Patrick Lilja came to speak to the Digital Learning Forum this week about influence, affect, and desire. Desire and motivation are critical for instruction to be effective, yet, in my experience, not well understood by instructional designers. What’s more, instructional designers tend to focus on what they control, the instruction itself, when in many cases the battle is won or lost before the learner even starts the class.
One point raised by Lilja is that every piece of knowledge has two components: the factual piece and the emotional piece. Even individuals who cannot create new memories can create new emotional associations because they are handled in different parts of the brain. One question for instructional designers: how do we (and when do we) influence learners to attach certain emotions to individual concepts that we teach them?