I just read an interesting post titled: Hooking learners with a simple story by Kevin. I appreciate that he has shared some good examples to show how you can start a course with a story line to get the learners interested in the course.
This post also reminded me of my post on Attention Grabbers which I wrote sometime back.
Instead of starting a course with learning objectives, it is a good idea to introduce the course with a story or an exercise. This would motivate the learners to take up the course and morever it immediately conveys the relevance of the course to the learner.
But then desgning attention grabbers can be challenging. The first challenge comes with your creative thinking. You have to generate interesting and creative ideas to design your attention grabber. Using similar ideas for every course might not be effective. This is just like creating an advertisement for a product. Advertisements work wonders when it comes to luring people to buy the product. The product gains popularity through advertisements. But then some advertisements stay in your mind and make you want to try the product and some don’t.
Similarily, the beginning of a movie makes an impact on you. There have been so many times when I haven’t felt like watching a movie because the beginning was not that great.
Even games have attention grabbers. Pick up any game, you just dont get into the game immediately. There is always a story to start with. This makes the game interesting.
Games have lengthy text based stories and it just makes me press the Skip button. I have seen a couple of courses and even games, that start with a story but are majorly text based. You have a background image and you see text (story) coming up on the screen. You might just get tired reading so much stuff and you might just want to start off.
Such attention grabbers do no good. Therefore you need to put in lot of thought in designing the introduction of your e-learning course.
I prefer attention grabbers that are less text based and more visual.
Coming to attention grabbers in e-learning, scenarios, stories, images and exercises are some good building blocks . You generate some creative ideas for a course and using the building blocks, you create an effective attention grabber.
I remember having worked on a course targeted at freshers joining their first job. It was basically about dos and donts during the probation period in the first job. My colleageue suggested a very creative cartoon strips as the introduction slide for the course.
The first cartoon strip had a guy who looks happy having crossed lots of hurdles and because he thinks he has crossed the final two hurdles labelled Graduation and Job respectively.
Probably something like shown below:
Please note this comic strip has been randomly picked up from the web and tweaked a bit for llustration sake.
The next comic strip shows the guy surprised because he sees one more hurdle that he has to cross. The hurdle is labelled First Ninety Days in Your First Job.
Again something as shown below:
Please note the comic strip below has been randomly picked up from the web and tweaked a bit for llustration sake.
This simple comic strip conveys so much about the importance of the course. It touches upon the common notion of fresh graduates who think they have achieved all by graduating and seeking a job. The attention grabber here touches upon this generic notion and conveys the important message that it is extremely important to take the probation period in the first job very seriously.
I would like to share more such interesting attention grabbers whenever I come across one. Please do feel free to share some interesting attention grabbers, if you have one.
Filed under: Instructional Designing