Get inspired by ‘Dora the explorer’ for your next instructional design and development


It is the duty of every instructional designer to create the instructional tutorial that captures attention of the learner. However, we always end up questioning, how do I seize attention of my audience? The answer is simple yet complicated. ’Develop a learning environment that involves the learner.”

For ages, we are entertained by various children shows, television series, cartoons, etc. Most of them has one element in common and that is ‘entertainment’. Only a few stand out that entertain kids as well as educates them. One such animated television series for preschoolers is ‘Dora the explorer’.

If you are like me, a pre-school child’s mom, you are aware of ‘Dora the explorer’ and the potential behind the interactive video.

Dora is a young girl who jumps on a trip in every episode to find either a missing character or to help somebody. While she is on the quest, she asks the spectators at home to help her find the paths to reach her destination. On the way, she educates the audience Spanish language as well as introduces them to new words, numbers, colors, etc. Dora involves the audience to get up, solve a mystery, tells them to repeat with her. The interactivity engages the kids by providing an activity, a challenge and a feedback.

The interactive activities and the learning essentials in every episode is the key essence for its success and that set’s it apart from other preschooler’s shows.

The developers of ‘Dora the explorer’ use Howard Gardner’s theory of ‘multiple intelligence’ as their guide. The theory demonstrates that humans show seven kinds of intelligence and that the educational activities need addressing those seven types of intelligence towards the target group to meet a great success.

Children literally get so involved in the fun that they are not even aware about the intellectual knowledge they are gaining at the same time.

How can instructional designers get inspired by Dora and develop instructional material for adults?

Adult learners cannot be much differentiated from children when we talk about capturing their attention as well as making them involved in the learning practice.

Learning has moved from instructor-centered to learner-centered.

Designers have to keep in mind that, to make an effective and efficient learning occurrence for the learners, they need to create their instructional material with elements of interactive learning activities to involve and engage the learners, which will eventually encourage an outstanding learning experience.


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