The Engaging Effect of MC Hammer
Yeah, your girl was back up dancing for MC Hammer. You read that right. The shiny suit, parachute pant wearing MC Hammer.
You may be wondering, what does MC Hammer have to do with creating online courses? I’ll get to that in a moment.
But first, let me bask in my 15minutes of fame. (This is actually my 2nd 15 minutes of fame making it a total of 30minutes of lifetime fame.)
Ok, I admit. I wasn’t actually a back up dancer, but I was on stage with him. That counts, right?
I got a chance to see MC Hammer live in concert this weekend. He captivated us from the very beginning. His entire performance was engaging: he got the crowd moving, he danced down the aisles, he jumped up on the raised platform, he shimmied, he shook, AND he handed out flowers. Hammer knows how to create an experience and get his audience involved (which is key for creating an amazing course).
It was during the Too Legit to Quit song that he invited a group of people to the stage. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE to dance. So, I couldn’t resist. I jumped up on stage too and busted out my dance moves. (I was slightly hoping I would be invited to be a real back up dancer. But, alas, I returned to my 9to5 job the following Monday.)
Back in the day, Hammer was not only a rapper, but also an entertainer. His songs and dance moves were high energy. And, in his recent concert, he didn’t fail to live up to that standard.
What MC Hammer Can Teach Us About Online Courses
Hammer knows how to engage his audience. He knows how to get people up and moving and having a great time.
And, with online courses, you need to inspire your learners to have a great time, too. You need to be like Hammer. Your goal should be to have your learners engage with the content, not just sit back and passively listen. They want to hear from you because they want to learn something. They want to change their life. And, they trust you to show them how to do it.
So, you may be thinking, does Jennifer really want me to start shaking my booty on video in my courses? Hold on speed racer, that’s not exactly what I’m saying.
How to Engage your Online Course Participants
Here are 4 activities you can use in your courses to get your learners engaged and involved in your content (Download worksheet here):
1. Worksheets/Fun Sheets: Use handouts and workbooks to get your learners to reflect and record information. This can either be information you presented or information that they need to go out and find. Writing things down is a powerful way to engage learners.
2. Project-Based Activities: More than likely, the people who take your course are trying to learn to do something. And, because they want to learn to do something, I’m not a fan of quizzes. Quizzes don’t make you do something. They test whether you remember something (most of the time). So, instead, replace a quiz with an activity your learners have to do. Do you remember the most important questions to ask before starting your course? Use that as a starting point for creating a project-based activity.
3. Observation/Collect Things: I told you that I love dancing. Now, you know my second love — scavenger hunts. I’m pretty competitive, and I love solving mysteries or searching for things. Getting your learners to search the web, explore their surroundings, collect images, etc. can really help them see things in a different perspective.
4. Case Studies: Present your learners with a problem or a scenario. Let them create their own solution to the situation. This gets them actively thinking and applying what they learned to their personal experience.
These are four of many ways you can get your course peeps involved in what you’re presenting. Check out this worksheet to record some of your content pieces that may possibly fall under each category.
So, what can we learn from MC Hammer? Don’t just throw up some slides, talk, and think it’s going to cut it. Be like Hammer and engage your learners because, guess what? I’d pay to see Hammer again in a heartbeat and I’m telling ALL of my friends about it. And, you should want the same for your course.
Alrighty, I want to hear from you. In the comments, let me know the most memorable concert you’ve attended. And, let me know what ways you plan to engage your course participants.