Blog »

Storytelling: A Creative Strategy for eLearning

eLearning modules become more prevalent and the learning spectrum evolves, new platforms and strategies for implementation have become a high priority. Learning and development needs vary with every student, and keeping up with a climate of “on-demand” instructional design can be difficult.

One of the newest ways that is gaining steam in the eLearning environment is storytelling. This concept has worked well on a multi-level platform and can be adapted for any skill and comprehension level. Storytelling as an eLearning strategy can be used in a variety of ways: through on-screen dialogue or pictures, an on-screen teacher, or through a video of sorts where there are actors demonstrating what is happening.

Why storytelling in eLearning?

In every story, there are characters, a problem, actions and consequences, a situation that is resolved or a lesson to be learned and an ending. In training, these elements are crucial to the success of the participants.

This platform can be very effective for corporations who need to demonstrate to employees how to perform certain tasks. Modules can be developed to demonstrate how to operate equipment, what can be deemed as sexual harassment, or proper business etiquette for the office. For employees who need to understand OSHA regulations, having an effective storytelling eLearning module is key. A great advantage of this platform is that it can be seen by a number of individuals or one at a time.

For trainers, this is an additional form of engagement for participation. Used in a blended learning scenario, storytelling can be an invaluable resource which is suitable for interactive learning. This process can allow students and employees to work collaboratively, using their intuition to enhance the eLearning module by finishing or retelling the story as a means of testing their knowledge-base after the initial introduction to the module.

What are the benefits of storytelling with an e-Learning platform?

The immediate benefits of using storytelling are impactful:

  • Emotional connections form when stories are told. Based on the content, the participants become more engaged.
  • Stories help students learn. There are many individuals who can only comprehend by understanding the context of something. This is where storytelling really shines. By using storytelling as a basis, participants can recall elements of the story and apply it faster than if given random facts.
  • Storytelling promotes interactivity. With an eLearning course, there is no limit to how the content can be presented. It can be clever and professional or humorous and witty, each tone giving the content a new spin. When modules are fun and engaging, students enjoy them and retain more than when listening to a dull, monotonous instructor.
  • The brain gets exercise. In storytelling, participants must pay attention to get the full picture. They are more likely to be absorbed by a story from beginning to end so there is less of a chance of them missing any key elements.

One of the key factors in ensuring a successful eLearning experience through storytelling is in the development. It is important to employ techniques that have proven to be successful. The content must flow and remain interesting. If using characters with narration, the tone must be smooth and on-time. Make sure there are pauses where the participants have a chance to ponder certain situations or write down questions. Running through information without taking the audience into account will have negative results.

Modules that have already been developed with bullet points can easily be adapted to storytelling eLearning modules. Using photo collages, comic book style scripts and pictures, and other interactive materials will make any situation one than can be easily comprehended and fun. It’s all in the goal you are trying to achieve. Carefully plan and assess the points you are trying to convey and have fun! Your audience is waiting.

For more tips on building effective courses, check out these blog posts:

Use Interactive Video for Better Learning Outcomes

Once Upon a Time, Stories Transformed eLearning

6 Ways to Create Authentic eLearning

The 3 Writing Skills You Need to Create Effective Lessons