Ten ways to turn your learners into zombies


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Want to build a zombie army? Want to make sure you turn your employees and learners into mindless beasts, with drooling lips and glazed eyes? Then turn them into zombies with elearning that's truly horrifying! Ten tips for making horrendous elearning, followed by some silver bullets of design if your real aim is to keep them human and alive.

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  • This is great. I am not sure I can be as creative as this in Blackboard but it verifies I am on the right track with some things and that I have some room for improvement in others. Thanks for the mega-dose of creativity. I love it!

    Charla Brown, University of Alaska Southeast
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  • Reduce your learners to lifeless, braindead corpses...‘tis the season after all.
  • Meet Alexandra. She recently completed one of your elearning programs and has now joined the ranks of the undead. You’re looking to build your zombie army--it is Halloween, after all--and realize you’ve got what it takes to turn more of your employees into zombies, just like Alexandra!
  • The house of horrors LMS with just text links, no personality, and not branding. Get lost in its devious maze of bad navigation.
  • Are you anti-zombie? Then try an LMS experience a little more like this…
  • It’s frightening enough being a Zombie. They don’t have any feelings or emotions, so there’s no need to engage them emotionally. Make them numb emotionally.
  • Be sure to Bore them to death with learning objectives from the very first screen. Because this is how zombies would talk if they were elearning designers
    Must....understand…widget production methodology…
  • Actually, you do want your learning to be a bit scary: shock, stimulate and get the heart pumping with strong attention grabbers, stings…
  • Pretend they’re human and they care about real goals that matter
  • Don’t confuse zombies with life and interest…they only want to eat brains.
    Instead, just dump information out there…more and more information to ensure their eyes stay glazed and their lips stay drooling.
    Hey I’ve got a great new recipe for brain pie, have I told you? Oh, of course not. I’m a zombie. I don’t have anything to tell anyone about, apart from the odd droning noise and a bit of drool.
    Zombies just drone on about brains, so don’t have anything interesting to tell each other.
  • Use stories to add context and life…and make it more human….
    People love to learn from others. Make sure you include realistic stories, examples, case studies and context to bring the theory to life, and show how the learning can be applied for real. It needs to be relevant too, of course.
  • Speak in corporate, impersonal drone. Zombies aren’t even alive, so don’t speak to them or even try to have a conversation with them. Instead, throw big words, lots of corporate jargon, and be sure to use the passive voice.
  • Oh, so you’re interested in stopping the zombies?
  • Well, then, speak to them like human beings. Address them as “you” and have a conversation with them. You might reconnect with whatever human bit is left inside of them…
  • Zombies crave brains and….clicky-clicky bling-bling. Give them mindless exercises, hot graphics with 80 things to click on…
  • Screen shot from:  
  • Instead, ensure your interactivity is relevant…reflective, connect with other humans, relevant….
  • Learn and Apply (City & Guilds Adapt HTML5 Framework)
  • This is a game-based approach, good for practicing systems and service skills together
  • Serve them up with vapid, cheesy clipart and stock photography: hands shaking in a circle, a group of smiling business men – zombies love these kinds of images because they, well, because they’re just so very lifeless and unreal.
  • Find visuals that matter, that make an emotional impact and that are relevant to the content in a meaningful and memorable way.
  • Be on brand and relevant.
  • Zombies love to lurch forward in one direction. Don’t give them any choice, just force them through your linear path to doom
  • Freedom through exploration, scenarios, choice – show some adapt – dare you plumb the depths of scrolling? Of course you can!
  • 21 focused practical resources
    Most are 5 minutes or shorter
    Follow the whole interview cycle
    Work in sequence, or if experienced as dip-in support
    Variety of interactive approaches:
    Focus on practice
    Animations – perception vs reality
    Videos - good and bad examples and stories
    Observe and critique scenarios
    Question structuring practice
    Candidate rating practice
    Note taking practice
    Takeaways and reminders
    Ongoing occupational psychologist coach to give feedback and support
  • Thiagi’s Four Door Model:
    Library: content and presentations – videos, elearning tutorials, PDFs
    Playground: games and activities to provide practice and reinforcement
    Café: Social learning activities for reflection and integration (wikis, blogs, forums, etc.)
