2.5 Engaging the Learner

Now that you have discovered ways to design digital media that will help students remember new information, the next step is to figure out how to create digital media products that engage students in the process of learning. Simply designing a digital media product is not enough to engage the user or viewer. You need to find a way to capture and hold the attention of the learner.

ARCS Model of Motivation

Image of a computer screen with the text: ARCS - Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction

Keller’s (1987) ARCS Model of Motivation can be used as a guide for engaging the learner. This model focuses on four main components: attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction. When designing digital media, think about how you can capture the attention of the learner and make the content concrete and applicable in authentic settings. It is also important to think about how you can enhance the learners’ confidence and satisfaction, although this might have to be a separate part of the learning activity (e.g., learner watches a video and teaches others, which leads to increased confidence and satisfaction).

To learn more about the ARCS Model, review one of the following links:

Learning Activity: Create an Engaging Image

 Activity Objective: Apply your understanding of Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivation by creating an image that enhances student learning. 

Activity Instructions: Based on your understanding of the ARCS Model of Motivation, design an image (e.g., poster, infographic, meme) that you might use for teaching that exemplifies one or more of the ARCS elements. Post your image with an explanation of how it demonstrates the ARCS Model of Motivation in the course Google + Community. Then, reply to at least two other participants’ posts.

Here are some simple (and free!) image design tools we recommend using for this activity:

And, here are some educational images that exemplify the different elements of the ARCS Model:

Attention: This meme uses humor to grabs the attention of learners. 

Relevance: This meme motivates learners by emphasizing the present and future importance of the topic.

Confidence: This meme increases learners’ confidence by letting them know that they have great potential.

Satisfaction: This is an example of a digital badge, which provides extrinsic motivation for the learner.

Alternative Activity: If you prefer working with other forms of digital media (e.g., video, audio), create a digital media product that exemplifies one or more of the ARCS elements. Share your product in the course Google+ Community and provide a short description of how it demonstrates Keller's Model of Motivation.