We get songs stuck in our heads all the time. They’re powerful things, as advertisers know well. But have you ever considered using them as part of an eLearning program? Just about anything can be set to a tune and when it’s done well songs can help learners recall information. Frankly, they can be more fun than standard narration too. Rhymes can accomplish the same things, but don’t require any music. Think about it. Can you “recite” the alphabet without singing it? Do you know how many days are in each month because of a rhyme?
Let’s break down a song and a rhyme and see why they work so well.
Quick disclaimer and confession. This song excerpt is from an ad, an ad that neither Digitec nor I are affiliated with in any way. But it’s the first song that came to mind for this.
“I have a structured settlement and I need cash now.
Call JG Wentworth
Each verse of the song introduces a new reason why someone might want to use the service that’s being advertised. They present an existing circumstance and a need then offer a possible solution. The song packs use cases, an objective, the name of the company, and their contact information all into one jingle. It essentially lays out the steps of a process.
“Stop, drop, and roll (if your clothes catch fire).”
This rhyme is short and to the point. It’s full of action verbs that clearly state what needs to be done. It also provides context by telling you when you should “stop, drop, and roll.” Quick reminders like this are great for helping learners remember information when they need it.
Ideas for Using Them
I’m not suggesting that you need to write an entire course as a song or in rhyme, like The Night Before Christmas (though I’d be interested to see how something like that turned out). But there are ways to incorporate song and rhyme into your coursework.
• Present a song that gives context or highlights use cases
• Set process steps to a tune
• Create a song or rhyme for a list that needs to be remembered
• Summarize or recap a lesson’s key concepts as a rhyme
• Use a rhyming tag line to promote a course, like a slogan or motto
Be sure to keep intellectual property rights and copyright law in mind if you’re considering using existing resources, rather than making your own.
Songs and rhymes stick, which is exactly what you want the information in your courses to do. They’re excellent, catchy memory aids. A little goes a long way to helping learners remember on another day. What songs or rhymes do you use to jog your memory?
If you’d like to learn more about custom eLearning course creation from Digitec Interactive, visit our eLearning page.
If you’d like to read more about instructional design best practices, check out the rest of this author’s blogs.
Ready to find out what Digitec can do for you?