Grabbing Attention and Motivating Learners in E-Learning #93

Gaining Attention in E-Learning #93: Challenge | Recap

As course designers, it’s our job to come up with creative ways to keep learners tuned in and receptive to the material. Before we jump into the challenge, let’s look at a few ideas for gaining attention and motivating learners.

Personalize Your Course with a Quiz or Poll

I’m a big fan of the way USA TODAY’s SnapShots grab attention by using simple chart graphics. The same approach could be used to makeover learning objectives.

Personalize Your Course with a Quiz or Poll

Typically, courses begin with objectives written from a company’s perspective, not the learners. But if you rework the objectives, you can personalize them for your learner:

Personalize Your Course with a Quiz or Poll

Here's where you can learn more about using the SnapShot model to grab attention in e-learning:

Challenge Perceptions

Learners are motivated when their beliefs and opinions are challenged. When you challenge their perceptions, you pique their interest and that’s a great way to grab their attention!

For example, many people think the less education you have, the more likely you are to steal. But the evidence shows that, in fact, people with college degrees and high school diplomas are just as likely to steal.

So, the first slide of this workplace theft course might look something like this:

Challenge Perceptions

View an example of challenging perceptions

Open with a Short Video to Set Up the Course

I really like the way Ryan and Anna used video and music to introduce their Broken Co-worker course. The video effects combined with comic book chat boxes also helped create a visual surprise that grabs your attention.

Open with a Short Video to Set Up the Course

View Broken Co-worker

Use Video Interludes to Introduce Your Course Concepts

You don’t have to create the high-quality video production style used in Broken Co-worker to grab your learner’s attention. Sometimes it’s more than enough to just get in front of the camera and talk to your learners like a (gasp!) real person.

I really like how Chris Orwig uses video introductions to kick off each chapter in his Photoshop training.

Use Video Interludes to Introduce Your Course Concepts

View the Creative Tip Interlude

State a Surprising Fact to Pique Their Interest

Sometimes a simple fact, quote, or statistic is enough to grab your learners attention. I like how Jackie opens her Ebola Crisis example using a line of text. Her course intro also includes appropriate music that also helps set the mood. 

State a Surprising Fact to Pique Their Interest

View Faces of the Ebola Crisis

Challenge of the Week

This week your challenge is to show one or more examples of how you grab attention and motivate learners.

You don’t have to build a polished or high-production example! We’re just looking for ideas in this challenge. Please feel free to share a rough draft or demo that goes just far enough to give us an idea of what’s possible.


Now that we have your attention, it’s time we shared some resources with you.

Last Week’s Challenge:

Before rush off to make your entry the center of attention, take a few moments to check out last week’s course navigation challenge:

15 Examples of Guided Tours and Navigation Instructions in E-Learning #92

Course Navigation Instructions #92: Challenge | Recap


Wishing you a attention-grabbing week, E-Learning Heroes!

New to E-Learning Challenges?

The weekly challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. I’ll update the recap posts to include your demos.