Learning interventions need to be engaging, because without learner engagement there’s very little chance that any meaningful learning will take place. Engaging interventions attract and maintain interest, they arouse the emotions, they are full of energy. Just like learning should be.
In Switch – How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip and Dan Heath, the authors make a key distinction between what we think consciously and what our more primitive, emotional system will have us do. They liken the emotional system to an elephant and the intellect to the rider of the elephant. As you can imagine, when you’re trying hard to resist that bar of chocolate or force yourself up out of bed on a cold morning, the rider has a heck of a job keeping the elephant under control and can easily become exhausted in the process.