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Using Storytelling in Your eLearning

An effective technique for ensuring your learners are truly absorbing your content in an elearning module is using a storytelling approach. When your content is wrapped up into a story it becomes more memorable and relatable to the learner than simply stating the facts and hoping that something sticks. The key is to make the story relatable to the learner so they can see the correlation and apply what they’ve learned to real-life situations. Walkthroughs and tutorials can be effective, but elearning stories create a personal connection with the learner. Here are some tips to using storytelling effectively.

1. One Skill at a Time – try not to use one story to teach multiple skills as it could get a little confusing. Focus on one skill at a time, and if you are teaching a broad skill-set, create a separate elearning story for each sub-skill or ability. Learners can then return to these “bite-sized” stories when they need to refresh their memory.

2. Provide Explanations – most people will want to know what the reasoning is behind your idea or concept. Add elements to your story which will help the learner understand the background to the concept and why it help them in their role. If they can see an example of how the concept works, it will help them understand why it is beneficial for them to take the time to learn a new skill.

3. Bring Facts and Stats to Life – if your elearning module has a lot of data in it there’s a good chance it will be skimmed over by the learner. Incorporating pertinent data into the story rather than just listing it in bullets will help retention as well.

4. Make it Interactive – rather than incorporating lengthy paragraphs in you course, make it interactive by giving learners the ability to click through the story and make decisions along the that will impact the outcome of the story. This will help them see the consequences of their story, and to determine the best problem solving approach.

Try to incorporate these ideas when using storytelling to help motivate learners and create a more immersive experience. By helping learners integrate knowledge into real-life scenarios, the realistic context of a story makes information easier to remember, and creates an emotional response to training.

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