More and more people are choosing to stay in and stream an entire season of their favourite show rather than going out. If binge-watching has become such a trend, can binge-learning become a trend too? Of course it can! When you accidentally watch six hours of The Crown, it’s not just because the show is addictive. Your binging also happened because:
- It was recommended by Netflix in a personalised playlist,
- You were able to access it on your iPad or phone,
- And each episode automatically played, one after another.
All of these features are optimised to keep users engaged with their platform. Just how Netflix is designed to captivate users, you can design your courses in a way that keeps learners focused.
Check out the four strategies from streaming sites that you can apply to create binge-worthy learning:
Stimulate a dopamine release
A Netflix survey found that nearly 61% of users regularly watch between 2 and 6 episodes in one sitting! When we take part in an activity we enjoy, our brain produces dopamine – the ‘feel good hormone’. This production of dopamine causes you to continue to take part in the activity, i.e. watch another episode.
To be binge-worthy, your course needs to make the learners feel good. While learning content may not evoke the same emotions as their favourite Netflix series, you can engage learners with another dopamine-releasing tactic: gamification. By allowing them to earn badges or points every time they complete a portion of your course or get an answer correct, you are fuelling the release of dopamine. This in turn makes the learners motivated to return to the course and complete more modules. In Docebo, for example, gamifying the learning experience allows administrators to reward learners with badges and points for completing courses. You are even able to set up your own rewards marketplace, where learners can exchange their earned points for a prize!
Just how the escapism of a Netflix series makes it enjoyable to watch, a game-like reward system will make your course more fun to complete.
Create a continuous flow of learning
Learner’s ability to focus on your course depends on the number of distractions present. If you present your content in an environment with fewer disruptions, learners are more likely to stay engaged with your course.
The same is true for viewers on video streaming sites. People binge-watch because the platform allows them to watch multiple episodes/videos without interruption. There are no ads, and the player is automatically on full screen to discourage users from clicking on another show or, worse, another site. When an episode finishes, most platforms will auto play the next to encourage viewers to keep watching.
So, why not emulate this seamless viewing experience in your course to create binge-worthy learning? To do so:
- Use a clean, uncluttered design for your course. This minimises disruptions and ensures that your learners stay engaged in the course content.
- Feature clearly labelled CTA buttons at the end of each module, that encourage learners to move to the next one.
- Completing so many modules at once can lower retention, so it’s best to design bite-sized modules to maximise learning and knowledge retention.
One of the quickest ways to achieve excellence is to model it. Where you’ve seen something that someone’s already done, successfully, just model it. There truly is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Netflix recently created an interactive episode ‘Bandersnatch’, as a part of their Black Mirror series. It’s a user-controlled episode, giving the viewer the chance to direct the outcome, by selecting options throughout. Bandersnatch gained so much attention that Netflix’s VP of Product stated that they would be doubling down on interactive content.
Our digital learning services division, Cursim, took inspiration from Bandersnatch and created an Anti-bribery and corruption course. The course uses branched scenarios in Storyline 360, illustrations to convey time and place, and characters that would resonate with the learner. Check it out below:
Why not also take inspiration from our daily life? Think Facebook, Instagram or even the McDonald’s ordering screens – they’re all intuitive and easy-to-use. Elements from these can be incorporated into courses to create binge-worthy learning.
Personalised learning path
With an overload of content online, people choose to read, watch, and listen to material that is most relevant to them. A graphic design professional, for example, will be more excited to watch videos about ‘How to create something in Adobe Illustrator’ than about general workplace training. Why? Because these videos will help them improve their skills.
To keep users engaged in their platform, YouTube recommends videos that are similar to what you may have been watching before. When users remember how much they learnt from the last video they watched, they’re going to be inclined to watch more videos that YouTube recommends.
Reassure learners about the value of your course by presenting personalised learning options in your learning management system (LMS). For example, with the use of AI, Docebo analyses learner behaviour to understand the skills gap and then presents targeted recommendations to learners. Seeing their customised learning path, learners will feel confident that the recommended courses will benefit them, and they will feel motivated to take more courses!
So, next time you’re binge-watching a series, consider how the platform you’re viewing it on capitalises on your interests. Who knows, you might gain some inspiration for creating learning just as binge-worthy as your favourite series.