Creating a cohesive course that provides professional development, encourages self-assessment, and promotes collaboration is one of the basis of eLearning design. When this course is specifically targeted at adult learners, it must take into account their characteristics. To a certain degree, it will also need to overcome some of the barriers that adult learners might face in their learning journey. In this article, I will talk about motivation strategies you can incorporate in your course using the ARCS Model.
Curriculum Design and the ARCS Model
As a curriculum designer or lesson planner, you can use components of the ARCS Model to create a curriculum that stimulates, engages and involves adult learners. The ARCS Model is, in my opinion, the best motivational model that curriculum designers can draw from. I will outline below how the model can be best applied in curriculum design
ARCS stands for
Educational Psychologist, John Keller, theorised that various methods: humour, active participation, using real-life examples, etc., could be used in curriculum design to grab and retain a learner’s attention. Stimulating perception and inquiry keep the learner’s interest. In the case of perceptual stimulation, learners’ attention will be drawn to surprise, doubt, or disbelief. Stimulating inquiry draws learners to resolve or question the intricacies of life. A curriculum designer can look at humour as a tool to draw the attention of disengaged learners. The curriculum designer can opt to use short, light-hearted humour as ice-breakers. Another option is to indicate practical application of learnt content into resolving real-life problems. This can intrigue a learner who is faced with a challenge or is solution-driven.
A curriculum designer should establish a sense of familiarity between the learner and the content; use relatable content to stimulate and engage learners. This can be achieved by offering examples of how the content will help resolve present and future problems that learners are faced with. Keller calls this the perceived present worth and the perceived future usefulness.