If you haven’t read this article J. van Aart, B. Salem, C. Bartneck, J. Hu, and M. Rauterberg, “Designing for Experience: Arousing Boredom to Evoke Predefined User Behaviour,” in 6th Design and emotion conference, Hong Kong, 2008 I highly recommend that you do.
(Picture CC – http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4089/5140203952_6e02f65e8b.jpg)
In the article, the researchers through literature review establish a framework for inducing bordem and state it as follows:
G1: Induce sensory deprivation by reducing external stimuli to a minimum
G2: Create monotony, by using highly predictive repetitive stimuli
G3: Prevent drowsiness by using stimuli with high intensity.
G4: Do not satisfy the need for excitement; rather use the user’s expectation to create an anti-climax.
G5: Avoid any novelties, changes and surprises; everything should seem in place and make sense.
G6: Do not mentioning a wait on forehand, nor explaining the length and reason of it.
G7: Emphasize the passage of time during a wait.
They then design an experiment to test: what was the most effective method to trigger boredom and how long it would take someone to become bored under the guideline established. While they could not answer their first question within the research design, they did however make this observation:
“Overall, a significant rise of inactiveness and introversion is observed, accompanied by a reduction of extroversion and a decrease of cheerfulness. Additionally, most participants reported to feel bored of having nothing to do. These are signs that boredom is in fact triggered.”
And their results showed that it would take someone a maximum of 10 minutes within the guidelines stated to become bored.
If this research is a correct indication of what boredom is and what constitutes it, it validates calls from many researchers for many decades why lectures and transmission styled teaching doesn’t work.
The guidelines and the overall experiment could actually be conducted in a lecture room without making in changes in many cases to replicate the same result or even a more informative finding.
In fact, in my opinion it should be made a guideline for teachers of what not to do or avoid in their teaching at all times. Your teaching at all cost should avoid ” …….. Pedagogy 101