I love all things digital and my exercise routine definitely reflects this: I do yoga and core training via my Yogaia app and listen to podcasts from iTunes while running. My two favourite podcasts of all time are Freakonomics and The other F word – I never miss an episode from either. In fact, both podcasts are so tightly integrated in my running routine that I usually listen to them only while running and postpone my run until there is a new episode to listen to.
My professional manifesto for this year is to “Look outside”. I want to look outside the field of digital learning to find inspiration to my work. There are so many things we learning professionals can take from eg service design, marketing, advertising and UX design and use to our best advantage.
I have joined a Slack channel so that in the future I’ll hopefully have more chances to learn from other disciplines. In the meanwhile: back to my exercise routine. What are the features in my favourite exercise videos and podcasts that have made me so extremely hooked to them? Further, how can I apply these to my learning content so it has the same addictive quality?
1. Get straight to the point
“So let’s talk about your divorce”, started one of the recent interviews in The other F word podcast. Not a fun topic, but a great way to start a podcast. We don’t want to hear history, background, statistics first – we want to dig deep and we want to do it pretty fast. So do most of the people going through our eLearning.
2. Familiar topics need fresh angles
The creators of the Freakonomics podcast master this like no other. They discover common elements in most unlikely topics and combine data from entirely different fields of academic research. They ask why until they get to the root of an issue. Topics that on the face of it seem familiar and even mundane become sexy and magical.
Due to company policies and legal obligations, people who use our learning solutions are often made to go through some topics that stay pretty much the same year after year. It’s our duty to find out what is new, unexpected and surprising about these topics and feed our users’ appetite with fresh angles.
In core training classes, the concept of rhythm is easy to understand: sweat, take a breather, sweat again. The same goes for the greatest podcasts, and for quality learning. Alternating between ‘heavy’ and ‘light’ topics and allowing small breathers once in a while makes it easier for the users to digest the information.