eLearning Strategy, Learning Design, Generic

How to Capture Learner's Attention using Keller's ARCS Model

Nov 21, 2023
Sreenivas Gurrapu
How to Capture Learner's Attention Using Keller's ARCS Model

Introduction Summary

Learner engagement and retention of knowledge gained are always matters of concern when it comes to corporate training. One can utilize the ARCS model of instructional design as the first step towards capturing your learner's attention. This model addresses the learners’ motivational factors such as attention and relevance to enhance learner engagement and retention.


Motivation plays a very crucial role in human learning behaviors... John Keller's ARCS model of instructional design states that, in order to motivate the learners, the instructional materials need to grab and sustain the learners' attention. Then only the learners shall be motivated to complete a course and the purpose of learning can be fulfilled.

Keller's ARCS model is an effective instructional design framework that L&D professionals worldwide have been using for the past several years. The focus of the model is on capturing learners' attention, promoting the relevance of topic, building the confidence in learners, and ensuring satisfaction in the learning process.

In simpler words, learners need to understand the motivation behind a concept of knowledge or a piece of training to retain the information. When designing a mobile learning nugget or a custom eLearning course on a generic topic, a complex subject or a soft skill, the ARCS model can be utilized to engage the learners and enhance their understanding and retention.

Ways to Use the Elements of ARCS Model

Let's delve into the application of each element of the ARCS model in instructional design.

1. Attention

Capturing the learner’s attention is crucial for providing learning or training on any topic or subject. To do this, instructional designers use several attention-grabbing techniques to capture the learner’s attention and arouse their curiosity. These techniques include intriguing questions, examples from real world, real-world scenarios, multimedia presentations, interactive activities, captivating visuals, and quick demonstrations. These techniques create curiosity in learners and motivate them to delve deep into the subject matter.

2. Relevance

For learners to see the significance of the concept or topic they are going to learn, its relevance to their lives, careers, and future goals must be made clear. One can relate the subject matter to real-life scenarios or career aspirations, demonstrating how it can be applied in practical situations. Connecting the complex concepts to the existing knowledge and experiences of learners makes the subject more meaningful, engaging, and memorable.

3. Confidence

Providing learning or training on a complex subject can be a daunting task, but building the learner’s confidence is the key to success opportunities must be provided for active participation and hands-on experiences to boost the learners' self-assurance. Incremental learning and scaffolding techniques can help learners progress step by step, gradually mastering complex concepts while gaining confidence in their abilities.

4. Satisfaction

Ensuring learner satisfaction is vital to keep them motivated and committed to the learning process. To achieve this, you can provide Timely feedback, recognizing their efforts, and celebrating their achievements along the way can help the learner achieve these goals. Create a positive and supportive learning environment that encourages learners to ask questions, share their opinions and insights, and collaborate with peers. A sense of accomplishment and enjoyment will drive learners to persist in their pursuit of understanding the concepts or topics.

Application of ARCS Model in Instructional Design

When applying the ARCS model to train in a concept, topic, or subject, the instructional design should incorporate the following strategies.

1. Attention

Commence the learning experience with an attention-grabbing introduction, such as a thought-provoking question, an example from real world, an interactive activity, a captivating visual, a stimulating multimedia presentation, etc. Utilize visual aids and interactive elements throughout the module or course to keep the learners engaged with the content.

2. Relevance

Relate the complex subject to real-world examples and practical applications demonstrating how mastering the subject can benefit the learners' personal or professional growth. Highlight the relevance of the subject to learners career aspirations or academic goals.

3. Confidence

Foster a supportive learning environment where learners feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas. Provide opportunities to learners for hands-on practice and problem-solving to build their confidence in applying complex concepts.

4. Satisfaction

Offer constructive feedback, acknowledging the learners' progress and achievements and encourage them to reflect on their learning journey and recognize their growth. Incorporate opportunities for self-assessment and celebrate successful understanding of the concepts or subject matter.
By incorporating these principles of Keller’s ARCS model, instructional designers can create an engaging and effective mobile learning or custom eLearning courses for providing training in complex topics or subjects. Learners will be motivated, confident, and satisfied as they navigate and master the intricacies of the subject matter.


In conclusion, the ARCS model is a motivational design model for learning environments, which helps to stimulate and sustain learner motivation levels. By adhering to the elements of the ARCS model, industrial designers can develop engaging online or custom eLearning courses that motivate, instill confidence and satisfy learner’s navigation in subject matters.

Create custom eLearning courses by following the elements of ARCS model to support your employees in upskilling and reskilling. Streamline the authoring process for your eLearning materials with minimum efforts on our online learning platform KREDO or get custom eLearning solutions on our authoring tool Prodient,io.

If you wish to know how our services, learning platform, and authoring tool can help your organization in developing custom eLearning solutions, using the appropriate instructional design model or approach, contact us or write to us at <>.

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