5 Ways To Effectively Incorporate eLearning Stories Into Your eLearning Course Design
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How To Effectively Incorporate eLearning Stories Into Your eLearning Course Design

Sure, you could simply state the facts and hope that something sticks. But the truth is that every idea, concept, and skill is more memorable when it’s wrapped up in a story. It piques the online learner’s curiosity and makes them want to know more about the eLearning character’s plight. In essence, it draws them in so that the subject matter is free to soak into their grey cells. However, eLearning stories must be used wisely, or else they tend to lose their effect. Here are 5 ways to effectively incorporate eLearning stories into your eLearning course design in order to make the difference.

1. Stress The Importance Of A Skill

Your online learners know that they have to build a specific skill. But do they know why? Incorporating eLearning stories into your eLearning course design gives you the ability to highlight the importance of a skill so that online learners are more motivated and engaged. For example, illustrating how an online learner can apply a skill in the real world to increase work productivity. People must be aware of how the skill benefits their lives outside of the learning environment. By reading a relative eLearning story, they place themselves inside the shoes of the main eLearning character. This allows them to see the connection between skill development and achieving the desired outcome. Likewise, if the eLearning character doesn't build the necessary skills they might suffer the consequences.

Tip: Concentrate on one skill at a time. If you are working with a broad skill set, create a separate eLearning story for each sub-skill or ability. Online learners are then able to return to the eLearning story when it's time to re-skill or refresh their memory. Bite-sized eLearning stories can also serve as great microlearning or online support resources.

2. Teach A Task

Walkthrough and tutorials are effective eLearning tools. But eLearning stories create a personal connection with the online learner. Instead of simply showing them every step in the process, you tell them why each step is so important. You can even turn your eLearning story into a timeline that includes clickable objects. When online learners click on the triggers they uncover another part of the eLearning story; in this case, the next step of the online task and the reasoning behind it. You may also reveal what happens if they fail to perform the step or don't possess the necessary skills.

Tip: Your task-centered eLearning story should cover every aspect of the process, from start to finish. Leaving out key details might lead to costly mistakes. If you're dealing with a lengthy process, consider braking it into smaller stories that cover each sub-task.

3. Highlight A Trend

Humans are innately curious. We want to know the reason behind the idea or concept. You can use this to your advantage by creating a trend backstory. In most cases, a bulleted list or timeline would suffice. However, an eLearning story makes it so much more intriguing. This is due to the fact that you can add the element of emotion and relatability. As an example, the history of a company is more than just dates and captions on a chart. There are real people behind the success of the organization, an idea that started it all. The same applies to popular trends, inventions, and ideologies.

4. Breathe Life Into Facts And Stats

Once again, you could easily plug your data and numbers into spreadsheet or bulleted list. However, online learners are likely to skim right over them and move onto the next eLearning activity. This is particularly true when multiple facts and stats are involved. Our brains have a hard time processing the abundance of data. Thus, eLearning professionals have to make it easier to digest and assimilate. And this is where storytelling comes into play. eLearning stories make numbers and ideas more tangible and relatable. They show the connection between the subject matter and the real world. For instance, mentioning that 44% of your employees are under-skilled might not have an impact. However, an eLearning story can convey the far-reaching repercussions of this statistic.

Tip: Compile a list of essential data before you begin your eLearning story. This helps you create a framework so that you don't forget any pertinent details. The list also doubles as an online learning resource, as you can use it as a summary at the end of the story. Additionally, meet with your Subject Matter Expert to get their advice about which facts are tale-worthy.

5. The Never-Ending Story

This isn't a reference to the popular 80s fantasy film. Actually, it's an effective storytelling exercise that you can integrate into your eLearning strategy. Instead of writing the eLearning story yourself, give online learners the opportunity to create each chapter. Start the eLearning story on your online forum or social media page, then encourage online learners to continue it in the thread. This offers a variety of advantages. Firstly, you get to test online learner progress and comprehension. Every chapter must involve a key idea or topic that they put into their own words. Thus, they have to know the subject matter inside and out. Secondly, it gives online learners the chance to interact with their peers. Finally, they have the ability to share feedback and expand their own comprehension by reading the rest of the thread.

The secret to creating an effective eLearning story is researching your online learners. You need to know what makes them tick, what drives them to actively engage in the eLearning process. Ultimately, you must take on the role of detective to figure out how you can stir their emotions. And this can only be achieved through in depth eLearning audience research.

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SAP Litmos
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