Storytelling: 3 Keys to Scenario Based eLearning
There is excitement and energy that is conveyed during any interaction that comes only through telling stories and scenario based eLearning. That enthusiasm for a story is only increased when you become part of the story. While role-plays often receive a poor reputation, they are a powerful tool in any type of training for engaging and then applying key learning that has occurred. Role-plays in a very real sense are storytelling, at a higher level. At eLearning Brothers, we have a story to tell, and as we make our eLearning engaging and explosive, storytelling through an interactive role-play is critical to the success of almost every course we build. As we create immersive eLearning, we use some simple and easily applied steps to help each course tell its own story.
#1 Find the Story
Each organization, each topic, each person has a story to tell. Whether your course is about a code of conduct issue, building a spreadsheet, or putting the proper fuel into the flux capacitor, there is a story around it. Identify what that story is and brainstorm with your team and find out what that story is going to be. It may model an exact experience that someone or perhaps the organization went through, or it may be a fictional story derived from best practices. The story may even use metaphors and analogies to convey the key points. Be creative in finding that story, but you must find it first.
#2 KISS (Keep It Simple Silly)
Don’t try to craft the next Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings novel. You are enabling a simple scenario (or story), which everyone in the organization can relate to. The decision points in the story must be simple, yet challenging enough that you have to think about how to make the correct response. The best stories revolve around just a few premises and conflicts. Do your best to make sure that your story also stays true to the topic and the organization. If you have time and money you can create amazingly difficult scenarios and complex situations. However, most of us just aren’t able to make that investment in eLearning. So, to save time and money and yet still engage your learners: KISS (Keep It Simple Silly).
#3 FEEDBACK, FEEDBACK, FEEDBACK
As you build your simple story, you will make decisions where the learner must decide whether to move forward, move back, or something else entirely. With each decision, they must get feedback. Performance is much more difficult to improve if feedback is not given. Performance is vastly improved when feedback is given. Learners must understand why a decision was incorrect in order to change their behavior and/or actions. To see the impact from their actions while engaging in a story, a learner is able to feel and understand these decisions better. An added benefit is that a learner also begins to accept and act on feedback. In order to improve, remember: FEEDBACK, FEEDBACK, FEEDBACK.
The Power of eLearning with Stories and Templates
As you develop increasingly complex scenarios and stories in your eLearning engagements, you will find additional keys are needed, and certainly there are technical pieces that you can pull into place that will also help. As you develop, you will find that several of the more prominent eLearning authoring tools have built themselves to accommodate scenario based learning (Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate are two we use), and when combined with the power of our eLearning templates, your course is halfway there. We remember better when we learn through stories, and that is enhanced when we learn by being part of the story. Find your story, then build it while keeping it simple, and provide continuous and positive feedback for your learners.
With eLearningBrothers templates to help out, your stories will soon be a fan favorite in your organization! Happy storytelling!