Designing Emotionally Sound Instruction

Astleitner, H. (2000). Designing Emotionally Sound Instruction: The FEASP-Approach. Instructional Science 28(3), 169-198.

This article presents an aspect of systematic instructional design which has received relatively little attention so far: strategies for making instruction more emotionally sound. The roles of emotions in cognitive instructional design, in motivational design of instruction, in affective education, and in emotional education are briefly outlined. All these approaches do not consider how any instruction should be designed to become emotionally positive for students. Within the presented framework of Emotional Design of Instruction (EDI) a set of prescriptive propositions is obtained from a review of concepts, theories, and empirical findings in the field of research on emotion. Five major dimensions of instructional relevant emotions are identified: fear arising from judging a situation as threatening, envy resulting from the desire to get or not to lose something, anger coming from being hindered to reach a goal, sympathy as an experience in relation to other people who are in the need of help, and pleasure based on mastering a situation with a deep devotion. The author describes twenty instructional strategies that can be used to decrease negative feelings (fear, envy, and anger) and to increase positive feelings (sympathy and pleasure) during instruction.

So far, the articles covered in the course focused on Information design strategies. However, as designers we can not ignore the impact that emotions play in the overall design of infomration. How information is perceived by the end user will imapct their sense and produce an affective response. Furthermore, based on Norman's discussion of emotions, we need to consider how our interfaces and the information within will illict some form of response. Whether it is the color scheme, the use of oval/circular shapes, or the interactive feedback mechanisms (i.e. auditory or visual repsonse such as an avatar/guide or a simple relevant noise that provides feedback) in the design, how a student enganges emotionally in the technical platform will be based on our design considerations.

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