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How to get your students attention

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How To Grab Your Learner’s AttentionEdtech

According to Gagne’s nine events of instruction, “Gain Attention” is the first key step taken into consideration when designing a training program/course. The basic idea is to grab the learner’s attention. I am a great fan of this “Gain attention” strategy. The first few seconds/minutes of a training program plays a crucial role in deciding its fate. The learner may just leave the training in the middle or click “Next” continuously to complete it. If the first impression is not positive, the great Instructional Design strategies may just fall on deaf ears.

"Gain Attention" strategies play an effective role in eLearning. It has the power to increase the motivational level of your learner.

Gaining attention:

  • Arouses the learner’s curiosity.
  • Sets an expectation in the learner’s mind: What’s in the training for me?/ What is the training all about?
  • Makes the learner think about a particular concept: Really?/ No way!/ So true!
  • Helps the learner grasp what is going to be covered during training.

Basically, a Gain Attention strategy will build a curiosity in the learner’s mind to see what comes ahead. The learner will actually be interested in taking the training program.

Now, the question arises: “What qualifies as a Gain Attention strategy?”

11 Key Elements Of “Gain Attention” Strategies

All of the following can qualify as a Gain Attention strategy:

  1. Pretests.
    Ideal for learners who believe they know everything and there is nothing more to learn. The objective is to enable the learners to understand where they stand at the beginning of the training program. Example: Before staring the training, let us answer a few questions. 
  2. Throwing a challenge.
    This holds good for demotivated learners. Example: You are a technical assistant. You have several customers who require your assistance. How many customers can you serve in a day? 
  3. Presenting a problem to be solved.
    Builds the curiosity in the learner to solve the problem. Example: You have been appointed as a manager of a team whose performance has been very poor over the past few months. How will you motivate your team and ensure that each member gives his/her best? 
  4. “Did you know?”
    Share facts that will really inspire and surprise the learners.
  5. Comic strips.
    Use comic characters to talk about a particular topic/situation.
  6. Scenarios.
    Make the learners understand with a scenario or through characters in a scenario. Example: There’s a city where many school going children have been missing over the last two months. You, being a part of the investigation department, have been assigned this case. You need to go to the city and solve the mystery.
  7. Minimal onscreen text.
    Present information in a concise and accurate manner.
  8. Stories.
    Making the learners understand through a story is a great tool to impart knowledge. Explaining the concept with the help of a story conveys learning through emotions.
  9. Images.
    Depicting the concept using relevant images makes the training program interesting.
  10. Videos.
    Videos act as the easiest form of instruction to explain a complicated process.
  11. Activity.
    No doubt, doing is better than seeing. Activity reinforces the process of learning.

Using the different types of Gain Attention strategies stated above, one can develop an effective eLearning course that is highly engaging and of learner’s delight.

There are several other innovative ways to design grabbing attention screens. If you have come across any of these, please feel free to share them.

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