    Evaluation Center/Torture Chamber: testing and assessment
    Brandon Carson 2010 eLearning Guild: http://shemp65.typepad.com/eLG-4-DoorModel.pdf
  • This is similar to the full branching simulation approach but the model is designed so that
    should the learner make a mistake in the scenario they get shown to a discrete relevant
    section of the tutorials. Once they complete the relevant module they can then return to the
    choice they got wrong and see if they can continue with the scenario without making further
    mistakes. The appeal of this approach is that learners have that extra degree of motivation to
    absorb the learning points, as they have just confronted that particular learning gap.
  • Zombies don’t make plans or think about what’s next other than more brains. So don’t give them false hope of the future with any kind of motivation, support or encouragement
  • Actions beyond the learning, a hope for a better life…
  • Learning in a training environment without enacting change is an incomplete exercise. You must challenge the learners to reflect on their current way of doing things and make a commitment to change where necessary. A simple ‘What are you going to start, stop and continue?’ question is a great starting point. Other options could involve Action Plans or Affirmations or new SMART goals.
    In our programs, we try to build in line manager follow ups or review sessions within 3 months of the formal completion of a program.
    There will often be a wealth of further information to explore (sometimes what your stakeholders wanted you to cover but you persuaded them not to include in the main program). This is where you can provide the links and give recommendations for further exploration. As you probably know, most learning takes place on the job. The current popularity of Lombardo and Eichinger’s 70/20/10 model shows that learning professionals recognize this as an important factor in designing effective learning programs. (70% of learning happens on the job; 20% through coaching and direct feedback; 10% through formal courses).
    So as a learning designer, we want to set the learner up in that 10% formal course time so that they’ve then got ample space to try things out in the real world (the 70%), while leveraging and building upon that extra 20% of on the job feedback or coaching.
    The Next Steps section of your eLearning should help the learner develop that game plan to take back with them on the job. It could involve a refresher module, or a webinar or an interactive coach (which by asking the right questions and responding to answers helps them carry out their own
    reflections and tweaks to their action plan).
  • Zombies aren’t good at team work. They don’t use social media much – so make sure it’s a lifeless lonely experience
  • Vs get collaboration and social etc.
  • If you watched ZombieLand, well, then you know one of the main rules is to double-tap ‘em with your shot gun. If you want to keep your zombies brainless and dead and coming at you for more of your brains, then just hit ‘em once. Forget to double tap them with your shotgun of spaced learning strategies.
  • What’s the double tap? Shoot ‘em twice – or more! Take a learning campaign approach to space out your content and achieve more engaged learners and better results. Follow them home and pop up where they least expect – you know where they live…
  • www.kineo.com
  • Ten ways to turn your learners into zombies

    1. 1. 10 Ways to Turn Your Learners into Zombies October 2013
    2. 2. Your zombie host today... Cammy “Brains” Bean VP of Learning Design Kineo US
    3. 3. Meet Alexandra.
    4. 4. Ten ways you can turn your learners into a zombie army!
    5. 5. 1. Make the front door very, very scary.
    6. 6. Enter the LMS house of horrors...no personality, no branding, and a devious maze of...stuff.
    7. 7. Or, act like a zombie hunter...
    8. 8. A front door worth opening.
    9. 9. So good you could eat it up.
    10. 10. 2. Kill their feelings.
    11. 11. ..and numb them with learning objectives. At the end of this course, you will be able to: •blah •blah •blah •blah •blah •and more blah....
    12. 12. Or, act like a zombie hunter...
    13. 13. Get their attention with stories of intrigue and risk.
    14. 14. Grab them with gossip.
    15. 15. Ask them questions.
    16. 16. Set up a mystery. That’ll confuse their zombie brains!
    17. 17. 3. Make the content lifeless.
    18. 18. Dump information on them to ensure their eyes stay glazed and their lips stay drooling.
