Stories have an incredible impact on humans, both intellectually and emotionally. Stories communicate information in the exact manner in which we think, how we process and absorb information, how we see ourselves, and how we influence others. Storytelling is still one of the best ways to connect with your audience, including your learners.
Our Brains On Storytelling: Connections And Chemicals
Storytelling mobilizes and stimulates different parts of the brain. When we are told something in the form of a story, we often remember it better than if we simply read it. When we are told a story, not only does it engage the language-processing areas of our brain, but it engages other areas that are also used when experiencing the story, too.
Research from the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that cognitive empathy, specifically relating to perspective, is directly tied to overall memory performance.
How Storytelling Is Effective In eLearning
Storytelling not only serves to create a more immersive experience, but also motivates learners and encourages an emotional connection to the topic. It presents an effective delivery method in eLearning to convey information by creating relatable scenarios with which your audience will empathize in order to connect with the content.
Learning theorists suggest that adult learners must see the relevance of something in order to feel persuaded to learn about it. So in eLearning, explaining concepts in the context of a story—especially those that are complex or confusing—helps learners integrate knowledge in meaningful ways, making the information easier to remember.
Here are 6 ways stories make eLearning more engaging:
1. Storytelling creates an emotional connection in eLearning
There is something ageless about stories, invoking the child inside each of us. So when storytelling for eLearning is leveraged in your courses, emotional and intellectual connections are more easily made with learners. Further, when eLearning course content creates an emotional connection with its learners, it makes them trust the value of the content and, subsequently, makes them want to learn more.
2. Storytelling drives curiosity in eLearning
How many of us have been kept up way past our bedtime by a good book, show, or movie? We keep turning pages or keep our eyes glued to the screen because we must know what happens next. And when we weave in engaging storytelling for eLearning content, learners will be hooked. The brain of the learner engages with it and tries to figure out what’s happening or predict the next move, igniting active learning.
3. Storytelling helps connect with eLearning
People connect with other people through their stories, so storytelling for eLearning must focus on characters, life situations and problems that mirror reality in some capacity. Giving real-life context that makes courses applicable to the learner builds familiarity and fosters an emotional connection, making the experience more memorable.
4. Storytelling puts eLearning into context
In general, eLearners are application and results driven. So by mirroring their reality through storytelling for eLearning, the story provides relevance, helping the learner understand the value in his or her own life – i.e. ‘What’s in it for me?’ Additionally, stories make it easier to learn complex and abstract concepts with anecdotes and analogies.
5. Storytelling helps recall eLearning
Again, we remember stories—the characters, the plot, the scenes, the adventure—from childhood. But it’s unlikely that we remember such details of things we studied in middle school. Why? Because according to research, 63% of people remembered facts better when presented within the context of a story, whereas only 5% remembered the information when presented in a traditional learning format.
6. Storytelling makes eLearning entertaining
Stories engage multiple areas of the brain by hooking you and taking you in entirely; they allow us to get lost in our imaginations—and that’s a place few of us visit as adults. But in eLearning, stories allow us to become so enraptured by words and imagery while still enabling us to be fully aware and present so as to retain critical information and instructions.
Storytelling for eLearning is one of the most effective ways to relate to your audience and facilitate a connection with the content, enhancing learning and memory recall. As such, leveraging the power of storytelling in eLearning can prove to be a highly effective tactic for engaging learners and increasing comprehension.
Ready to integrate storytelling into your eLearning experiences? Contact us today to learn more.