Skill Level Intermediate
- There's a time and a place for all types of instructional delivery. Sometimes the instructional lecture, talk, or presentation is the way to go. How you frame your instructional media can make a big difference in how effective you are at engaging your learner. Now, in this week's episode of Training Tips Weekly, we're going to explore this concept of the frame for your instructional materials. To gain a better understanding of the concept of the frame, picture your favorite movie.
As a member of the audience, you're having a story told to you on the screen. But if you shift your perspective to that of the filmmaker who's telling the story, you suddenly realize that you are in control of what you reveal to the viewer, when you reveal it, and how it's revealed within the confines of the frame. And much like a filmmaker, as the instructor the part of your lesson that you have relative full control over is the framing of your content.
Therefore, let's look at some framing techniques that filmmakers have developed and used over the last century and see how to apply them to the instructional content creation and delivery for your materials. Now, the foundation of every great film and instructional lesson is always seeking the answer to one question: why? Why should the audience or the learner care about what they're watching or learning? The answer to this question is always the same: the story.
All good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. In the beginning, you seek to draw the learner into the story and hook their interest. Filmmakers often use a series of establishing shots that tells the audience the context of the story, when and where the story is taking place, who the main characters are, and what is motivating the storyline. A common technique for accomplishing this is to begin with a series of shots that starts off with a wide angle and progressively narrows to a close-up revealing to the audience what they should be paying attention to.
Now, in an instructional lesson, if you jump straight to the fine details without first establishing the context for your learners, they may quickly become confused and lose interest. Therefore, design your lessons around the basic arc of a story, establishing the context of the lesson with the big picture views to help your learners orient themselves to your lesson and then draw them in to caring about the content by narrowing down your focus into the details as you tell your instructional story.
Next, consider incorporating these five aspects of the frame in the design of your next lesson. Number one, be purposeful in what you include in your frame, while removing barriers and clutter. Now, everything in the framing of your lesson should have a purpose for being there. Therefore, remove barriers and meaningless clutter. This'll help your learner focus on what's important.
A simple visualization of this principle can be seen in this shot where these white lines are simply in the way, separating the instructor from the audience. When these are removed, instantly the learner is able to focus on the information that's being presented. Number two, use leading lines to draw your learner's eye, attention, and focus. Now, the eye will naturally look for visual cues and follow leading lines that direct the learner to what is most important.
Therefore, try shifting your perspective or angle of your visual materials so that rather than a flat, static graphic, you draw your learner's focus along a natural line that points to the most critical piece of information that you're presenting. Number three, create looking or breathing room in your materials. As instructors, we regularly present information-dense content, and we often feel the need to cram as much information onto our slides, documents, and other forms of media as possible.
And this can make the learner feel overwhelmed with information. Therefore, try isolating the most critical point you're focused on, and give that point space to breathe around it. Consider the direction your learners will read the visual information in, and leave an open space in the direction that the eye would naturally continue looking. This will give your learner the mental space to better process the information and incorporate it into their mental framework.
Number four, approach subjects from multiple angles. Take a mental step back and consider how else you could view a particular topic. Instead of simply taking a topic straight-on, consider a look from above or from a different side. Does a wider perspective illustrate your point better? Or does looking up from underneath give the best perspective to the learner? Sometimes a simple shift in perspective can illustrate a point in a slightly different way, which will then trigger that aha moment of understanding that we're all after.
Number five, think outside the frame and remember that sound is half the picture. Don't forget to engage your learners' other senses to emphasize a point, describe a phenomenon, or focus their attention. As you deliver your instructional story, expand your instructional frame beyond the visual elements. A well-framed lecture or presentation can engage, inspire, and captive your learners.
Well, that's all for this week's episode of Training Tips Weekly. I hope this has given you a few ideas to help enhance the framing of your next instructional lesson. If so, give it a like on LinkedIn Learning and share it on your social media channels. If you have a topic that you'd like me to cover, then reach out to me on Twitter @csmattia or here on LinkedIn. Then be sure to tune in to next week's episode where we'll once again help you enhance the design, creation, and delivery of your instructional materials.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.