What instructional strategies do you use to make your content more memorable and engaging? I'm not just thinking about the gadgets and the gizmos that you use or the instructional design "method" behind the process (e.g., ADDIE), but rather the teaching tools themselves. Strategies that help learners connect with and remember the content.
"King Phillip Came Over From Geneva Spain"
Remember that one from high school biology? I remember the mnemonic itself, but not all the terms. Something like: Kingdom, Phyllo, C?, O?, Family, Genus, Species.
Luckily, these days I can quickly search online for a refresher.
I missed Class and Order. And it's Phylum, not Phyllo. But not bad for knowledge I haven't used in 25 years.
Wikiquote has a lengthy catalog of mnemonics for a wide variety of subjects, from bartending to home repair.
Do you ever develop a mnemonic for a custom course? Or chunk out your content and create an easily remembered acronym to remind the learner of the steps they need to follow?
I don't know if I've ever done that. But I've got a mind to try it out one of these courses.
I had an interview with an instructional designer the other day, who's developed and led a lot of instructor-led courses. She described getting her learners to "snap things out."
She works with the content, chunks it out, and creates snappy rhymes to help learners remember the material. In class, she has the learners walk around the classroom, chanting the rhyme and snapping it out.
Things might get a bit silly with all that snapping, but I bet it's effective.
How could you do that in an e-learning experience? How do you get your learners to get snap happy?
I'm excellent at creating ridiculous rhymes and ditties for my kids; I think I could come up with something interesting for a course.
Create pauses in the activity to get the learner to stop and think; apply the content to their own world; make their own connections.
In a recent course, I designed "Think About It!" pages. The course asks the learner an open question. The learner can type their thoughts onto a yellow sticky pad on the screen. These aren't saved for managerial review, they're just a moment in time for that learner.
Time Well Spent
It takes more than rapid regurgitation of content to develop a mnemonic or create a snappy tune. My bet is many eLearning designers don't often have the time to develop creative instructional strategies. But, given the right course, it may be time well spent.
Here's a few more ideas off the top of my head:
- Case studies
- Role plays
What other strategies or approaches could you suggest?