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Tell Me a Story, Please!

Using storytelling as a tool in e-learning experiences


My daughter loves treadingo hear stories.

Like so many kids, it’s a vital part of her bedtime ritual. If we try to skip this part of the routine, watch out! Emotions burst loose and tears fly. The story must be heard!

We adults have story ‘rituals’ too. Like reading articles on CNN while we drink our morning coffee. Watching “The Good Wife” or “Game of Thrones” while relaxing on the couch in the evening. Or listening to Joni Mitchell or Leonard Cohen sing story songs as we workout on the treadmill.

Even daily conversations are like tuning in to our favorite soap operas or serials. “How was your date last night?” “Did your son pass his exam?” “What happened to your husband’s car?” Each question advances the story of our family, friends, and co-worker’s lives bit by bit toward an unknown but potentially fascinating future.

Stories are how we attempt to structure learning out of the many events of our lives.  The most powerful stories teach us lessons about living, making choices, building better relationships and finding deeper purpose in life.

We love stories. We need stories. To learn.

So… why not structure e-learning experiences with stories?

Case in point. Let’s say, as a learner, you had a choice.
You’re taking a course on truck safety procedures. Would you rather:

A. Read the facts about incident reporting on a screen


B. Engage in a story about two managers struggling to understand why safety procedures are relevant

What’s your answer? We know ours. This is based on a real situation with one of our clients. Want to know what they chose?

I’ll give you a hint. My daughter would be very happy.

(Tune in to the next blog post to find out!)

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