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The rhythm of online learning

Creating online learning is simply about publishing? – not so much! To work well online the new thinking is that learning needs a rhythm, and that rhythm is a game changer. To NLP professionals this rhythm should sound pretty familiar. It’s called ENCODING and RETRIEVAL.

It goes like this.

In the ENCODING phase you present the basic idea, and you do it as richly and as interestingly as you know how. Use visuals to create anchors, give them experiences if you can. Here’s a example of how different Rep system preferences tackle describing the filthiest, noisiest steam engine you’d ever be likely to see.

All being well the student reads, takes in ‘wow’ visuals, laughs, gasps, thinks ‘aha!’…

From an NLP Communication Model point of view, in this phase they are ENCODING the idea in their IR, and squirreling it away in their filters.


The magic needs more than just getting them to just store it away in a neurological filing cabinet. The magic comes when they RETRIEVE and use what they have stored.


So at some later stage the shoe goes onto the other foot, and you ask the student to apply what they have learnt. And this is where online gamification is such an asset. Rather than given them some sort of flat written test, you can use an exercise or a game. Here you are asking them to work with the idea, not just parrot it out. And the great advantage of using games is that they can include nudges and assistance to boost the students engagement and confidence.


Here’s an example .

This an easy-to-create drag-and-drop game also about Rep systems. The student is retrieving what they have learned and applying it in a different context. Not only is it more fun than pencil-and-paper, the system straightaway gives feedback on the student’s answer. And research says that immediate feedback is crucial to both student engagement AND effective learning.

Creating online learning is simply about publishing? – not so much! To work well online the new thinking is that learning needs a rhythm, and that rhythm is a game changer. To NLP professionals this rhythm should sound pretty familiar. It’s called ENCODING and RETRIEVAL.L.