting the images (each and everyone) you’re going to use, it’s important to think about how it will impact the learners. It goes far beyond the quality of the image or how and where it is placed on the page, but it’s all about the emotions that the image will trigger in your learners. As is the case for your graphic elements, you’ll want to figure out which emotion you are trying to trigger when you’re choosing your eLearning images. To create the most effective emotional learning experience, you have to include images that reflect the tone and message of your overall eLearning course, and serve to put the learners in the correct mindset. For instance, if you want them to feel uplifted and motivated to learn, then you need to include images that are powerful and inspirational. If you want them to be relaxed and ready for a big exam, include images that are more calm and serene.
- Interactive scenarios help to make the learners feel more connected and immersed.Creating interactive eLearning courses can help learners to feel as though they are receiving a personalized learning experience. Integrating scenarios into your deliverables can help you to boost interactivity and make your learners feel more connected and immersed. This is due to the fact that they are able to fully explore the subject matter and make decisions based upon previously acquired knowledge, and then gauge the consequences of those decisions through a well designed scenario. They, essentially, become part of the story, rather than just being a passive observer. This leads to emotional commitment, given that their choices have a direct impact upon the outcome of the scenario. Through this process they not only gain a better comprehension of the subject matter, but become more confident in their ability to solve problems. They also learn how to effectively apply their knowledge and skills, which can boost retention.
It’s a proven fact that emotionally driven eLearning experiences are more powerful and more profound for the learners. So, utilize these tips when creating your next e-Learning deliverable to enhance the emotional engagement of your learning audience.
Last but not least, if you are interested to know how to create aesthetically pleasing e-Learning courses, I highly encourage you to check the 7 Tips to Create Aesthetically Pleasing eLearning Courses.
Guest Author: Christopher Pappas is founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict