Teach on Mars contents authors: Lesson #12 – How emotions can best serve learning

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Dear Authors,

Remember lesson #6 on the 7 basic universal emotions: joy, sadness, contempt, fear, disgust, surprise and anger?

Seth Godin declared: There are only two tools available to the educator. The easy one is fear. Fear is easy to awake, easy to maintain, but ultimately toxic. Other tool is passion. Whether from the dark or the bright side, the force of emotions is always with us. So, how can we make the best of it in our training contents? See a few answers below…


First, let’s acknowledge Josh Davis’ studies. On one side, Mr. Davis demonstrates that moving muscles and related emotions are strongly linked. And that people mimic others’ expressions. On the other side, we now know that videos have a significant impact on retaining information. Hence, showing a video with someone happy and smiling will tend to make learners smile as well, which will then make them feel happy and optimistic for the next stage of the training.

Tip: Include smily videos to make smily therefore happier learners

Teach on Mars illustration on smily videos (bonus: French lesson):













Second, the more anecdotical the data delivery, the better the learners comprehension. Why? Because information is processed more deeply and retained longer if it has an emotional kick. Anecdotes appeal to empathy, which in turn produces an emotional reaction. Look for ways to use anecdotes in addition to, or in place of, straight data in our contents may well improve learners’ training memorization. As states Rasheed OgunlaruThe only way to change someone’s mind is to connect with them from the heart. 

Tip: Use anecdotes, quotes, stories rather than factual data to improve learners memorization

Teach on Mars illustration on using anecdotes, quotes and stories:

IMG_0586 IMG_0587


Have you heard of the OPhone? A smartphone that sends smelly SMS seems unbelievable doesn’t it? All the same, smells induce memories and hence emotions. Many companies are using scenting machines for branding: hotels, retail stores, casinos to cite but a few. Why not in learning! In the future, designing scent for influencing emotions might be part of a mobile apps designer’s options;

Teach on Mars might well surprise you with a smelly mobile learning application one of these days! In the meantime, let’s take advantage of our readily available tips. Following on the benefits of our learners’ emotions in the next lesson!

Link to lessons index page.

Ergonomic Design for Impactful Digital Resources

Ergonomic Design for Impactful Digital Resources

Cognitive ergonomics, dedicated to optimizing human-machine interactions, enhances productivity in digital design. Thoughtful integration of visual aids and sound, following Mayer and Mousavi’s principles, improves comprehension and reduces cognitive load. Sequence, conciseness, and awareness of redundancy are crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of digital resources.