This post is about the approach of using humor in your eLearning courses. Often eLearning is boring and tedious, but it doesn’t have to be! With simple and freeware available on the Internet you can easily incorporate humor into your eLearning environment. By following Keller’s ARCS model you can motivate your eLearners!

Tips To Convert Your eLearning Course From Boring To FUN!

As many Instructional Designers know there are many theories one can develop their course based on. ADDIE is the most common, known to have evolved from the Dick and Carey model. Today I want to focus on one of my favorites which is the ARCS model of design created by John M. Keller (1979). This model actually solely focuses on getting the learner motivated to learn. Motivation of learners is a big component of the learning process and I strongly feel that if learners are not motivated, they are not going to be successful. So, first I would like to define motivation. The learner must feel like they are able to be successful at learning the content and the learner must value the content or no motivation will be there to learn.

Ok so the ARCS model is all about getting the learner to get motivated. As with a lot of other models the ARCS name is an acronym.

A-Attention

How are you going to grab the learners attention? This is where I like to incorporate humor. I recently started to implement animations into my eLearning course and my client LOVED them. Not only did I create them for FREE, but they also focus on the content to be learned. The animations do not take a long time to create and can easily be changed. I have created animations using https://goanimate.com . For example the Automotive company wants the  learners to know their “Core Values” so I made a short animation of a guy in a shop cheering the “Core Values.” http://goanimate.com/videos/0iGADthOKT7A?utm_source=linkshare  Yes, I agree it is a little silly, but you know what? Anyone that watches that animation will not be bored to tears and will have a hard time forgetting the “Core Values.”

R-Relevance

It is important and necessary to relate the content directly to the learner. In the next segment I put the learner into a real world situation where the employees are discussing the benefits of working for the Automotive company, http://goanimate.com/videos/0sa3WLlKgQjs?utm_source=linkshare

Actually, at first I created a video of the exact opposite, the learner was observing other employees from another “Generic” Automotive company, and they were complaining how they did not get the benefits they wanted and how they were not happy, and how they wanted to find a better job, but the client wanted it to be positive so I had to change it.  Either way the animation shows people of their position discussing the benefits of their job, this is directly relating to the learner, making it very relevant to each learner specifically.

C-Confidence

This step goes back to good teaching practices. Set up your learner for success. State the objectives in a simply clear manner. Tell the learner what to expect by setting realistic attainable goals. Make sure you design the instruction to build upon prior skills. If your learner is started off by doing something too hard they will immediately be discouraged and lose confidence and will not be motivated to learn.

S-Satisfaction

I believe this is easily attainable through the type of feedback you give. Why not put a silly sound of exclamation, “Yippeee!!!.” Not only to get the learner smiling but to instill their confidence level and assure them they are completing the task and are smart. Really spice up your feedback boxes with videos, images, sound effects. Articulate Storyline offers “characters” with different expressions that are easy to incorporate into the feedback boxes.

Please use Keller's ARCS model to inspire you to get the learner smiling. After all learning is supposed to be fun! So spice up your eLearning with animations, funny faces, silly sounds, and original images to keep your learner motivated.

References

Keller, John. 1987. Development and use of the ARCS model of instructional design. Department of Florida Research, vol 10,3.