An article in thelearningrooms.com caught my eye this week. It explores the concept of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in relation to the online learning environment and ‘designing these in’ are advocated. Read the full article by clicking here.
Research and theory tells us that learners want a degree of autonomy, to feel challenged but not overwhelmed and to feel personally connected, so what can learning designers do to fulfil these elements? Here are some ideas:
- ‘Design for confidence’ – make things make sense! Objectives, sign posting, pattern and bite size all spring to mind here, as do visuals, icons, menus and order.
- ‘Exploring’ – increase autonomy with stretch material, flexible navigation tools, provide interactive aspects and infographics; let learners control their own route through the learning and reward them as they go with badges and feedback.
- ‘Challenge’ – balance the level of difficulty; provide the push but also support with examples. Make the challenges fun by using quizzes, with added timers, limited attempts, and again badges, feedback and even leader boards.
- ‘Emotion’ – get them engaged and even immersed in the content by connecting through personal experience. Provide interactive scenarios which are relevant and help them apply new knowledge and get instant feedback.
- ‘Mistakes’ – the adage is true we do in fact learn by our mistakes – and therefore its ok to make mistakes! ‘Set them up to succeed’ so give chances to practice and use plenty of quick fire formative feedback throughout.
It would be great to hear your thoughts on this so please join in the discussion, why not think about the following questions?
- What is your experience of online learning in relation to motivation?
- Which of the design ideas have you experienced as a learner? Did they boost your motivation?
- Which of the ideas could you take back to your organisation and incorporate into your learning design? Why those ideas specifically?
- Can online learning really have motivation ‘designed into it’ or will face to face learning always have the edge?
- What other ways can you think to boost motivation when designing online learning?