EdTechEducationLearning and DevelopmentTop 5 Reasons to use Narrative in Elearning

September 20, 2015by Reva McPollom0

Top 5 Reasons to Use Narrative in E-learning

Narrative is a very powerful tool that can be used to enhance the effectiveness of e-learning. It is a great way to help learners easily retain the information being presented to them. Other than retaining the information being taught there are many more reasons to use narratives in eLearning. It is known that the use storytelling techniques help motivate listeners and create a more emotional and immersive experience for them. This is also very true when it comes to e-learning. Here are five reasons why using narrative can be beneficial to your e-learning program:

1. The use of narrative helps the learner grasp the relevance of the topics being presented

Most e-learning courses are meant for employees of an organization or other adult learners who are more interested in knowing the reason for learning something before learning it. This is usually because most adult learners would prefer to study something that has immediate relevance to their work or life. Using narratives in e-learning lessons helps make the learners see the relevance of the subject matter being presented to them more easily. It also helps simplify the content, makes the content more interesting, makes the learner pay more attention, and makes learning much easier.

2. Using narrative helps create an emotional connection with your learners

Using narratives in e-learning lessons helps learners clearly understand the content and relate to it at a personal and emotional level. This makes them pay more attention and get immersed in the lesson. Research shows that by increasing a learners engagement in the content one can improve the learning process. This is really important for affective outcomes; increased engagement means learners are in a better position to respond emotionally to the training and also perform the desired behavioral changes that the lesson outlines.

3. Narratives help make remembering facts easier

Use of narratives helps make remembering information and facts easier than when they are presented as mere facts. Quite a number of research has been done to support this, for example, a report by David Ausubel and Donald Norman. It is also a phenomenon that most of us have experienced and can easily relate to. There are also a lot of video games and other learning tools developed that use this method to promote memorizing of facts among children. Clearly, when memorizing information is a desired learning outcome it is good to a use the narrative technique.

4. Narratives make learning fun

Well thought-out narrative has the potential to teach while at the same time entertain learners. This makes learning more fun and enjoyable. Most adult learners are turned off by boring e-learning lessons because they just present facts in a boring format. When narratives are used  it makes learning such a wonderful experience that the learners want to keep learning. This also helps increase their attention and engagement in the learning process.

5. You help activate the brains of your listeners

Narratives are experienced rather than understood. When lessons only present facts they only activate the language processing part of the brain. But when narratives are incorporated into lessons it activates any section of the learners brain that needs to experience the narrative, such as the section responsible for emotions, motor activities, sensory and even the frontal cortex. This increases the activeness of the learner during the lesson and makes learning more fulfilling.

The use of narrative in learning is not new and using it in e-learning helps enhance the learning process. Rapid e-learning authoring tools like Articulate Storyline have made it easy to use narratives in e-learning and thus bring all the benefits of narratives to the online learning delivery. So next time you are creating e-learning lessons consider using narrative in your lessons to make them more interesting.

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