When do you become hooked on a TV series? Netflix have done some research on this and are able to pinpoint the episode that becomes the tipping point and people become hooked.

Their definition of “hooked” being the episode where 70% of the people who watch it, go on to complete the whole series. Amongst the most addictive – two of my favourites: Breaking Bad and the Walking Dead.

This got me thinking: could we apply the same definition to learning?

When Do Audiences Become Hooked on Learning?

I looked to apply the same analytical principle on the MOOCs we have run over the last year. I made the leap of faith that a “Level” in Curatr was analogous to an episode in a TV series and looked to see what level people needed to complete to ensure that 70% of those who completed that level went on to finish the MOOC.

The answer: Level 3.

70% of people (on average across the last 4 MOOCs) who finish Level 3 go on to complete the MOOC. Which puts the MOOCs on a par with Dexter and House of Cards – not bad company.

Take a Tip From Walter White

Dropping- in or dropping-out of MOOCs, and whether completion of MOOCs is an important or unimportant issue are all areas of debate. But irrespective of which side of the fence you sit on those particular arguments perhaps we can still learn from the Breaking Bad experience.

The key to the success was Episode 2 “Cat’s in the Bag” where Walter and Jessie toss a coin to decide who will kill a drug rival and who will dispose of the corpse.

Breaking bad learning

Spoiler Alert: Jessie lost that one!

The Drama. The Interest. The Buzz.

Whatever it was in episode 2 of Breaking Bad set the series up for the multi-award winning series that it became.

What’s Your “Hook”?

So maybe look at your Level 2, and ask yourself this: What are you including in your learning design that is more addictive than Crystal Meth?