Friday, December 12, 2008

The 'WOW' Moment

If you are an ID, you must have come across a requirement to design a 'wow' moment in your course. Now, what is this 'wow' moment? Here are my guesses:
  1. Making the learner think "Yes, I have experienced the same thing!"
  2. Shocking the learner with 'big' incidents such as calamities, terror attacks, scandals, and so on
  3. Getting the learner to empathize with a particular character
  4. Making them relate to the scenarios and characters used
  5. Making them think "Ok. What just happened? Did I miss something?"
Please note that it could be hazardous for the course if your team/reviewer is not sure of what they mean by a 'wow' moment. Everyone needs to be on the same page about what this means, when will this be introduced, and what is its goal.

A 'wow' moment is intended to make the learner think. I think this is clear enough. But what should we make the learner think about? This is debatable. If you really want to include this moment, it should be based on point 4. Else, it fails the purpose. If the learner cannot relate to it, it is not going to a wow moment. In all probability, your learner will be thinking about the incident and not the concept. What purpose does this solve? It is will create a ripple, not a wave. For this to have the desired impact, it is crucial to know who your learners are. You cannot create a course for a general audience say "Managers across Asia" and expect the course to make an impact on them.

According to me (I could be wrong), I don't want to give the learner a 'wow' moment. I want to give him/her a wow course. By wow, I don't mean only the look and feel, but the entire package. By wow, I also do not mean a course high on drama and suspense. By wow, I mean good ID strategies, visual elements, engaging exercises, several examples, and content that the learner can relate to. The entire package should be involving, engaging, and interactive. When it fulfills these three qualities, the course will also be fun for the learner.