Approximate reading time: 3m 19s
Good music and a comfortable armchair calm the mind and stimulate it to work better. The same applies to online courses, but in a slightly different aspect. In these, the tactic can be used that positive emotions have a beneficial effect on the brain and stimulate it to perceive information more easily. This rule is very simple and logical: when the brain is positively tuned, it is more interested in the material, motivated and concentrates more, which also positively affects the results achieved. Moreover, things that are charged with some emotion stay longer in our minds.
Therefore, to make your courses more successful and to give your students more lasting knowledge, you can use the power of positive emotion. Here are a few tips to help you in this endeavor.
Proper typography (the appropriate and aesthetically pleasing use of different fonts) is the easiest trick you can use. Different fonts have been proven to evoke different types of moods and influence perceptions. For example, people are more likely to trust texts written in Baskerville. Times New Roman is the most common when writing important documents because it brings formality and rigour. Kristen ITC is used when writing informal and playful texts, Kozuka gothic brings drama and so on. Each of the fonts has its own character and can have a great subconscious influence on the reader.
There are countless websites on the internet that offer you information about different fonts, and the emotion they bring. As an example we give you one of them: http://www.fontscape.com/explore?70V
Apart from the typography, the size of the font is also important. It also affects perceptions. For example, people tend to pay more attention to words written in a larger font. This is why headlines in newspapers are always larger. Other tricks are bolding, which usually symbolises emphasis on something important, or the use of italics to introduce a new term in scientific texts.
It is clear from the above that using different font characteristics is an appropriate way to give your texts the desired mood.
Using the right colour is like choosing the right emoticon. Each colour, shade or thread can convey its own message. They can make people feel cheerful, subdued, excited and can generally convey any emotion.
Warm colours like yellow, red and orange stimulate positive emotions. Yellow also stimulates the imagination. For that matter, if you pay attention, in most classrooms the walls are yellow, not white, as white brings a feeling of boredom. Experiments with students have shown that the right colour can have up to 80% more beneficial effect on students' class participation and activity.
You are cautioned to be very careful when choosing colours, use them correctly and in moderation. You need to know them well to avoid mistakes. Red, for example, in addition to provoking positive emotion, can increase appetite or cause rage.
Perhaps of all the subtleties, images are the most obvious way to convey emotion. Combining symmetry, colour and mood, they are a must-have element of any text and can have a hugely powerful impact on the reader.
For example, pictures with a linear structure or geometric shapes create a sense of order. Conversely, asymmetrical images provoke a sense of chaos, confusion, even despair. Depth in an image creates a sense of intimacy or isolation. If, on the other hand, the subject is shown in detail, the feeling while looking at it is more intimate. Additionally, adding lines in the image can help the focus fall on a particular point.
Be very careful when choosing images. If you use them correctly, you can help whoever is looking at them perceive your emotion and point of view, but if you use inappropriate images that don't match the text, it can lead to confusion and mistrust. Images should be placed in the correct place in the text. More to the side and smaller if we want to emphasise the text more, and more centrally if their content is important to the meaning of the text, as they can enrich and spiritualize it.
So far we have talked about how we can influence the reader's perceptions by indirect means. It is time to turn our attention to the most important element of the text - its message. The words we use are extremely important in conveying emotion to the reader.
Simply written paragraphs with a friendly tone prompt learners to move on, while overly long ones using complex terminology make reading difficult and lead to loss of concentration and attention. The style we use when writing is very important, but unfortunately not everyone is a born writer. The good news is , if you want to create courses, you don't have to. You just need to stick to a few simple rules.
It is easiest to use words that evoke a reaction: success, destiny, overcome, greed, etc. Words that stimulate a learning attitude are: control, discovery, laughter, achievement, help. Use as many such words as possible to get the learners' attention. Another approach is to include a short story that readers can associate with. It is best to make it humorous to evoke a pleasant emotion.
As you can see, you don't have to be a writer to create courses that are interesting, meaningful, and hold the attention of learners. Just stick to the few simple rules we have presented and you will see their success for yourself.