One of the most effective ways of conveying information in e-learning is storytelling. Combining training content with emotions is a brilliant recipe for increasing the authenticity of the training and better understanding of the content by the recipients. Do you want more employee involvement? Check why storytelling in e-learning training is another important trend that is worth using in distance learning.
What the storytelling is?
Storytelling is the art of telling engaging stories that is as old as language itself. Story-sharing has been around since humans acquired the ability to communicate to pass on knowledge, information about events, and moral guidelines. Nowadays, storytelling is widely used in business environments, e.g. as a training method. The concept is perfectly explained by Dr. Monika Górska, an expert in business storytelling and one of the speakers at the HR Challenges 2022 conference.
In her opinion, storytelling should be understood primarily as a conscious impact on emotions and imagination using real-life stories, which builds a sense of bond and engages recipients to act.
Storytelling in e-learning is the use of stories in the digital didactic process, where various multimedia forms are of great importance. Interactive transfer of knowledge on LMS platforms encourages recipients to think more deeply about the information provided. In this way, e-learning courses become more valuable in terms of instruction, which has a direct impact on remembering data and the attractiveness of the training itself.
Storytelling in e-learning — Benefits
Many people responsible for educating employees in companies wonder if storytelling in e-learning training works and brings measurable results. Practice shows that thoughtful, interactive storytelling can immerse trainees in the educational process so much that they forget about the world around them. All thanks to the intensification of impressions that are similar to the emotions accompanying, for example, reading an interesting book or watching a movie. So what are the advantages of using storytelling in e-learning?
Building an emotional bond
Interactive storytelling in online training helps to connect emotions with learning goals. The right story builds trust and bonding, and the chemistry in the human brain changes dramatically. Thanks to strong emotions and activation of imagination, it is easier to lead to significant changes in the recipient’s behavior and ultimately influence the way he or she works.
Increasing employee involvement in e-learning
Storytelling in e-learning trainings increases the level of content authenticity.
The stories presented in the courses transport trainees into a virtual, simulated world where they can discover completely new knowledge. And without fear of the consequences! Interactions performed, for example, in virtual employee games evoke excitement in the recipients with new ways of doing things. This results in a better assimilation of training knowledge and the transfer of new skills to the workplace.
Breaking boredom and monotony
There is no denying that storytelling in business and e-learning creates the potential to create a completely new, dynamic learning environment. Interactive, engaging solutions can go far beyond the boring, passive courses of yesterday. Lack of boredom means lack of formalities, which is why the informal tone of e-learning training and a strictly visual approach can do much more here than a simple presentation of data or commands.
One of the biggest challenges faced by those responsible for training in companies is that employees quickly forget the information they have absorbed in one day. Using history in e-learning courses often solves this problem in relation to traditional training. When an employee strongly engages in the content of the training, it stays in his memory and the chances of forgetting the information significantly decrease. Plus, a good story keeps people talking about it for a long time.
Storytelling in e-learning training — How to plan?
As we have already mentioned, storytelling must involve a high level of involvement of participants. So what can you do to enhance the quality of e-learning training through storytelling?
1. Know your audience
First of all, create personas of training participants and identify their problems related to everyday work. As a professional, you need to know what failures employees face when performing their daily professional duties. It is also important to choose the right training context. When planning them, find out what situation is best to relate to. Don’t avoid referring to your own failures. People follow people, not robots, and employees themselves always want to feel that they are part of something important.
2. Stimulate emotions
Storytelling in e-learning does not follow logic. Therefore, you need to make the stories reflect the emotions and experiences of employees that accompany them on a daily basis. Use conflict, challenge or tension and their corresponding solutions to problems so that participants can consciously follow your stories. Which, of course, they identify with.
3. Create a hero
One of the storytelling techniques is to bring to life a character related to the topic of the training. Of course, it can be a character that enhances the recognition of your brand. A brand hero should go beyond the standard training framework by creatively outlining the problem and encouraging to take up the challenge. The standard narrative structure here is the hero’s journey, in which he leaves his comfort zone, overcomes an obstacle, wins, learns a great life lesson from learning, and receives a reward.
4. Use visual elements
Storytelling in employee education, especially in e-learning, requires the use of visual elements and details that enhance the message and affect the senses in a special way. Here you can use e.g. videos, infographics, eye-catching images, interactive storylines, gamification, and even simulations in VR technology or augmented reality. If you care about combining many techniques and using new technologies, dedicated online training will be an ideal option here.
5. Consider cultural factors
Telling stories to employees should take cultural factors into account, especially when training a global workforce. In this case, bet on a large readout. If you decide to introduce a brand hero to your e-learning course, give it features that are universal in many business environments. Don’t create an American football hero for studios who have never experienced the sport. Do not give him gestures and facial expressions that are understood differently in different parts of the world. If you translate your training, look at it more broadly through the prism of cultural differences.
Storytelling in e-learning — Examples
Storytelling in e-learning training uses new technologies, which very often take the form of employee games. It is gamification that can make online teaching engaging, fun and effective at the same time. In the case of sales teams, online games with a challenge for the team in the form of a mission to complete are ideal. Scenarios can be embedded in a specific environment, e.g. space, which enhances the visual experience.
Often in e-learning scenarios you can encounter storytelling conducted in the form of comics or animations, in which employees make choices to get feedback. Soft skills training may include elements of time travel that the hero must go through in order to fulfill all learning objectives. Storytelling in technical e-learning uses instructional educational games. For example, an employee chooses a character to play and then makes the right decisions at a simulated workplace.
Storytelling in training for your company
Do you want to increase the effectiveness of online teaching? Are you thinking about employee games for your employees that stimulate emotions and willingness to act? Bet on Gromar dedicated training, which includes substantive materials, concept, script, programming work and full implementation of multimedia. Contact us now!