The Science of Boredom

Boredom … don’t we all remember at least one teacher who had mastered the art of Boring Students. This video from neurologist Judy Willis started with her realising that teachers were reporting more and more cases of kids who had ‘learning’ disorders or ATD etc and, when she took a closer look it turned out that the teachers were just boring the kids almost literally brainless!. Seems obvious – ‘don’t bore kids’ – but it still happens so often with kids and with adult learners (yes, this isn’t just something for school teachers – trainers, instructors and teachers of all kinds and for students of all age groups should pay attention to this.)

There are a lot of incredible teachers, instructors and trainers out there who do inspire and motivate their learners but for every one of them there is a small army of complacent, bored and boring people leading others into their special worlds of knowledge or expertise kicking and screaming. For those involved in online learning, it’s even more critical to place yourself in the learner’s seat and try to gauge how your online materials are engaging and motivating them to learn. This isn’t always easy when online learning development teams have budgetary and time constraints and when the ‘content’ provided them is often not in the least engaging. However, these challenges have to be met otherwise there will be crowds of potential learners hitting the ‘off’ switch after a couple of minutes on your course pages.

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