Keys to eLearning Storytelling: Tips From Diane Elkins

Keys to eLearning Storytelling: Tips From Diane Elkins

Using storytelling in eLearning is a powerful way to capture your learner’s attention, improve memory recall, and more. Today’s blog post is an excerpt from our upcoming eBook, Keys to Storytelling in eLearning. In this excerpt, Diane Elkins, Founder of Artisan E-Learning and co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series, discusses how to plan out your branching scenario to give your learner choice—putting him in the driver’s seat of the story. Take a look:

Using Branching to Put Your Learner in the Driver’s Seat of the Story

Diane Elkins, Artisan E-Learning

Remember those choose-your-own-adventure books you read as a child? You’d read a section of the story, and then YOU would get to pick what the character does next. If you want him to open the door, go to page 43. If you want him to keep walking, go to page 63. Having choices made the book fun and exciting.

In eLearning, letting the learner make choices IS fun and exciting, but it’s more than that. Most corporate training is there to help people make real decisions on the job. Do you approve this request or not? Do you use this piece of equipment or that one? Do you say what you want to say to that angry customer or what you should say?

A simple multiple-choice question with feedback can meet this need. But if you want to truly immerse your learners in the story (and into the real-world consequences of their choices), you can set that up with a branching scenario.

Branching scenarios can seem intimidating, but they don’t need to be. The key is to plan out your goals and logic first. There are three big questions to ask yourself:

Question 1: Do you want to test your learners or let them explore choices and consequences?

Learners don’t do something just because a course tells them to. They have to really believe the “thing” is worth doing. So letting a learner freely pick the good OR the bad option can be a great way to help them explore consequences. Let them be rude to the customer or approve the loan they shouldn’t. Let them see what happens.

If you go this route, be clear in your instructions that it isn’t a test and they can choose whatever answer they want. And if you do want them to freely explore, you might want to include navigation that lets them go back at any point and try a different answer.

Find out the next two questions Diane Elkins recommends you ask when planning scenarios in our Keys to Storytelling in eLearning eBook—coming soon!

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