Friday, February 3, 2012

Hesitant Users- Kellers ARCS model

I work in a traditional university setting where online education is somewhat viewed as a "threat" to traditional ground based, instructor led courses. Online learning is scary to some, and even scarier are electronic textbooks, which our university is piloting. We have seen some major apprehension when trying to implement this new way of using textbooks-the major concern being the student not being able to hold a physical text, write in it, ear mark the pages, and then resell it. In a roundabout way, we have used Keller's ARCS model, by:
  • giving ATTENTION to the faculty members who were most concerned. We set up meetings, let them speak their piece, showed them examples, and heard what they had to say. We validated their concerns.We got their attention by showing them studies, bringing in e-readers, and showing them what e-texts could do for our students.
  • showing the instructors why e-texts were RELEVANT in today's society. 21st century learners welcome the opportunity to use electronic devices, textbooks are quickly becoming a rule, not an exception. We also validated their concerns by showing them multiple options for accessing a text and even getting a print version for those completely opposed to electronic.
  • we provided pre-training to give them CONFIDENCE in the new technologies they were about to use.
  • we surveyed the SATISFACTION of both the students and the faculty and used their feedback to alter our implementation for the e-text roll-out. We heard their voices and rewarded them with an altered plan to suit their needs.
Responded to:


  1. Hi Karen,
    It sounds like their level of efficacy is low. I'm curious if Bandura's (2002) theory will prove true for the faculty. That is, I wonder if their low level of efficacy for the task of moving to digital text and digital teaching will result in their having a low level of performance when it comes to carrying out the task. What has been your experience with it so far?

    Bandura, A. (2002). Growing primacy of human agency in adaptation and change in the electronic era. European Psychologist, Vol 7(1), 2–16.

    1. Hi Karen,

      I am trying to post to your blog; I joined as a follower. The only way I could respond to you was to reply under Martha Bless' post.

      In reading your post, technology seems to intimidate the leaders and staff. Technology is certainly the wave of the future, and the traditional classroom is changing constantly. Additionally, I am interested in finding out how this motivational design will impact the staff.

      Hopefully, it will be effective - if not I fear that this learning environment will fall way behind the instructional design that is being promoted for future learners. There is a need for both traditional and non-traditional instruction.

      Sandra Dykes

  2. Karen,

    I am interested in hearing what the surveys told you? My husband is a principal at a local high school. His school has been awarded a large grant in which they will be allowed to implement technology. The will be using the e-books. Are there ways of utilizing the e-books to do some of the things you mentioned were concerns of the teachers (example-making notes in the text, marking etc.)?

  3. Hi Karen,
    Since catering to those who are apprehensive about the e-textbooks, have you seen a shift in their behavior? Do you think they are becoming more comfortable with the shift? Change is a difficult process for us all especially if takes us out of our comfort zone.

    Great post,

  4. Brenda Mckoy
    Dear Karen,

    I also had trouble posting to your blog. I posted a comment sometime ago and it did not appear. However, I enjoyed your reflection and can understand your frustration with trying to create an adoption that would benefit the learning community . Your seem to have grasp the problem by implementing Keller's ARCS model. Did you feel that the outcome was satifactory?

  5. I completely agree with distance education is at a place on the S-shaped curve that will see exponential growth in the area. I can see this in my organization. Today we offer 12 blended e-learning courses. Three years ago my organization offered zero e-learning courses.
    Distance Education in india