Whether it’s the element of surprise, the aesthetic quality of visuals, a good story, or some other feature, if you’re going to engage your learners, it takes going beyond the learning objectives to do the job. Here are five ways to go the extra mile to capture and keep focused minds.

Learning Exchange: Touch-based Interactivity Design. Christopher Allen. Interactive app. Examine what constitutes good mobile design with a mobile performance support app containing an instructional designer’s checklist of 10 crucial components for creating high-quality touch interactions.

Learning Exchange: Visual Surprise and Special Effects in PowerPoint. Davie Anderson. Video (00:4:59). You may not be aware of the capabilities of PowerPoint for creating special effects, but this video will get you started.

Learning Exchange: Design Bites – Image Quality. Bianca Woods. Video (00:03:08). Did you ever wonder how to tell if a picture you want to use in a design is great or not? In this episode Bianca shares a few ways an image can be low quality (and tips for what images to use instead).

Learning Exchange: Pump Up the Dopamine: Seven Strategies to Improve Retention. Ken Murray. Video (00:01:37). Better learning leads to better outcomes. But what does “better learning” look like? How can we prime our learners for success? In this video, we look at seven simple strategies that can increase engagement and improve retention. You may recognize the seven scientific strategies that have been borrowed from the gaming industry! Go-go game mechanics! Hooray for gamification!

Conference Archive: Visual Storytelling Using Mobile Devices. Brian Melven. Video (00:49:09). Explore visual storytelling techniques and the formats that are well suited for mobile delivery. You will learn how you can develop content such as infographics, whiteboard animations, motion graphics, and comics to explain processes and tell your story visually. You will leave this session understanding the different formats that you can use for visual storytelling and the types of tools used to produce them.