5 Tricks To Gain A Learner’s Attention

How To Gain A Learner’s Attention

The world is slowly moving away from traditional learning methods and embraces eLearning as one of the most effective and accessible delivery methods. Knowledge is no longer reserved exclusively for those who can afford to attend college and there are very few barriers for people who want to learn. In 2015, the eLearning industry was worth a whopping $ 107 billion dollars – this number is only expected to grow through 2016 and 2017. This is because learning is an imperative in today’s society. Acquiring new knowledge is an ongoing process for adults who wish to stay competitive in a global market. Companies invest a lot of money to make sure that their employees can keep track with numerous new processes and new emerging technologies. Unfortunately, eLearning is not without its challenges. Instructors struggle with how to gain and keep the learner’s attention.

This doesn’t only apply to young learners – they are fickle enough to interest. Adult learners who opt into an eLearning program also struggle with finish their courses – research shows that only 28 % of content on a web page is read and understood and that is by people who are interested in it.

Instructors need to be on their toes constantly in order to get learners to pay attention to the material they’ve carefully prepared. Here are some tips and tricks on how to get and keep a learner’s attention.

1. Compare Old And Familiar To New And Exciting

When teaching concepts that learners might consider boring or familiar, it pays to present them in a way that is new and exciting by comparing it with something that people didn’t encounter yet. Research shows that the brain is tickled by new concepts and will pay more attention to things it didn’t yet encounter. New and surprising facts are difficult to ignore and they help learners focus their attention.

The process of comparing and using metaphors also helps with focus – instructors that are teaching brand new concepts should also focus on tying them in with something that learners already know, so they have an easier time retaining that new knowledge.

2. Use Visuals Wherever Possible

Visual content is the most shared content on the internet for a reason – people are visual beasts. Only 10 % information we hear or read is retainable. However, when new information is paired with an image, retention skyrockets to impressive 60 %.

Whenever possible, instructors should use relevant pictures and images that illustrate the points made on the page – fluffy images can be counter-productive and cause learners to skim content faster, since they can’t pair the information with them. One of the best solutions for presenting complicated and difficult information is presenting them in the form of an infographic.

3. Emotionally Charged Storytelling Gets Results

Why are people willing to spend hours in front of the TV but aren’t so keen on spending the same amount of time studying? It’s because TV is full of emotion and storytelling. Structuring lessons and giving them a narrative that is simple to follow helps people go through the content methodically and with understanding and using emotion to emphasize key points makes them more invested in what they are learning.

Use surprise and sprinkle your lessons with awe-inspiring moments and chemical reactions in the brain will ensure that people walk away from their lessons interested and eager to learn more.

4. Question Learners At Every Turn

There is a difference between teaching in a classroom and teaching students that are sitting at home in front of their computer – those in the classroom listen whether they want to or not. However, people in front of their computer have million other distractions an instructor has to compete with. One of the best ways of keeping people interested and participating is asking questions.

Those questions do not have to be answered every time – people don’t need to write down their response or draft an essay on the subject. The process of inviting learners to question concepts and new ideas is enough to get them to actively participate and think while they are reading or listening to the course material.

5. Keep It Simple – Cut Out The Fat

Instructors often try to convey too much information in a single lesson, both in the classroom and to students over the internet. This is a mistake – people don’t have the time to cover every topic down to its smallest details. Keep lessons simple and easy to follow and trim out the unnecessary fat that bloats the course to epic proportions. Make sure every lesson is carefully planned and use lists that will make it easier for people to skim content and focus on things that they are really interested in.

Final Thoughts

Combining these strategies will help you become a more effective instructor and your learners –both young and adult– will be able to cover more ground efficiently. They will learn more from a carefully structured small lesson that is packed with visuals and ties into their personal experience than from a huge course pack that disregards their interests, learning habits, and time-constraints.

If you are an eLearning instructor with a couple of attention-grabbing aces up your sleeve, make sure to drop down by the comments section and tell us about them. We’d love to hear what you have to say about gaining a learner's attention!

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