How to Weave Hard Facts and Emotions into your eLearning Lessons – Tip #41

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How do we strike a balance between the scientific and the emotional?
What checkpoints can we use to determine if we are hitting the right notes?

Balancing Act: What we know vs. what we feel

W. Tecumseh Fitch is a professor of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna. In his article on learning instincts he argues that human beings have an innate instinct (nature) to learn and develop skills necessary for us to survive and flourish. At the same time, these instincts are shaped by the things we experience and the realities we observe (nurture). Professor Fitch explains that what and how we learn is both instinctive and rational. We need both of these to complete our learning.

As designers of learning, we can conclude here that to make our lessons more effective, we need to strike that balance between making our learners feel and retaining valuable information.

Looking Back: Learners and how stories touch them
Remember what we have learned in the previous chapters. We need to bring these all together to create a lucid and impactful learning experience.
Learner Type
How they think?
SRIA Model 
Why do I need to know
What exactly is this?
How can I use this in my
What if I do it this way?

2. Create an interactive story with a structure that
encourages empathy, builds anticipation, challenges critical thinking and gives
a logical, satisfying conclusion that drives home the lesson you are

3.    The human BRAIN reacts to stories by pairing previous
personal experiences with the new information via emotional connections.
Fresh, simple, and relatable stories hit the heart and jumpstart the

Checkpoints to ensure success

Ask yourself the following guide questions to see if you are on the right track:

  • Does this contain elements
    that will work for all learner types my group?
  • Is there an opportunity for
    my learners to share similar stories, 
    devise a solution, or
    interact with the module in any way? (See Link)
  • Does this make use of a
    satisfying and relatable emotional
    climax?  (See Link)
  • Does this excite the learners to learn more? (See Link)
Reason and instinct are two of the strongest forces that drive people to learn and grow. If we can design learning that appeals to both these factors using hard facts and real emotion, we can guarantee a more rewarding, impactful, and enduring learning experience.

Tip #14: How to Add Suspense to eLearning Stories 

Tip #33: “Oh my Gosh Learning!” Using Problems, Diagnostics and Solutions in eLearning 

Tip #37: Making Learners Cry by Using Positive Stories 

Tip #38: Making Learning Styles Come Alive in Interactive Stories

Ray Jimenez, PhD

Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”

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