Hook & Land
In my previous blog, I covered the first big idea of Action-Reflection from Clark Quinn’s book. Now, I want to delve deeper into the next crucial idea: “Hook & Land.” Although Clark covers these concepts in separate chapters, I see them as complementary. On the surface, it sounds simple: hook learners with their motivators, then provide an exceptional experience so that learning sticks and impacts performance outcomes. However, Clark’s explanations have made me rethink my design practice.
(“Hook & Land” is what makes your learning experience meaningful)
Clark starts the chapter by saying, “To get people to engage, you have to open them emotionally before addressing them cognitively. People learn better when they care.” This statement sets the foundation for the entire chapter and highlights the importance of finding the right hook for learning.
In my opinion, you don’t need a single, perfect hook in a learning experience. Instead, many small hooks followed by small learning experiences can create a holistic learning experience.
The Emotional Buy-In
Before discussing how to get learners emotionally invested, Clark mentions two essential conditions that must be met:
- Identify tasks learners want to do but aren’t currently doing
- Identify a clear, observable outcome that determines learner performance
Once these conditions are fulfilled, you can design the hook for the learning experience. The tactics to create a great hook are described in detail in the book, and I wouldn’t do them justice by condensing them into this blog. However, here are some ways Clark suggests to build a great hook:
- Invoke learner curiosity
- Follow the three pillars of Self-Determination Theory: Autonomy, Competence & Relatedness
- Frame the “what’s in it for me” for learners carefully
- Show real-world consequences for learners
- Follow learner motivations
Once you have a great hook, you can focus on landing the learning experience. Clark defines landing as a state where learners are deeply engaged, in a flow, and aware of learning goals. To create a great learning experience that lands, Clark suggests several components:
- Learners should have a clear understanding of learning goals
- Challenges should be well-balanced
- Provide contexts where learning will be useful and can be dealt with creatively
- Show real consequences for wrong/mis-directed options, with feedback first focusing on consequences, followed by didactic feedback.
Clark also mentions that the principles behind great games and engaging learning are the same. He says that learning should be “hard fun,” and I would argue that to make learning engaging, it should be more game-like. Our world is becoming game-like, so why shouldn’t learning follow suit?
Finally, Clark emphasizes the importance of practice, particularly practice that boosts learner confidence to perform and make correct decisions on the job.
I’ve summarized Clark’s main ideas, but haven’t covered every single concept from his book. It’s time to put these concepts into practice!