Why Digital Storytelling Is The Key To Effective eLearning
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If you’ve ever sat through a class with a droning professor or with materials that don’t grab your attention, you probably weren’t in the best learning environment. On the other hand, an engaging instructor and captivating materials can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of courses and study materials.
The same applies to eLearning courses, books, videos, workplace training sessions, and other educational pieces. To create effective learning materials, many businesses and eLearning creators have implemented digital storytelling techniques into their projects.
But what is digital storytelling? And why is it the key to effective eLearning programs? Let’s break it down!
What Does Digital Storytelling Mean?
Before we can learn why digital storytelling is effective, we first need to understand what it means.
TopHat defines digital storytelling as “a short form of digital media production that allows everyday people to share experiences and stories. It is a relatively new term which describes the new practice of everyday people who use digital tools to tell their ‘story’.”
Another resource, The Learning Portal, describes digital stories as “narratives crafted to take the listener or reader on a journey. Just like a novel or a documentary, digital stories have a plot, characters, and themes.”
Basically, digital storytelling combines traditional storytelling principles and emerging technologies to create a collection of multimedia tools and programs. It brings narratives to life in a variety of forms, from video clips and podcasts, to interactive elements and education materials.
What Is It About Storytelling That Works So Well In eLearning?
Now that we know what digital storytelling is, let’s take a look at the educational uses of digital storytelling and why it works so well in this space!
It Creates An Emotional Connection
One of the reasons this form of storytelling is so effective is because digital storytelling projects use emotionally engaging formats and personal tales. These stories bring narratives to life while also appeal to the personal experience and emotions of the user.
Research.com states, “digital stories can teach students the value of emotional rhetoric, allowing them to explore new ways of acting or thinking differently. These stories can elicit emotional responses in students and encourage them to pursue topics that they’re passionate about.”
A digital storytelling program allows educators to infuse emotion into the learning experience, creating a more memorable and impactful educational journey. Whether it’s through relatable characters, real-world scenarios, or emotionally charged dilemmas, the emotional resonance of a well-crafted story enhances retention and comprehension.
So, not only can digital storytelling help with writing skills, visual literacy, and general educational initiatives, but it can also promote emotional intelligence among participants.
It Sparks Our Curiosity
At the heart of digital storytelling lies the power of narrative structure and engagement. Humans are wired to connect with stories emotionally, making them a potent tool for eLearning materials. By weaving a compelling narrative, educators can transform mundane content into a captivating journey that resonates with learners.
Oral storytelling and literacy skills allow learners to develop their own stories and digital narratives that can help others see things from a different point of view and spark our curiosity.
Additionally, most digital stories use sound effects, video clips, and other forms of interactive elements that can generate interest and keep students engaged. Telling stories about our own experiences can help us understand the world around us.
The Power Of Persuasion
Storytelling in general is a persuasive tool, influencing our thoughts and beliefs. When digital storytelling is used in eLearning, it can be harnessed to convey complex information in a compelling manner.
By presenting facts and concepts within a narrative framework and interactive stories, learners are more likely to be persuaded by or open to the message.
This can be particularly useful in teaching subjects that require a nuanced understanding or when trying to communicate a specific viewpoint.
Whether it be topics on a historical event, public health, information literacy, nurse education, new technologies, or generally exploring life, a digital storytelling program can present a particular point of view or piece of information in an engaging way that is more digestible to students across all grade levels.
Storytelling Can Provide Context
Context is key to understanding and retaining information for both oral and digital stories.
Digital storytelling offers a contextual framework that helps learners make sense of abstract concepts or complex theories.
Whether you’re running digital storytelling workshops for young people or using digital stories to help an older generation explore the digital world, stories can provide context that can lead to a greater understanding of the subject for all students and learners.
By placing information within a narrative structure, learners can relate theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, making it more applicable and easier to comprehend.
Digital Stories Are Entertaining
Learning doesn’t have to be dull, and digital storytelling adds an entertaining dimension to the educational process.
Incorporating multimedia tools and elements such as images, videos, and interactive digital elements makes the learning experience more enjoyable. This entertainment factor not only keeps learners engaged but also contributes to a positive and motivating learning environment.
In the realm of eLearning, visuals reign supreme. Digital storytelling enables educators to leverage dynamic visual elements—stunning graphics, social media elements, animations, and multimedia—to bring content to life. A visually engaging narrative not only sustains learner interest but also enhances the overall comprehension of complex concepts.
One of the standout features of digital storytelling is its ability to seamlessly integrate multimedia presentations and components, compared to other elements that rely on still images and monotone speech.
From videos and audio clips to interactive graphics, educators and educational institutions can create a multi-sensory learning experience that caters to various learning styles, ensuring no learner is left behind.
Digital storytelling fosters interactive learning experiences that go beyond the traditional “read and memorize” approach. When you create digital stories that incorporate interactive elements such as quizzes, simulations, and branching scenarios, educators and digital storytellers transform passive learners into active participants, promoting critical thinking and decision-making skills.
People Remember Stories
Think of your favourite movie, television show, or set of comic strips. What do they all have in common? Stories.
Digital storytelling harnesses the power that stories have to incite conceptual exploration and curiosity among listeners and students. Stories are memorable and invite people to participate, whether through responding to the story or making their own.
Additionally, when students are able to remember the story, they are more likely to develop a greater understanding of lesson in said story.
What Happens To Our Brains When Consuming A Digital Story?
Digital stories focus on bridging the gap between theory and real-world application.
By embedding scenarios and case studies within a digital story, educators help learners see the practical relevance of the content. This application-focused approach not only boosts understanding but also prepares learners for real-world challenges.
What Impact Will This Type Of eLearning Course Have On It's Audience
Educators and workplace trainers alike can benefit from effective eLearning materials that include all the elements of a digital story.
Armed with analytics, educators can adopt a continuous improvement mindset. The nature of digital storytelling allows for ongoing refinement based on learner feedback and performance metrics. Additionally, engaging with a digital story requires creativity and self direction.
This dynamic approach ensures that eLearning content remains relevant, engaging, and aligned with the evolving needs of the audience.
Get Started On Educating Your Audience With The Geeks
Are you ready to start creating digital stories and eLearning materials that will take your educational and training resources to the next level?
The team at Presentation Geeks has the knowledge and experience needed to create a final product that will meet all of your needs.
Want to learn more? Contact us today to see how we can help you!