The secret of teaching is mysterious, where the content stands first, then comes the presentation, and the last, in my perspective is that secret pinch of fantasy. In the case of e-Learning, it becomes very important to take care of your learners’ interest and keep that magical element alive throughout the course.
Today in my blog, I am going to discuss fantasy in storytelling. Do you think it makes any difference when you add an element of fantasy to your storytelling in e-learning courses? Let me share our strategy for a recent e-learning course on product knowledge training we developed for sales representatives.
The story starts with an astronaut, who is travelling from one planet (his organization) to another (his customer). On the way, his aircraft crashes and so he makes an emergency landing on an unknown planet.
An alien appears, introduces himself and promises to help him repair his aircraft. But the condition is that the astronaut has to answer a few questions and collect the tools needed to repair the aircraft; the alien will provide hints or clues to where can he find answers for the questions.
The astronaut successfully answers all the questions, collects the tools to repair his aircraft, and finally resumes his journey toward the other planet (his customer). In the process of collecting the tools, he gains basic level knowledge of the product and becomes confident of answering the customer’s queries.
What are your thoughts about the strategy? Isn’t the thought of being in space fascinating? Let’s find how the objective of course was achieved.
A Background Story:
A background story can tune the minds of learners for further learning. It is here the learners’ interest builds and they get involved in the story. In this strategy, we tried to provide a setup of space and an astronaut. Although the story is nowhere connected to the content, it gives learners a feeling of involvement. Since the target learners are sales reps, they can relate the astronaut’s travel to their visits to customers.
A Sage on the Stage or Avatar:
If you go back any of your favorite fiction, a guardian or guide always guides the hero, like Dumbledore in Harry Potter. It always feels good when we are struck and a guardian angel comes and helps us. In our strategy, the alien is the guide who helps the astronaut repair the aircraft.
A Heroic End:
A story always has a heroic end, which makes us feel happy and gives learners a sense of accomplishment. Again, every story has a moral too, but in eLearning courses, we need to check if our objectives are achieved. So in course, we converted the summative assessments into scenarios where the astronaut faces technical questions related to the product.
In the complete process of this e-learning course, the story, characters, and scenarios help learners participate actively and gain knowledge. There are other elements too that can be added to engage learners.
Do share your views and let us know if there is something you could add up.