This post originally appeared at Getting Smart on September 11, 2015.
How to engage learners? It’s a perpetual question for teachers and trainers. If it’s human development you’re after, engagement isn’t the goal but it is the engine. You won’t achieve your aims without it, especially if the desired learning requires hard sustained work.
We’ve been studying engagement and cataloging templates drawing from traditional research and new technology-enhanced approaches to user experience (UX) and learner experience (LX).
Many instructional designers use Terry Anderson’s interaction framework: learner to content, learner to instructor, and learner to peer learner interaction. These are important constructs but they don’t tell you how to structure a learning experience.
David Merrill provides a bit more guidance in his five principles of instructional design:
- learning is promoted when learners are engaged in solving real-world problems;
- learning is promoted when existing knowledge is activated as a foundation for new knowledge;
- learning is promoted when new knowledge is demonstrated to the learner;
- learning is promoted when new knowledge is applied by the learner; and
- learning is promoted when new knowledge is integrated into the learner’s world.
A designer admitted that “Designing an effective and efficient “instructional transaction” is the great mystery.”
While there are many variations, there appear to be six basic strategies for capturing engagement and initiating a learning cycle: (more…)