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Storytelling…Why it works

If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.
RUYARD KIPLING, THE COLLECTED WORKS

We at Video Arts have been telling “learning stories” since 1972…The awards are the proof in the pudding that our solutions really do work! However it is always useful to have some facts with our subtle boasting…

According to Psychology Today, stories are powerful—even in this digital age—because simply put, the human brain hasn’t evolved as fast as technology. As such, storytelling is still one of the best ways to connect with your audience. The key is finding the story that is relatable to each person.

According to e-learning industry there are 8 ways stories make e-learning more engaging (and Video Arts does all of them):

  • Emotional Connection
    There is something ageless about stories, invoking the child inside each of us. So when stories are leveraged in your courses, emotional and intellectual connections are more easily made with learners.
  • Curiosity
    People connect with other people through their stories, so e-learning storytelling must focus on characters, life situations and problems that mirror reality in some capacity.
  • Connection
    People connect with other people through their stories, so e-learning storytelling must focus on characters, life situations and problems that mirror reality in some capacity.
  • Persuasion
    Cold, hard facts alone are often not enough to persuade or influence people. But stories can be a very powerful tool for persuasion as they keep people engaged, interested and arguably most importantly invested.
  • Context
    In general, e-learners are application- and results-driven. So by mirroring their reality through storytelling, the story provides relevance, helping the learner understand the value in his or her own life – i.e. ‘What’s in it for me?’
  • Recall
    Again, we remember stories—the characters, the plot, the scenes, the adventure—from childhood. But it’s unlikely that we remember such details of things we studied in school. Why? Because
    according to research by Women 2.0, 63% of people remembered facts better when presented within the context of a story, whereas only 5% remembered the information when presented in a traditional learning format.
  • Entertain
    Stories engage multiple areas of the brain by hooking you and taking you in entirely; they allow us to get lost in our imaginations—and that’s a place few of us visit as adults. But in e-learning, stories allow us to become so enraptured by words and imagery while still enabling us to be fully aware and present so as to retain critical information and instructions.
  • Assimilate
    Let’s face it: None of us were ever formally taught to make sense of a story. Why? Because innately and inherently, we just know the structure of a story. We know how to intuitively process information from a story and read or listen on. As such, teaching through stories is powerful because instead of trying to understand the manner in which the material is presented, the learner can instead concentrate on assimilating the material.

 

 

 

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Video Arts

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Mark Helen Baxendale
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