29 Replies
Steve Flowers

Great suggestion, Chris. Priming questions can be really helpful to the learning process. Good teachers use this technique in the classroom to get folks to orient to a topic before exploration. A lot of really great brain science behind priming.

Will Thalheimer points out the attention benefits of pre-questions in this report. Beyond attention, there is research that paints a strong link between authentic cues (some of the best questions are authentic cues) and the desired behaviors. Priming someone with the challenge gets their attention. But it does so in a way that opens them up to making a connection with the right answer. This is how I interpret the research, at any rate:)

Maria Pappas

I had to do an open enrollment training a couple years ago...tons of information, and not exactly the most intriguing topic. I created a "talk show" theme for the topic, there was a "host" who led the show, and had "special guests", the host also took "call in questions" and questions from the "twitter feed"...it was very well received. I think whenever you can incorporate several voices, that definitely helps. I've used a similar format (talk/news show) for several other courses and they've been very well received. And they've not always had tons of bells and whistles, music and sound effects are also a powerful tools. You can find tons of royalty free sound effects on youtube, you can extract the audio with this free tool: http://www.listentoyoutube.com/

Just be sure to read the "fine print" under the video, sometimes they really aren't "free" other times the creators just want credit. Good luck! 

Virpi Oinonen

I'm a cartoonist/storyteller (so not an e-learning designer), but I work with trainers who deliver training on VERY DRY topics (financial processes etc). I turn the basic process into a cartoon story (I use a lot of visual metaphors - that's what can be done with illustration). Often very tongue in cheek. But you do need to get an illustrator who can do that - not every artist can turn an abstract concept into a metaphor (hence you get a lot of graphics where people just talk... which is just a little bit better than reading a text).