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Boredom-Proofing Learning Content: Making Learning Content Compelling October 9, 2009

Posted by Karen Lubrecht in e-SIG Presentations, Engaging e-Learners.
Tags: , ,

We were treated to an excellent presentation on how to make learning content compelling from Patti Shank, PhD, CPT, the president of Learning Peaks LLC, an internationally recognized instructional design consulting firm that provides performance and design consulting and training and performance support solutions.

Click here to view the recording. Use the slider in the lower left to skip the intro and jump to the 12-minute marker where Patti’s presentation begins, and use the slider in the lower right to turn up the volume.

Download the handouts, handout 1 , notes (1.7 MB pdf) and handout 2 , slide deck, (2.2 MB pdf), handout 3 , You’re Not In Kansas Anymore (3.6 MB pdf) and handout 4, Creating Content (28 KB pdf), before attending!

Session Overview

Compelling content, whether in an advertisement, story, video, greeting card, or billboard grabs and holds attention. Compelling content influences thoughts and behavior (and make no mistake, it is often written to do just that). Learning content, on the other hand, may be accurate, clear, and concise (all good stuff), but it is rarely compelling. How do we know? Easy. (Prepare yourself. This might pinch.) We (too often) force, compel, or push learners to “do” the course, and if we’re brutally honest, that’s about as compelling as taking out the trash. Not horrible, but far from gripping.

Shouldn’t learning materials grab and hold attention and influence thoughts and behavior? Well, yeah. (Duh.) Patti has been studying marketing content research (since that type of content is specifically designed to grab attention and influence thoughts and behavior) and analyzing the methods and techniques they use. Participants in the session will have the opportunity to

  • explore how human attention and memory favors certain kinds of content over others.
  • analyze techniques used by marketing and other content writers that capitalize on human attention and memory.
  • consider how to use these techniques to make learning content more compelling.


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