Today keeping your learner engaged in online classes and training is tough. So being creative is a must. One new creative way to keep your people engaged is using creative theme scenarios. For example Zombies. I know you are thinking, Dr. Julie, how can you a doctor in business and being a college instructor for 16 years tell me I can use zombies in my class? Well I never thought I would use Facebook in my classes but staying competitive in any industry is the willingness to adapt to new situations and technology and not closing the door on anything. Even zombies! I saw this example used at a conference in Los Angeles and they used it to create engaging eLearning scenarios. So I learned some excellent tips from this conference that I want to share with you that I have integrated into my online learning and training programs. Do I put vampire scenarios in my doctoral studies classes, no, but I do integrate them into my mandatory online training that I create for many companies and they are loving them!!!! Lots of great feedback. So try these tips out and see how you can create engagement in your mandatory online training. Trust me, I just sat through three more and I was hitting my head on the table because they were so boring and not creative whatsoever. It was death by PowerPoint and voiceover.
In the example I saw, the trainers used some creative themes, zombie apocalypse theme being one of them (because that is all the craze right now) but it can be whatever creative theme you feel is appropriate. It will catch the reader off guard and make them think a little more about it.
In technology you will always have a variety of users who range from very technologically savvy to not so savvy. So to save you time when you build the module out in the training program stay simple. If it is a well thought out theme and creative, it will create engagement without a lot of time built in.
This may date me, but does anyone remember the choose your own adventure books. I loved those as a kid. You are given a couple of scenarios and then you pick the one you want and off you go on that adventure. Well this is the same concept here. Give a couple options or allow your reader to create or choose their adventure. This will create engagement and keep your student active in the class.
I learned how to storyboard when I was getting my communications degree and one of the classes was theater and one of them was creative writing. They helped me play out the scenarios in a story. You want to do the same thing here. Thinking linear will not help you have to open up that mind and look at a much bigger picture. Create a story!
Digital Chalk is such great LMS to work with on something like this. Why? Because they focus on media being a driving force in the LMS. For example, the group I saw that had a zombie theme used sounds, pictures, and videos to bring to life the scenario and make it more fun. With Digital Chalk you can integrate in all these features. You can use things like Camtasia or SnagIt to record and integrate in these media parts into and then just upload into the LMS.
If you struggle at being creative start googling it on the internet and see what people are doing? But after 16 years of teaching in the classroom and online teaching since 2006, engagement and creativity is an absolute must on mandatory trainings or courses. I know that if there was a zombie scenario in the last FERPA training I had to do or the last sexual harassment training I had to do, I would have been much more interested.
Written by: Dr. Julie Ducharme
For the last 15 years Dr. Ducharme has been working with corporations, colleges and universities in San Diego and outside of San Diego as well teaching, directing and consulting on curriculum, running colleges, and instructing as well. Dr. Ducharme holds a BA in communication, MBA with a specialization in marketing, and a DBA with a specialization in Leadership. Dr. Ducharme is a public speaker and has spoken with and at many universities across the U.S. and corporations on leadership, business, and marketing. She currently is the owner/creator/CEO of JD Consulting LLC, the owner/creator/CEO of Julie’s Party People, and the creator/president of Synergy Learning Institute.