Creating motivation prototypes

The largest international learning event in Northern Europe? Yes, we were there! And not just as participants but as “inspirators”. We facilitated a prototyping session with 22 enthusiastic festival-goers. And the results were spectacular!

In our workshop, we deep dived into the motivational aspects of digital learning. Our focus was on the learning individual. We asked:

  • What can we do to make learning a meaningful part of daily workflow?
  • What kind of methods could we use to nudge people towards online learning? 

The ultimate goal was to create prototypes… of anything. In other words, the end result could be anything from wireframes, service maps and concepts to dance performances, poems and installations… whatever the team decided would work best in presenting the idea to others.

We dared to co-create

We began the workshop with a simple question: What motivates you to learn digitally? As we expected, the motives were diverse. We all learn individually. We all have different attitudes towards digital learning.

Paying attention to everyone’s needs is a daunting task. Our amazing participants bravely took on this challenge. They came up with great ideas for motivating different learners. (We facilitators only dared to ask.)

The prototypes answered to the specific needs of four different learner types 

Our first group took on the task of motivating the “quick” learner. They created a physical prototype of a racetrack game. In the game, the learner is motivated by achievements, points and trophies – and trying to beat the clock, of course!

The second group analysed the needs of the “observer”. The result was a mindmap of an ideal learning service for a learner, who prefers connecting the dots by themselves. The group underlined that observers, too, want to interact with other learners. They just want to do it at their own pace. 

The third group created a learning-dating app for the “social” learner. The app allowed learners to meet and like each other.

The fourth group demonstrated (through a performance!) what kind of a learning system would best motivate “aware” learners. This adaptive system would offer relevant content to the user based on other users’ feedback.

What we learned

All of the prototypes brought something fresh to the table. We were super excited about the high quality and creativity of the prototypes. One of the most important take-aways for us was that we were – once again – reminded about the importance of collecting learner insight. It is the only way to fully understand the learners’ needs.

Also, meeting different learners simply inspires us. The opportunity to co-create something new with them is the thing that keeps us going on rainy, grey office days.

What do you think we should co-create next?

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Saara Saarinen is a learning designer at eOppiva.

Tuire Suihkonen is a content designer at eOppiva