How To Choose The Right Storytelling Strategy For eLearning Videos
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Choosing The Right Storytelling Strategy For eLearning: Storytelling Elements To Include

Stories have the ability to make the learning process fun and interesting. According to Jennifer Aaker, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, presenting information in a story form is 22 times more effective than presenting it with facts alone. Storytelling has the power to effortlessly make the details of a course memorable. It can gain the user’s attention and increase the level of engagement. But even the best stories can detract from the purpose of a course. Too much storytelling and modules become overwhelming, causing the average user to lose interest.

Crafting the right mix of compelling stories with content is the challenge for eLearning videos. How can you weave compelling stories into your lesson that enhance the content?

Strike The Right Chord!

Understanding your audience is the primary step when using a storytelling strategy for eLearning. Stories are said to be effective for a reason–they create an emotional impact on the audience. Before choosing stories, ask the following questions:

  • How can I personalize my story to make it relatable?
  • How can my story deliver solutions for common problems?
  • Are there any inside jokes, jargon, or industry references I can use?
  • How can I make an emotional connection with the audience?
  • What is the one major aspect that could influence their profession/industry?

Answering these questions will help you start creating the right content that resonates well with the audience. The more relatable you make the story, the more the user will be engaged and retain it.

The Importance Of The Right Placement Of Stories

Before starting the storyboarding and video production process, decide where the stories can be incorporated into. The placement of these stories plays an integral part in delivering the intended meaning behind them.

Stories should be seamlessly added to enhance the content. Interesting, targeted stories add extra value to the course materials. Stories should be placed in such a way that they impart specific knowledge and drive the lesson forward. Deciding the placement of stories beforehand will help keep the video production on target.

Ideas For Incorporating Storytelling

  • Use a single story when the main takeaway point is too complex to understand.
  • Start the video with a story before moving into specific content. Recap the story incorporating facts and practices from the lesson.
  • The story can be used to spark ideas and make learners think. For example, you can introduce a common problem with a protagonist and ask questions like "What decision would you make if you were in Bob’s situation?". Give them time to come up with an answer and support their choices with material from the course.
  • Case studies can be presented in the form of stories from a certain individual’s point of view.
  • One single story can be split into shorter stories and used across a module.
  • One single protagonist or scenario can be used across all modules/videos of an eLearning course to facilitate learner involvement.
  • Include content-relevant stories to avoid losing the learner’s attention during longer videos.

Crafting The Story

Now that you understand how stories can improve learning outcomes, selecting the right storytelling strategy for eLearning is crucial.

Stories are all around us. How can you decide which stories will enhance your learning objectives? When you have a story idea, start by preparing an outline. Develop the characters and detail the important scenes. Keep the stories simple, understandable, and with a clear connection to the content.

Choose characters that your target audience will identify with and will serve as models for the lessons you want to impart.

Retain the attention of the learners by including plots that increase the curiosity of the viewers, keep them guessing, or spark empathy with the learners.

When the basic outline of the story is ready, ask the following questions to check if you’re on the right track.

  • Is the protagonist of the story someone the learner sees in the workplace every day and relates to?
  • Has every scene of the story been clearly defined with no unnecessary details?
  • How does the story progress? Does it end with a lesson due to a wrong action or depict the right practice?
  • Is the plot easy to follow? Present the story to others and ask for their feedback.
  • How will this story be developed? Is it going to be depicted with animations, a video with voiceover, or will it be narrated by the instructor? Prepare the dialogue according to that.

Deciding the approach of the story is important in order to visualize how the story can be said in the best way. When you have implemented all the strategies above, you are ready to create the most effective course for your learners.

The next time you are planning an eLearning course, don’t forget to include relevant story elements. Your learners will find the course interesting and will be able to retain and implement the content effectively in their day-to-day work.

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