I’m no Stephen King or Isaac Asimov but as part of the creative process of developing e-learning I do enjoy creating environments (world’s would take too much time!) where the learning takes place. Not all e-learning needs a story or background so go over your information and decide if this delivery style fits the learning goals.
How I create a story (four steps)
- Content: ‘Content is king’ is a saying that’s apt here. I check my content for clues and ideas that will help me create a story.
Example: I created a ‘ handling food safely’ e-learning sample, the story was set in a Agatha Christie style murder mystery. The basis of the story was developed from the dangers of handling and storing food incorrectly. I thought of the outcomes of this and (artistic leap) an idea popped into my head ‘have the learner prove they didn’t poison ‘the master of the house’ by handling the food safely and correctly.
- Characters: I don’t try to create a ‘history’ for my characters. I try to create someone who the learner will easily recognize. For this example Agatha Christie had done the ‘history’ bit for me. Dialogue: This can be a tricky area if you don’t normally write, use your experience of film/t.v. to guide you. In this example I have the detective speak in short and matter of fact sentences to give the learner the steps they need to complete whilst ‘staying in character’. (See sample dialogue below)
- Media: This can require a good portion of development time depending on your story and media needed to bring it to ‘life’. A trick I normally use is to give my scenario/story’s is to give the main slide a board-game feel. (see right) This saves me time trying to find /create a setting.
- Interaction/ Engagement: There was a debate recently, at a L&D conference, as to whether learning should be fun. For me, I think it’s imperative. I like immersive e-learning that is engaging and unique. In this example I incorporated a ‘3 star’ michelin type gamification for the learners characters. For every one correct question/ section they gained a ‘michelin food handling star’.
I like to create unique e-learning and bring as much from the real and imagined world of film/tv/ music etc as I can. This leads for an immersive and enjoyable learning experience.
Thanks for reading.