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Lessons from the Advertising World – Impact of Story Based Learning

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Do you remember seeing ads which are interesting, entertaining and built around a scenario? If you just remembered the scenario but failed to remember the product or service that the ad was referring to, then the ad has failed miserably in justifying its purpose.The same thing applies to an eLearning course.

While using scenarios or stories in an eLearning course, we need to focus on the “idea” or “concept” that we wish to target in the story. The elements of the story such as characters, situation, content and message can be manipulated to suit that idea or concept. However, thanks to the liberty that one gets with the tools available today, we can play around with graphics, visualization and user interface. We sometimes can tend to go overboard losing focus on the main theme of the course.

We all agree that stories are perhaps the best medium to communicate concepts, rules or regulations. Stories certainly make an impact and we truly can create engaging and enriching stories in our eLearning courses. However, learning design experts need to ensure that the story should not become bigger than the content such that message gets lost. If learners just remember the story, but forget the core message, the purpose gets defeated.

Do share any examples of ads or courses that you have come across where the story overshadowed the message.

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