All ancient learning took place through storytelling. From oriental civilization to western civilizations, stories such as Panchatantra, Aesop’s Fables or Tao tales, became cultural repositories of knowledge.
It is therefore inherent, that we learn easier through stories. Pedagogical principles show that both child and adult learning is facilitated better through stories. In elearning, stories are the most effective tool for retention of subject matter.
Ranging from scenarios to simulations, stories are a comprehensive method of learning from example.
How did learning via storytelling evolve in a corporate workplace? It already existed, in a more informal manner.
At every sales meet, sales representatives share their experiences with customers, their successes and their failures. Other examples are those of well documented case studies. A speech or a meeting is always enlivened by anecdotes about work.
Role play is another exciting way to enhance stories. Here, people assume characters and narrate experiences or imaginary tales.
Capture these incidents and experiences, transform them with multimedia and you have with you an interactive and highly engaging story based elearning module.
Elements of story telling–
1. Narrative – Narratives can be simple with single point dilemma situations. Complex narratives are like stories embedded within stories. Here the narrative is branched out with multiple decision points. This branching out creates different paths for reaching your decisions.
2. Plot – All stories benefit from a good plot. Online stories allow you to create multiple plots and explore all at a click of a button.
3. Characters – Stories for elearning are limited. Too many characters create confusion in the learners mind and do not serve the purpose.
4. Relationship – Establishing a relation between the story and user actions become the primary aim of an elearning story. It keeps the user engaged and the story remains interactive.
5. Elearning stories are usually open ended. They are aimed at allowing the user to select the ending. In most cases, you can create multiple endings.
Stories in elearning focus on how to develop highly engaging content using digital means.