Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Take on Storytelling in E-learning

Story – Who hasn’t heard one? We have all grown up listening to stories all through our childhood. We related ourselves to all possible characters in the story and did take away a lot of lessons in the form of morals from them. Every challenge that came their way, taught us a lesson in return. Indeed, stories have been one of the oldest forms of effective education. But the question lies in why and how can we include these in e-learning.

Storytelling in E-learning - Why?

A story is a great way to explain fictitious or non-fictitious incidents. It has proven to be an effective medium of teaching that educates, motivates, influences as well as engages learners. A story creates an emotional connection with the learner (Like we related ourselves to story characters in our childhood). This emotional impact makes it easier for the learners to remember the training content. Thus, a story helps influence learners to be engaged in the training and eventually execute the knowledge acquired.

A Training Module in the form of a Story – How?

Now that we are convinced that stories not only educate but motivate, influence as well engage learners; it is time to learn about the factors that contribute to a powerful storyline.

A good storyline must generally run through the following elements:

Showcase Facts – Explain the goals or objectives of the training. It is crucial that learners understand and feel the relevance of the training so that they are persuaded to move ahead and learn more.

Describe the Location and the Situation – Describe where and in what circumstances the training content can be useful. Create a similar situation with a relevant location in your storyline so that it directly relates to the learner.

Use Relevant Characters – ‘Characters’ are the most crucial part of a story. Define the kind of personalities you ought to portray for each of your character. Jot down their characteristics and then based on these finalize with appropriate characters.

Explain the Problem – Define a problem and explain it through scenarios in the story to which your training content acts as a solution. This makes it evident to learners as to how they are expected to demonstrate the knowledge acquired and also in what kind of situations.

Provide a Resolution – Summarize on how the character(s) solved the problem. Reinforce key take-away points from the course.

Well, last but not the least consider using humor in your stories, this truly makes them more interesting.

Let me know your ideas on storytelling. I look forward to hear your tips or processes you follow while using storytelling in eLearning. Also, if you have some interesting samples that are designed using storytelling, do share it with all of us.