improve elearning courses Vince Vaughn and images like these will help improve your elearning courses.

Often times we see a lot of stock photography in our e-learning courses. They are effective and get the point across which is what they are supposed to do. However, sometimes our learners don’t really look at the images as they scroll through our courses because they think there isn’t anything exciting to see.

For example, look at the image that is posted here. Did you notice right away who is looking back at you? I bet you briefly looked and then started reading…

This is often the case with our learners as well. So how can we get their attention in a new way? These images are part of a campaign to promote Vince Vaughn’s new movie, Unfinished Business and are for editorial purposes only but they highlight a good strategy that we can follow as instructional designers. (

So how can we infuse a little surprise or extra element in our courses, not only in the content that we are putting in there but also in the images to capture our learners attention?

In the courses we create here at TLS Learning, we pay special attention to those extra elements that will grab a learner’s attention in order to help them engage with the content. It may be something as simple as a graphic that adds humor or surprise like the one above or something more complex like creating an interaction that simulates they would actually see and experience while in their real environment.

One thing we did in a past course was to simulate what it was like to learn something for the first time by showing a video of what it would be like to drive on the opposite side of the road than what you were used to. This was helpful to illustrate to people the changes that were going to be coming to how they did their job.

Improve elearning courses

   Click the image to view the video example.

So while we all probably won’t be able to hire Vince to improve our elearning courses, our goal should be to add in those extra, surprise elements to help learners take notice of the key things we need them to learn and/or apply to successfully gain mastery over the content. That can sometimes be done just by using this subtle technique of adding something new into something that we see a lot of in order to make people sit up and take notice.

What are some ways that you have added in that extra element of surprise to gain your learners attention? Respond below to continue the conversation.