Wednesday, January 07, 2009
When the Content is Really Boring....
So you've got some great ideas on how to make your content more engaging, how to get the learner into the flow. But what do you do when the content itself is just plain boring?
You can't just send in the clowns. You can't put lipstick on that pig.
Sometimes you have to get in and out as quickly as you can, minimizing everyone's pain...
Admit to the learner upfront that the content may be dry. Set the expectation. And then remind them why they still have to learn this stuff.
Michael Allen urges designers to provide "meaningful and memorable learning experiences." In Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning he reminds us to motivate the learner by giving them the WIIFM (what's in it for me). Sell the course to the learner. Tell them why they care and what the personal advantages are. For more on learner motivation, read Tom Kuhlman's tips.
And, please, keep it short! Cathy Moore urges us to chop the basic fluff out of the course. Stick to the meat. Don't restate the obvious. Don't teach the learner what they already know. Don't go over material they've already been taught. Don't...oh wait, I'm getting verbose...
What do you do when you're handed a pile of content that makes you want to roll over and die of boredom?
Photo credit: Evil Clowns by Pink Moose