    19. 19. Or, act like a zombie hunter...
    20. 20. The Video Wall of Life.
    21. 21. Immersive, interactive video.
    22. 22. Immersive, interactive video.
    23. 23. Immersive, interactive video.
    24. 24. 4. Talk like a zombie.
    25. 25. Drone. • If seeking to build a zombie army, it is critical that the general follows important steps to zombify those individuals seeking to escape the general’s domain by hunting them down with boring instructional design speak, copious amounts of corporate jargon, while also numbing their brains with fact after fact of repetitious blather that will go in one ear like a worm only to consume the individual’s brain and thus, successfully, turn him or her into a zombie. Mmmm....brains. Brains!
    26. 26. Or, act like a zombie hunter...
    27. 27. Talk to them. Like human beings.
    28. 28. Make it personal.
    29. 29. Zombies can’t have fun, so make it fun.
    30. 30. 5. Force them to endure mindless clicking.
    31. 31. Disconnect the challenge from any context. This confuses them.
    32. 32. Or, act like a zombie hunter...
    33. 33. Give them relevant activities.
    34. 34. Get them thinking on their own experiences.
    35. 35. Give them opportunities to reflect.
    36. 36. Put the challenge in context.
    37. 37. 6. Serve them (brain) cheesy stock photography and clipart.
    38. 38. Or, act like a zombie hunter...
    39. 39. Make the visuals on brand and matter.
    40. 40. 7. Don’t tax their undead brains with choice.
    41. 41. Give them one path to go and lock them into it.
    42. 42. Or, act like a zombie hunter... Or, act like a zombie hunter...
    43. 43. Give them meaningful choices.
    44. 44. Let them pick and choose.
    45. 45. Lots of choices.
    46. 46. Try Thiagi’s Four Door Model.
    47. 47. Let them browse.
    48. 48. Let ‘em try it out.
    49. 49. Let them decide: Learn or apply?
    50. 50. 8. Give them no hope of survival.
    51. 51. Don’t give them false hope for the future and DON’T provide any motivation, support, or encouragement. You have completed this course. There is nothing more until the next course. THERE IS NO EXIT.
    52. 52. Or, act like a zombie hunter... Or, act like a zombie hunter...
    53. 53. Give them a call to action.
    54. 54. Get them doing stuff. In the real world of humans.
    55. 55. Have them create their own action plan.
    56. 56. 9. Make them lonely. Make sure they connect with nobody else.
    57. 57. Or, act like a zombie hunter...
    58. 58. Have them upload assignments for peer review.
    59. 59. Get them talking. To each other. What did you think? How did you do it? Here’s what I did that really worked. Here’s what I did that really didn’t work.
    60. 60. 10. Be sure to forget to double-tap.
    61. 61. Make sure it’s just a single learning event. • 1. One time. That’s all you get. One single event and you better have learned it. Or else.
    62. 62. Or, act like a zombie hunter... Or, act like a zombie hunter...
    63. 63. Create a learning campaign--spaced events over time across multiple channels.
    64. 64. The zombie hunter’s rule book: 1. Make a really nice front door (your LMS). 2. Get their attention and make it emotional. 3. Avoid the info dump. Give it life through stories. 4. Talk to human beings. 5. Make Or, act like a zombie hunter... the activity relevant and reflective. 6. Make the visuals matter and avoid the cheesy stock art. 7. Give them choices and let them explore. 8. Provide a call to action and hope for the future. 9. Help them connect with each other and collaborate. 10. Create a learning campaign.
    65. 65. And lest we leave you without truly horrifying you...some elearning Halloween puns.... • Children of the SCORM • The Nextorcist • JAWS (Accessible horror that’s even 508compliant!) • Ghoul-based scenarios
    66. 66. www.kineo.com
    67. 67. Join the conversation and fight the zombie army! LinkedIn: Kineo eLearning Professionals
    68. 68. • • • • • Kineo www.kineo.com Cammy Bean email: cammy.bean@kineo.com blog: http://cammybean.kineo.com