How to Design Addiction from “FOMO” into eLearning

By | Engage and Retain, Gamification, Neurolearning, The Latest In Design and Development | No Comments

It’s called the “Fear of Missing Out,” or FOMO. It’s that feeling you get when you haven’t checked into Facebook or you RSVP to that event, even if you don’t really want to go. It’s what keeps you scrolling through pictures on Instagram or checking Twitter every five minutes. It’s the sense that if you don’t check in almost constantly, you’re missing out on something amazing.

Of course, we know that not every status update is a gem and every picture posted isn’t Picasso, but it’s not the actual content that keeps us glued; it’s the delivery method. Social media sites use specific updating tactics and strategies that keep you checking in often. It’s bad news for your data plan, but if you can harness the strategy for eLearning, it’s good news for your training strategy.

The Power of Notifications

One of the ways Facebook, iMessage, and Instagram keep you checking and rechecking is that they offer clear notifications for when something changes on your feed. New picture posted? Notification. Someone tagged you? Notification. These notifications keep the app or site fresh in your mind, so it’s hard to navigate away.

Notifications can become a powerful tool in mobile learning. By letting users know when another person has signed in and completed a module, or how long it’s been since their last session, you trigger that fear of missing out and engineer a response to check in and interact with the module again.

Letting Learners Lead

Think about the last time you downloaded a game onto your phone. Chances are that the game gave you a few quick tips to get going, but then you’re left on your own to figure out the game play strategy, controls, and capabilities.

Now, contrast that to eLearning. Do you force users through the same experience? Do your learners have time to test, experiment, and try the module out for themselves? As it turns out, a comprehensive user experience may not be as addictive as one that encourages learners to try for themselves. That’s they kind of experience that keeps learners wanting to come back and master different levels, achieve goals, and find out how to use the module.

Building Anticipation

A little bit of anticipation–or even anxiety–is a surefire way to build FOMO. That’s because when people fear that their friends are doing something cool or that everyone’s talking about the latest trending topic, they want to hop online and get involved.

It’s OK to build a little bit of suspense into your learning modules, especially when they contain game-like elements. Don’t show all of your cards at once: Instead, let learners build their learning experiences by trying new things, making mistakes, and moving onto new chapters and sections as they go. Instead of flat learning trajectory, learners experience one that is multidimensional and tailored to their specific learning styles.

Giving Instant Feedback

When you send a text message and get one in return, it floods your brain with dopamine. It’s the satisfaction of instant gratification, and it’s hard to get more instant than instant messaging. We love our smartphones and computers because they move quickly. From posting pictures to sending comments, liking, and searching, FOMO occurs when you lose access to your quick source of constant information.

When building eLearning modules, remember that instant feedback is a powerful tool to keep users on the right track and motivated to learn. Instead of floundering and wondering how they’re doing, they know exactly where they excel and where improvement is needed.

Whether or not FOMO is a good thing in social media is up to you; but in eLearning, FOMO is a definite motivator. By building in the anticipation and fear that everyone else is getting to experience something awesome, it’s possible to design true learning addicts from even the most casual learners.  

the four interaction styles

How These Four Interaction Styles Rewrite “The Golden Rule”

By | Learning and Development, Learning Lab Experts Series, Neurolearning, The Latest In Design and Development | No Comments

You’ve probably heard of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have other do to you. Basically, the Golden Rule tells you to treat people the way that you’d like to be treated. There’s a problem, though.

What if people don’t want to be treated like you?

Every individual is just that–an individual. That means that applying the same experience, be it eLearning, management, or just daily interactions, to everyone you work with may be a disservice to different people. You might think you’re applying to Golden Rule, but learners and colleagues are wishing you’d treat them differently.

Perhaps the Golden Rule isn’t to treat people the way you’d like to be treated, but to treat people the way they want to be treated.

In order to achieve this, it’s important to understand the four interaction styles. Most–if not all–the people you come in contact with can fit into one of the four following categories, allowing you to toggle the way you work, talk, and interact with them.

The Analytical

An analytical person operates with facts and logic, rather than ideas and imagination. They want hard numbers, and won’t really make a move until the payoff is absolutely sure. Rather than come up with ideas, the analytical prefer to ask questions and form hypotheses, acting in a cautious and careful way. When interacting with an analytical type, it’s important to bring hard facts and clear numbers to support your ideas.

The Driver

The person who is all about results can be considered a driver. Drivers make quick decisions and thrive on fast environments and tons of competition. They’re definitely considered extroverts and are the ones who take action. Because of this, working with drivers means to be able to show results and execute quickly–or risk getting steamrolled along the way.

The Amiable

There are people that can be considered real team players. Whether it’s making sure everyone’s included or participating in conflict management, the amiable type prefers to be a peacemaker. Amiable workers know that everyone does their best when relying on and working with one another, so they make great team leaders. They are sometimes quiet, but endlessly patient, so they operate best where they can solve problems and keep everyone on track.

The Expressive

Sometimes known as the dreamers of the interactive styles, the expressives are those who love to brainstorm, come up with new ideas, and look at the big picture. And, not only do they get excited about their lofty projects, they’re able to get other people excited about new ideas, too. This means expressive types and invaluable as motivators and taking initiative to start something new.

Getting to know your own interaction type is just as important as getting to know the types of those you work with. Once you understand how you prefer to interact with your team, you can adjust your style to treat people the way they want to be treated–whether or not it’s the same as your preferences.

Let us know which interaction style you most relate to in the comments below.

L&D, training, change behavior

How to Engineer “Aha!” Moments In Your Training

By | Engage and Retain, Learning and Development, Learning Lab Experts Series, Neurolearning | No Comments

It’s the Holy Grail for L&D professionals: that moment when learners go from passive participants to involved champions because they had an “aha” moment. The “aha” moment is a much-sought after, often-misunderstood facet of training, but it doesn’t have to be a slippery, illusive concept. By taking certain steps, it’s possible to engineer that lightbulb moment for learners to suddenly grasp new concepts and allow them to change their behavior.

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