Learning & Development

Using Narrative and Storytelling in E-Learning

High-quality technology isn’t the only thing that will make e-learning effective for your learners. Using narrative and storytelling should also be a critical component of your e-learning programs.story telling
According to notable scientific research, storytelling is the best way to activate the brain because human beings are hardwired for it. Telling a story is the only way to activate parts in the brain that enable listeners to turn the story into their own ideas and experiences. In a nut shell, storytelling allows people to learn better. Continue reading to learn more about using narrative and storytelling in e-learning.

Why Use Narrative in E-Learning?

A good story engages its listeners on an emotional level and encourages them to be more empathetic and open-minded, as well as exhibit agency; it completely immerses them in the story and its characters and world. And good e-learning courses with stories about the workplace will allow learners to understand customers, coworkers, and other stakeholders from a different and more authentic perspective and will serve as a powerful information and persuasion tool.
Narrative also provides a conceptual framework to structure and outline your e-learning courses and learning material. An e-learning course with a narrative will begin by setting up the theme, setting, characters, and the learner’s goal as the story’s protagonist. This way, the learner will easily understand what his or her learning objectives and goals are and what he or she can expect to encounter as he or she navigates through the narrative.
In addition, using narrative throughout your e-learning materials can increase your learners’ rates of knowledge retention of the material they’re encountering. And it will better contextualize the learning content to learners’ everyday lives and work environments, which is what will keep them interested and engaged in their e-learning courses long term.

When to Use Storytelling in E-Learning

You’ll want to use storytelling in your e-learning content when you’re trying to illustrate something you’re teaching. For instance, if you want your customer care reps to understand what your customers are facing when they can’t get approved for a loan, you might want them to become immersed in a story where they become that customer struggling to make ends meet and really need help.
You can also use narrative in your e-learning content when you’re trying to frame what you’re teaching. For example, you can have your new employees walk through a day in the life at the office where they encounter everyday situations they need to learn to navigate and address.
And you can also have learners become immersed in stories where they role-play and learn how to navigate experiences and situations firsthand. Such stories are much more interactive and might involve other learners, too.

Tips for Using Narrative in E-Learning

  •  Use a three-act structure:
    1. Set up an introduction to theme, goals, and characters.
    2. Introduce a confrontation, conflict, or challenge.
    3. Wind down the story with a resolution or resources for improvement.
  • Always integrate your organizational goals into your narrative’s themes and goals.
  • Keep your story simple, and implement microlearning so that your learners are never overwhelmed and never get burned out.

Use the information and tips above to better understand the importance of storytelling in e-learning and how you can effectively utilize it.