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3 Ways to Make Boring ELearning Content Fun

Let’s say you have boring, but important, content.

It’s dry and not inherently interesting… and there’s a lot of it.

You try to make something fun, but it immediately dissolves into death-by-PowerPoint nonsense.

What do you do?

First, I’d shake those assumptions.

There’s no such thing as boring content, because ‘boring’ isn’t a real thing. Boredom is – it’s a reaction to something someone doesn’t find engaging.

Nothing in this world is boring to everyone.

That means there’s someone out there who’ll find your content fun.

Does that help you if most folks find it boring? Maybe not, but it’ll stop you seeing it as a hopeless, uphill battle.

The problem isn’t in the subject matter or the details you have to teach.

It’s in the delivery.

Luckily, there are three easy ways to make your eLearning more engaging… no matter how tedious your learners expect it to be.

You can incorporate these into any course – even if it’s as low-tech as a text-only forum.

It won’t add much (if any) to the time it takes to deliver.

And it’ll make your course work for your learners.

Sound too good to be true?

Like always, there’s a catch – it might take some deep thinking and a little work to implement these.

Okay, here we go:

The first and least powerful of the three is contrast.

All the best course designers know throwing a wall of text at your learners is a mistake.

But sometimes you have a lot of content you want to get across.

If you have to use this approach and can’t think of a way around it, change what your learners look at.

After a wall of text, the next slide/page/whatever could be a simple diagram.

Or a graph.

Or a chart, table (without too many words) or meme.

If each slide looks different, it can keep your readers engaged, even as you bombard them with a firehose of information.

Like I said, this is the weakest approach of the three… but it sure beats giving them nothing but endless paragraphs to read.

On to approach #2:

If you hate your content, you might be tempted to say something like:

“I know it’s Friday and I’m really sorry about this, but I have to read from the textbook. It’ll be boring but in order to certify you, with have to cover all of these points. Sorry.”

That’s why I told you to stop thinking about your content as boring. This awful delivery helps no one.

Instead, you could say:

“Welcome to the best part of the week, everyone! You have your textbooks in front of you, which have all the answers you’ll need in the future. Today, I’m going to go over a few of the more relevant parts for you. And who knows, we might just finish early and get a head start on the weekend!”

Same content, huge difference.

That’s why the second approach involves enthusiasm.

How do you get your dog excited?

By talking about its favourite treats – that is, focus on the content?

No – you could talk about anything with enthusiasm and they’ll like it.

I’m not saying your learners are only as smart as dogs. But humans and dogs get bored or interested in the same way as each other. If something doesn’t spark emotion in you, it’s clearly not worth paying attention to.

Do your learners a favour and show a little passion.

Approach #3:

I’m sure you know about the curve of forgetting – that graph that shows a week after your course, your learners will forget 90% of what you told them.

That research is true but it’s not the full story.

To test that, researchers got people to memorise dry facts – usually a list of random words.

But not all content is created equal.

Stories are highly memorable.

They’re more engaging to the brain and they help your learners contextualise the information. When you go into a case study of how someone used what you’re teaching them to make a billion dollars, they’re better able to remember and apply what you tell them.

Case studies, war stories, anecdotes – any of them will make your material fun and memorable.

I don’t care if you only teach over Twitter – you can use these three approaches to make even the most boring content fun.

This is one small part of my eLearning philosophy. With my Fun, Friends and Flexibility model, you can use 12 powerful principles to make any learning, in any medium, more engaging and effective.

Your learners will not only apply what you teach them… they’ll love you for making the course enjoyable.

You can learn all 12 principles – and see them in action – using my affiliate link below:

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/William_T_Batten/2522089

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Get SME Buy-In for Your Courses

It’s great when you’re a learning and development specialist, plus a specialist in the topic of the course.

But sometimes you need expert assistance.

Maybe to develop the course, maybe even to deliver it.

(If your course is intermediate or advanced, you have to at least know the basics. Those audiences will ask questions and if it’s clear you don’t know your stuff, you’ll lose them.)

Those precious subject matter experts (SMEs) who are keen to share their knowledge are worth celebrating.

Because most, in my experience, aren’t like that.

Either they don’t like course development or teaching, because it’s a distraction from their ‘real’ work… or they’re not good at it but they’re good at their job, so they go with what they’re comfortable with… or they don’t have the time to help you.

It happens.

What do you do to get SME buy-in?

There are a few sure-fire ways.

The first is to make it clear what’s in it for them.

A huge benefit for SMEs is educating their customers. Many experts are frustrated by folks coming to them with vague requests, incomplete data, obvious questions and flawed expectations. By teaching would-be customers what they can do and what they need from them, it can save a lot of time and hassle.

It’s also a chance to network and show off their knowledge. That is priceless to some folks.

Of course, there’s always money – either an upfront fee or a cut of the profits. That’s not always an option though – and besides, if they’re only in it for the money, that can be tricky.

Another approach is to figure out who they’ll listen to.

See, if an SME doesn’t leap at the chance to create a course with you, they’re probably not going to listen to you, no matter how good you are at begging.

So if you can’t sell them on the idea, sell it to someone else.

For an SME who works at a typical organisation, that ‘someone’ is probably their boss. You’ll need to get the boss onside with this project anyway, since they’ll be investing some of their SME’s time into your project.

Do that first, then you don’t have to convince the SME of anything – their boss will.

For someone without a boss – maybe a solopreneur or someone at a startup – they’ll listen to their customers. If your course is something their customers will want, get them to ask for it. Then you’re helping the SME more than they’re helping you.

It’s like everything else in life: if you can get someone to want what you want, persuasion isn’t necessary.

Since the SME is used to being the expert, they won’t want to feel dumb. Course design is a specific skill, one that everyone needs but few people learn.

Instead of scaring them off, you can point them towards this course. It’s nice and short – consumable over a decent lunch break – and it teaches (and demonstrates) great course design.

In fact, if they keep these 12 principles in the back of their mind, they’ll make courses that are better than 80% of what you see out there.

And with my affiliate link, they can access it at no cost for a short time:

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/William_T_Batten/2522089

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10379111