Keep it Real! 3 Ways to Use Real Life Stories in E-learning Courses

Keep it Real! 3 Ways to Use Real Life Stories in E-learning Courses

Keep it Real! 3 Ways to Use Real Life Stories in E-learning Courses

Stories have a magical effect on people. They captivate everyone, from children to adults. Hence, it is not surprising that eLearning developers today extensively use storytelling as a part of their instructional strategies. However, just having a story in your course is not enough. The sole purpose of using a story is to connect with learners and generate interest in them.

The best way to create this connection is to make your story real! Fiction doesn’t have the same impact as fact does. Making use of real life stories to simulate learning can be a daunting task; however, it can be broken down into three simple ways:

  1. Case-studies
  2. Real life Scenarios
  3. Problem-centered Scenarios

Let’s take a closer look at each one of them.

1. Case-studies are by far the most sought after instructional techniques. Case- studies were first used in the medical field to teach impact and consequences of a medical case. This approach is credible because case-studies are documented in organizations as references. However, when using case-studies, make sure that the case-study is related to the subject matter.


  1. Serve as testimonials for real life lessons
  2. Generate authenticity and hook the learners
  3. Provide a new outlook on the topic being learnt

Take a look at how case study was used in our elearning course on food safety.

Case Studies

2. As the words suggest, real life scenarios emulate real life situations. It is difficult to use them as finding such stories is a tedious process. The interesting fact is that they seem so human that your learners are instantly attracted to them. This human aspect makes real life scenarios stand apart from other instructional elements. For instance, you can use such scenarios for smaller demographics as it is easier to research and find the stories you need.

Real life scenarios provide:

  1. Greater emotional connectivity
  2. Effective understanding
  3. Better recollection

Let’s see how real a life scenario was used in an elearning course on project management.

Real life scenarios

3. Last but not the least comes problem-centered scenarios. Problems are something that we constantly try to solve, and we are most likely come up with different ways and ideas to do so. Therefore, using this approach is a best way to create a result- oriented course. When you start with a problem, it prods the learner to go further and try to solve the problem. Solving a problem brings about a sense of accomplishment to the learner.

Problem-centered scenarios:

  1. Increase learner participation
  2. Fuel critical thinking
  3. Develop cognitive skills

Here is an example of a problem centered scenario.

Problem-centered scenarios

Problem-centered scenarios

I hope this post has given you insights into the use of real life stories in eLearning courses. How did you use stories in your eLearning courses? We’d love to hear your experiences.

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