In a recent post, we looked at some ways Snapshots can help us design the right look and feel for our courses. Because Snapshots are polls, they also offer some valuable instructional design ideas for building elearning courses. How?

For one thing, their content is familiar. Snapshots cover a wide range of topics—financial, health, safety, legal — similar to those you’re already bulding in corporate and higher-ed training departments. The same data you’re using to justify training can also be used to create interest in the training.

So grab your Snapshots playbook, and let’s get started!

Introduce a topic or module

Tried and true bullet points no longer grabbing your learners’ attention like they used to should have? Then try opening with a Snapshot to concisely gain your learners’ attention and communicate relevance.

Here’s how:

Let’s say you’re designing your company’s eCompliance training. In most cases, these courses are your everyday compliance courses that spell out why and how to use company email and internet responsibly. 

You could begin with a typical objectives slide…

Or, you could references pages 298-299 in your Snapshots guide:

This is great!  It's more personal and focused on the learner's behavior than the corporate Internet policy. Using this example as a guide, we can reframe our course introduction slide into something more meaningful for our learner:

Challenge perceptions

Snapshots are engaging because they capture our opinions on provocative topics. As elearning designers, we don’t want to sensationalize our content, but we can use similar techniques to engage our learners by challenging their perceptions.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re designing a module around ethics and workplace theft. Again, this isn’t a life or death topic, and most corporate employees will likely feel the course has little to offer them. But, you have a hunch there’s a Snapshot opportunity here, so you consult the business section and find inspiration on page 301:

This is a great example because the results could surprise many learners. Using a similar example, we could open our module with a quiz or poll. This is also a great use for Quizmaker’s Blank Slide to provide customized feedback to our learners. Here's an example:

Click here to view the Quizmaker example

Spaced learning events

Snapshots are too much fun to only use in courses. Pull them out of the course and use as spaced learning interactions. Create a series of Snapshots and send them to employees both before, and after, training events.  Then, use the polling results to design follow-up coaching activities. Also try posting Snapshots around your corporate intranet site and setting up a way for employees to send them to one another.

They’re like digital learning greeting cards—only better!

What do you think?

Using polls for learning isn't new. What I like about the Snapshots is the visual and provocative way they frame the poll questions.

So, what do you think? Could you use a Snapshots-style polls in your elearning? Is there too much emphasis on the visuals? Or, are the visuals essential when placing greater emphasis on elearning polls?

Post written by David Anderson

elisa Jackson
David Anderson