If we have designed a visually appealing and compelling training program. Do you think such training program is enough to glue the learners to their seats? Let us accept the truth that, for a learner our training program is just another training program. He/she will do any or all of the following while taking the training –take calls, chat, check mail, talk to a colleague, wonder how long the training program is going to last, and so on. I am sure everybody has done all these in school/college. So, why should our learners be any different?
Learner’s real world is full of distractions. So, it is very important to grab the learner’s attention. The first event “Gain Attention” out of Gagne’s nine events still holds good in today’s learning environment.
I am a great fan of this “Gain attention” strategy. The first few seconds/minutes of a training program plays a crucial role in deciding its fate. The learner may just leave the training in the middle or click ‘Next’ continuously to complete it. If first impression is not positive, the great ID strategies may just fall on deaf ears.
Gain attention strategy plays an effective role in eLearning. It has the power to increase the motivational level of your learner.
- Arouses the learner’s curiosity.
- Sets an expectation in the learner’s mind: What’s in the training for me?/ What is the training all about.
- Makes the learner think about a particular concept: Really?/ No way!/ So true?
- Helps the learner grasp what is going to be covered in the training.
Basically, a gain attention strategy will build a curiosity in the learner’s mind to see what comes ahead. The learner is actually interested in taking the training program.
We have talked enough about the importance of “Gain Attention”. Now, the question arises “What qualifies as a gain attention strategy?”
The different types of ‘gain attention’ can include:
- Pretests: Holds good for learners who believe they know everything and there is nothing more to learn. The objective is to enable the learners to understand where they stand at the beginning of the training program.Example: Before staring the training, let us answer a few questions
- Challenge: This holds good for demotivated learners.
Example: You are a technical assistant. You have several customers who require your assistance. How many customers can you serve in a day?
- Problem solution approach: Builds the curiosity in the learner to solve the problem.
Example: You have been appointed a manager of a team whose performance has been very poor over the past few months. How will you motivate your team and ensure that each member gives his/her best.
- Did you know?: Share facts that will really inspire and surprise the learners.
- Comic strip: Use comic characters to talk about a particular topic/situation.
- Story/scenario: Make the learners understand with a scenario or through characters in the scenario.
Example: There’s a city where lot of school going children have been missing over the last two months. You being a part of the investigation department, have been assigned this case. You need to go to the city and solve the mystery.
There are several other innovative ways to design grab attention screens. If you have come across any, please feel free to share them.