Episode 57

"e-Learning with an Edge"

Duration 00:15:08      Recorded on February 16, 2009

Susan and Dan explore the notion that a lot of e-learning courses lack an effective, catching beginning. This premise is one of the main points in an article entitled "Edge and Emotion – What e-Learning Programs Are Missing" which the LT Green Room hosts discuss in this episode.

Show Notes:

Susan and Dan discuss the main points in ?Edge and Emotion ? What e-Learning Programs Are Missing? by Paul Clothier and Carmen Taran. This article can be found in the October 27, 2008 edition of e-Learning Guild's Learning Solutions. (Sign up for an account - it's worth it.)

The main premise is that a lot of e-learning courses (probably self-paced) lack an effective, catching beginning. The first 30 seconds are Carman Taran's specialty.

Are instructional designers pressed from the same mold? Do they all begin with boring title slide, legal disclaimer and objectives?

First Dan talks about the benefits of having a good visual opening. Then they move to questioning as a beginning. Questions build relevancy and a need to know. Generate an edge by adding the emotional element.How do you build anticipation? Dan shares a metaphor of a gift.

Color and aesthetics are also addressed in the article. Susan is reminded of an article by Judith Boettcher in Innovate Online about the idea of targeting critical content and allowing learners to build the details around that (less is more.)

Ten Core Principles for Designing Effective Learning Environments

Cognitive tension:

  • communication pieces that decode complexity and messy information
  • attract attention

What do you know about your topic that you can help your learners decode? THAT is engaging!

Avoiding calorie-free language. Carmen says your opening line is a promise to your learners.

Susan questions the subject mater expert and instructional designer relationship. Is an instructional designer neutral to the content?


About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.


Co-Host & Producer
Susan Manning
Co-Host & Producer
Dan Balzer
Executive Producer
Carl Heine
Special Inspiration