2014 the year of the story

Top Story Concept.

In 2014 my focus was very much on creating interactive elearning and utilising the power of the story through interesting design and technologies. This showed under my five most highly viewed and popular posts for 2014. If you haven’t already, check these out:

  1. Using digital stories in elearning
  2. The awesome tool Videoscribe
  3. Rapid prototype vs storyboard
  4. Why storytelling should be part of your elearning kit
  5. 10 steps to create a digital story for elearning

These are also topics I’ve especially enjoyed blogging about. If you would like to hear more on any topic please comment to let me know. Have a wonderful 2015!

10 steps to create a digital story for learning

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A digital story for learning needs to be more than just entertainment. It needs to have a learning purpose and link to learning outcomes. Here are 10 steps to use when planning a digital story to ensure it keeps it’s learning purpose:

1. Decide why you’re using a digital story

Are you using a story to emphasise why this topic is relevant for your audience? Are you using the story as a motivator to pull them into the other activities in the course? Do you want your audience to learn from other people’s experience, through their mistakes or success stories?

2.  Match the story solution to learning objectives

Does your story cover some or all of your learning objectives? Choosing the learning objectives the story relate to will help keep the direction and purpose of your story.

3. Plan the key messages or themes

What are the one or two things you want your audience to remember from the story? Is there a moral in your story?

4. Decide how learners will interact with the content

Will they be able to influence the outcome and path of the story (branching scenarios)? Will they apply the key messages from the story to a practice activity or job task? Will they be asked questions to reflect on the content?

5. Make a template for gathering content from your Subject Matter Expert (SME)

What characters will your story have e.g. customer, staff members? What environments does the story take place in? Use the 5W and H questions (who, what, where, when, why, how) at the different points in time to construct a template to gather content.

5. Write the script

Consider the tone and type of language used.  If writing a script seems overwhelming, you can break the story into separate scenes and write a script for each scene.

6. Decide what graphic style you’ll use

Will you use photos or illustrations? Design a consistent theme for your story. Consider how much time you have available to develop graphics and then choose a style that’s achievable in the timeframe.

7. Prototype a scene of the animations and graphics that will be used

It is much easier to show your SMEs what the story will look like rather than explaining how it will look. Share a scene prototype with your SMEs to get agreement before developing the rest of the story.

8. Develop the story in the tools

Once you’ve got agreement from your SMEs on the script and graphic style continue and develop the rest of the story scene by scene.

9. Review the story

Check with your SMEs that the content is accurate and the intended key messages of the story come across.

10. Include what’s next…

Usually a digital story is just part of a learning solution. Tell your learners what’s coming next. Are they going to apply principles from the story to another practice activity or job task? What else will they do that’s relevant to the story?

Following these 10 steps will help keep your digital story focused and adding value to your topic. What else do you find useful for planning a digital story?

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy these related posts:

Using digital stories in elearning

Why storytelling should be part of your elearning toolkit

Using digital stories in elearning

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Digital stories are a quick meaningful way to get a message across. They are stories told using technology that include a combination of images and audio to tell a tale.

Digital stories have advantages in that you can get a consistent message across to many people, the story can be viewed at anytime and at any location. You can also get very creative with your story and key messages by using images and audio to engage your audience and draw them into your story.

Digital stories are a great way to get difficult concepts across, they are excellent for showing how different parts of an organisation or job task work together. They are also a great way to learn from other’s experiences without having to make the same mistakes.

So what does a good digital story look like?

Well first of all you can access the story on your computer but after that it can look like anything. Digital stories could have images and photos or they can contain movement, animations and videos or any combination of these. Good digital stories are focussed on a purpose and getting a message across.  They also use the same style through the whole story.

You can build a digital story on a variety of different platforms depending on how sophisticated you want to get. For example you could use Powerpoint, Slideshare, rapid elearning tools, or specialised animation tools such as FlipbooksVideoscribe and Goanimate.

Before writing a digital story I often search the web to find inspiring examples. When I view good digital stories I ask myself, ‘what they are doing that makes the story successful’ and then ‘how can I incorporate these elements into elearning that I’m developing?’.

Here are a few digital stories that I’ve found inspiring, you can click on the links to view them. Please feel free to share in the comments below any other digital stories you have found inspiring.

Where good ideas come from

good ideas

Credit crisis

credit crisis

Han Rosling’s 20o countries, 200 years 4 minutes – the Joy of Stats

stats story