Good learning content is like wall spaghetti—it sticks.
Sticky learning content isn’t simply about helping students memorize facts and answer questions on tests. Any learner can easily look up facts on the internet. Creating sticky learning content is really about encouraging deeper processing and helping students develop a real understanding of the concepts involved so the principles they learn will stay with them well into the future.
“One of the realities of today’s world is that it’s fast changing, so in education we need to have adaptable learners,” says Robert Godwin-Jones, President/Co-Founder of SoftChalk, a D2L partner. “We all need to continue to be learners now more than ever before, and the ability to understand at a deeper level and to be a critical thinker is fundamental.”
How to create and use sticky learning content
Developing content that will stick isn’t just about the materials you’re presenting, but also how you’re presenting them. Here are some key considerations you should keep in mind:
Make learning content fun and engaging:
Find learning content that will appeal to your students and present it in an engaging and entertaining way.
Today’s students expect learning content to be available on different platforms and devices. Enabling mobile learning should be a key consideration. Make sure to include adaptive and responsive web design.
Personalize learning content where possible:
Adding personal relevance to learning content is where deeper processing can really come into play. If a student sees that content has an immediate connection to their life, they deepen their engagement. Get them to think about how the concepts presented affect them personally, and empower them to investigate on their own how that content applies to their lives.
Use multiple modalities:
Engage learners in multiple ways by leveraging multimedia whenever you can. You want to attack learning from different angles to address different learning styles.
Make content interactive:
Let learners engage with your learning content. Interactive content can include things like quiz questions, different learning activities, and discussion forums.
Learn what other teachers in their specific disciplines are doing when it comes to learning content by going to conferences, attending workshops, and looking around online.
Let students take learning further:
Present students with additional opportunities to reflect on learning content using journals, online portfolios and discussion forums.
“By making learning content relevant, engaging, and interactive, students will have a more positive attitude towards the learning process and that’s going to go a long way to motivating them to actually learn the content,” says Godwin-Jones.
How technology can help teachers make learning content sticky
For teachers, it can often be a challenge to present learning content in a variety of different ways. Technology is becoming an increasingly advantageous tool for making learning content stick.
Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever for teachers to incorporate interactivity and multimedia into the learning experience. Take virtual and augmented reality for example, they represent a new frontier for teachers when it comes to learning content, offering exciting ways for them to create interactive learning experiences. Both technologies are gaining ground when it comes to classroom content. A recent survey said that 55% of schools expect or plan to use VR in the future and 68% saying that the major benefit is it excites students to learn.
Content authoring software is another tech-enabled tool that can help teachers create sticky learning content. They offer intuitive interfaces and guides for creating content like learning games, activities, ebooks, and quiz questions, as well as make it easy for teachers to incorporate other media and widgets.
Integrating content authoring tools into LMS platforms can be especially effective when it comes to creating and optimizing sticky content. A LMS not only provides a powerful learning environment in which to deploy content, it can let teachers see how students are interacting with the content, how well they’re learning from it, and any potential problem areas.
Of course, it’s the teacher who’s really the most important component of sticky learning content. A talented and inspiring teacher can make all the difference with reaching and connecting with students.
Check out how you can use Brightspace to create course content students won’t want to put down:
Jon Paul is a content marketing manager at D2L. He’s into writing, creativity, content, advertising, marketing, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.
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