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How to effectively use Storytelling in e-Learning

Why use storytelling in learning? Because stories teach.

Stories simplify abstract ideas and concepts, helping us to understand and remember them. Furthermore, stories have the power to engage us emotionally, to urge our curiosity, our identification in the characters. This involvement can be solicited and exploited in e-Learning courses.
Using storytelling in e-Learning can involve learners, capturing their attention and curiosity ... and teach!

How do you tell a story effectively? It is important to keep in mind that each story consists of five sequences:

1. Exposure
You introduce the setting of the story and define the starting scenario of the protagonist.

2. Debut
An event subverts the balance of the initial scenario and sets the story in motion. Then a conflict arises and the protagonist sets up techniques to achieve his goal.
The story continues, the obstacles increase in intensity and it becomes increasingly difficult for the protagonist to reach his/her goal.

3. Climax
We arrive at a turning point that changes the destiny of the protagonist.

4. Dissolution
The conflict unravels and the protagonist wins or loses against the antagonist. There probably is a moment of final suspense, in which the final result is in doubt.

5. Conclusion
The conflict has been resolved and the objectives have been achieved. The situation has a new status quo (or a restoration of the old).

How to apply storytelling to learning? Surely by telling a story with non-stereotypical characters and showing their point of view (to facilitate the identification of the learner). All this can be done through videos, images and graphics or through interactive scenarios in which it is the learner him/herself that decides what will happen in the story.

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