Ask Articulate: How do I make dry content engaging?
We asked our community members to share their most challenging projects. Here’s one of the responses we received.
How do you make law sound interesting and stimulating to either listen to or read?
My students are in their first year of an undergraduate Professional Policing degree course. As part of their program, they have to learn the practicalities of the law—the “what’s in it for me?” stuff.
Traditionally we’ve done this using PowerPoint slides, but these tend to be flat, bland, and boring. My goal is to make learning fun, inspiring, and more visually attractive.
Here’s an example of one of our PowerPoint presentations so you can see what we’re working with.
Any help, advice, or guidance would be truly appreciated!
I had a look at your PowerPoint deck and I can see why you’re finding it challenging to turn it into an engaging course.
The first thing that stood out to me was the sheer amount of content—there’s just so much! To make it more digestible, I would divide it up into a series of micro-learning courses. That way learners can take in as little—or as much—as they feel comfortable with in one sitting.
The second thing I noticed is that the law articles outlined in this presentation appear to have been more or less copied and pasted onto the slides. And given the nature of legal jargon, this leads to the content feeling dry and uninteresting.
But as anyone who’s passionate about the law will tell you, in reality it’s anything but! One way to make the content more engaging and also help students understand how it applies to real life is by building scenarios.
For example, instead of a static, text-heavy PowerPoint slide like this ...
… you could create an interactive, scenario-based slide like this, using Storyline 360:
View interactive version | Download template
To come up with realistic scenarios, you could try asking real-life police officers if they can remember any situations where they were unsure about whether they could lawfully do X or Y. Another idea would be to use the real-life scenarios that led to the creation of the laws (if applicable) to demonstrate why they’re important.
If you’ve never written a scenario before, be sure to check out this article for more advice on how to go about it: 7 Tips for Writing Effective E-Learning Scenarios.
Hopefully these suggestions—along with the above scenario template—will help you get started transforming your PowerPoint presentations into truly immersive learning experiences your learners will love.
Feel free to reach out with any additional questions.
Want to try your hand at creating interactive scenarios, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 30-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any questions, please share them in the comments.
Hi Bernard This is what struck me: Your 'audience' are Professional Policing degree students. Therefore this should be interesting and crucial topic for them. If they will shortly be responsible for arresting people correctly, they should be interested. If they're not, something is very wrong. I'd think of the topic in terms of Skills, Knowledge, Attitude and Awareness and create your objectives along those lines. That will give you a clearer idea of what you want to achieve. It will also show you what can be realistically achieved. One you've done that, you have to decide which 'tools' you have available and which of those will help the students best. (Personally, I wouldn't use 'realistic scenarios', I'd go for actual case studies as these are, in my view more pertinent, and ... Expand