Webinar: 5 Ways to Put the Story First in Your eLearning


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We had a great webinar on storytelling and engaging your learners with a story last week. In it, we talked about why stories matter, how they can help increase retention, and how to tell a good story.

First, let’s introduce our storytellers.

You probably already know that Andrew Townsend is on our marketing team and I’m sure you’ve seen him hosting previous webinars. But did you know his background is actually in film production? He has a secret past life producing commercials, ads, film festival pieces, etc.

Katie Stewart and Jonica Rich are both instructional designers and developers on our custom solutions team, where they can be found putting the story first in engaging, immersive learning solutions for our clients. Katie has a wealth of experience putting storytelling into practice in past roles in marketing and special education. Jonica is currently earning a Master of Education in Education/Instructional Technology. These two have a lot of knowledge to share!

Together, this dream team shared 5 ways to put the story first in your eLearning:

  1. Don’t let story become an afterthought
  2. Tell a good story
  3. Plan for failure
  4. Don’t let the tension go early
  5. Think about sticks to you

Andrew also summarized all of Star Wars: A New Hope, so if you haven’t seen it yet…

1. What are you waiting for?
2. Please skip past 15:02 - 21:30 in the video if you don’t want to hear spoilers.

Even if you HAVEN’T seen Star Wars, the principles are 100% transferrable to just about every other movie ever made, so you can still watch that section but think through your own favorite film/story/book.

Why does telling a good story matter?

As Jonica mentioned in the webinar, many experts and trend forecasters believe we’ve moved out of the Information Age and into the Conversation Age.

We’re drowning in information; it’s easy to get and no longer the priority. What matters today is conversation and connection. People are looking for stories to engage with.

What’s more, our memories are linked to stories.

According to researcher and professor Dr. Schenk in his paper, Knowledge and Memory: The Real Story,

“Human memory is a collection of thousands of stories we remember through experience, stories we remember by having heard them, and stories we remember by having composed them.”

With stories being so key to retention, it becomes even more important to craft a high-quality story to boost that connection.

Watch the webinar recording at the bottom of this article for more details on the 5 ways you can tell a good story and engage your learners.

Right now, we’re going to talk about tension.

Making sure you don’t let go of tension too early is so important!

Ghost stories are a perfect example of how to prioritize and maintain tension throughout a story. If your ghost or ax murder or crazy witch pops out and murders everyone two minutes in and the next 20 minutes are just resolution—that’s a bad ghost story! Your audience is going to stop paying attention to the rest of the story because there’s no more tension.

In the webinar, Andrew walked attendees through a few examples of story arcs and how you can keep the tension going throughout a story.

Watch the recording now:

Want our custom solutions team to help you create a good story in your next eLearning project?

We have a team of expert storytellers, instructional designers, project managers, and eLearning developers. From offering an extra set of hands to aid your current project to building out an entire full-scale curriculum, our custom solutions team can help!

Contact Us

Download the references and other slides from this webinar.