As human beings, we encounter narration in every aspect of our daily lives. A number of these experiences are likely to transpire when we wake up in the morning to get ready for work, and include the whole morning scenario that you go through in interacting with the people you meet, your car not starting on a cold morning, and the Starbucks barista spelling your name wrong on the cup. These are stories (narrations) that affect us, along with how we interact with the world around us.
As a learning designer, I realize the need of stories to link the minds of learners through technology. It is not just about presenting the instructional information that learners must know to complete a task or pass a test, but it is about how information is presented in a way that allows learning to take place while relating to the learners’ experiences. I think of a narrative as a way to recall prior knowledge and help learners to process and retain information. Stories have the capability to affect our emotions, inspire us, and change our behavior. Take, for instance, the imaginary example of a good character that we heard about as children. Such as, this character always finishes his/her food, listens to his/her parents, and strives to be the best in everything. Therefore, as children, we always desire to imitate this great and perfect character.
To ensure the effectiveness of our storytelling in learning design, it is imperative to understand and be aware of the users. In particular, we need to be mindful of people’s age groups, their backgrounds, and be sensitive to their cultural differences; what is acceptable in one culture is not necessarily acceptable in another. Therefore, it is vital as designers to be alert to what appeals to learners’ emotions and senses. Every story has a beginning, ending, and what takes place in between. Thus, building an organized structure for the learning materials will aid the learners to follow without getting distracted.