Chances are you’ll remember this story of the invention of the sandwich. At least you’re less likely to forget it than if the information had been presented in bullet form.
Set the scene – Who, What and When. ‘In 1748 aristocrat John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was spending a lot of time playing cards.’ Okay I now have the scene in my mind.
Tie in Emotion –How did our Earl feel about his snack dilemma? ‘He found it aggravating and disruptive to his game to constantly be putting down and picking up his cards.’ I know just how you’re feeling buddy.
Low Complexity – The story should be easy to follow. In our example, the Earl has a problem playing cards and eating, he invents a solution, this solution is adapted by the majority of the western world.
Don’t Forget the Core Message – The outcome should reflect what you had in mind. In our example we want to educate the learner on where the invention of the sandwich came from. ‘Eating his newly invented sandwich…..then became one of the most popular meal inventions in the western world.’ See we’ve learned something.
Make it Relevant/Realistic – Stories are great, but too far-fetched or too off topic and they’re worthless. Think about what your primary learning objective is and make your characters and storyline be the driving force behind this.
The brilliance of a story is that while its core concepts may stay the same, the way in which it is delivered has progressed exponentially. Think about using graphics, videos, animation and making your story as interactive as possible. Give learners choices and help them develop the their problem solving approach. Who can remember those books where you were asked to choose how the story unfolded? “Turn to page 28 to go down the dark tunnel.” Ah memories.