The Zen of Modlette Design
We need to understand why learners act in certain ways in order to increase the effectiveness of our modlette design so the learning becomes relevant, lasting and useful to the learner.
Thoughts about learners
People especially like and respond to people they know or who looks like someone they know and trust. Designing in images, graphics, messages from leaders or animation that reflects your learner profile can help make the learning more engaging and effective.
You can supply a tsunami of data, but effective modlette design should also draw upon stories to illustrate the data and emphasize your key points. Learners can misinterpret basic data, whereas stories present information more clearly, create an emotional response, and trigger the brain’s memory centre to make the learning more effective.
For most of us mere mortals, our brains remove information to make room for more relevant and timely information. Effective modlette design should take this into account and provide learners the opportunity to use the new information so it sticks. This means repeating the information, applying it immediately or connecting the new information to existing knowledge.
With the variety of information and the way it is presented online, we make split second judgements and decisions based on how something looks and feels. Your modlette has one chance to make a solid first impression with learners to gain their trust. This means the look and feel of your modlette must be well designed for the learner. Font, images, colours, layout and navigation have to draw learners in, not turn them off.
If your modlette is not effective it is likely because what you can see on the screen isn’t what finds its way into the learner’s brain. You can help learners take away the right information by organising and managing the information more effectively, which in turn, reduces the likelihood the learner will get lost in her own perceptions of the information.
Surprises are fun, different and exciting. They offer us a new way to interact with the world and view a situation. Effective modlette design should incorporate new and novel ways of looking at information the learner may have encountered repeatedly. The element of surprise will help the information stick. However, people also like structure so balance out the new with the expected to provide effective design.
We can’t retain the thousands of bites of information we take in each day, and the brain’s ability to filter works to protect us from information overload. To prevent learners from filtering out the important information in your modlette make the key learning targets impossible to ignore. Increasing the size, changing the colour or adding animation can draw the learner’s attention to the learning targets.
We all love to achieve things. Effective modlette design should feedback to learners regularly about their progress by quizzes or choices of activities. Tell them what they have achieved to motivate them as they navigate your modlette.