Storytelling is a powerful instructional tool, stories help learners contextualize information and gives them an experience-base from which they can recall techniques and actions when encountering the same situation at work. With virtual worlds, we can expand the use of storytelling. In a 3D virtual world, the learner is not just observing a story or scenario, the learner becomes a character within the story.
To create an effective story within a virtual world, you need to create the following elements:
- Characters-This would include the learner or learners. Each learner should assume a role or a position similar to what they would be doing on the job or a trainer assumes a role of a client or a supervisor. Each role should have a brief written explanation so the learners know how they should act within their role.
- Plot (something happens)-Maybe a salesperson is trying to make a sale or a person violates a safety procedure or they must lead a team to accomplish a goal. Something needs to happen to move the story from point A to point B.
- Tension-Good stories have tension. Something might go wrong or there is conflict between two of the individuals within the story. The context of the situation will impact the story and cause friction among the characters (learners). Conflict isn't a bad thing in learning, it happens on the job and so it needs to be mimicked in learning situations as well.
- Resolution-The issue must be resolved. This is where the learning comes in. The tension causes a learner to have to take an action, commit to a behavior and, as the story unfolds, feedback is given to the learner describing if the right or incorrect actions were taken. During the resolution phase, the problem can be resolved satisfactorily or in an unsatisfactory manner. Both of those outcomes provide opportunities for feedback and learning.
- Conclusion-This is the resolution of the story. The learner then finds out what happened to the other "characters" what they should or could have done and learns rules or guidelines of what to do next.
This simple structure can be used for compliance-based story scenarios or sales-based scenarios or manufacturing based scenarios--really any type of learning.
Stories can help learners understand what they must do to be successful in their work environment. It is as if a wise mentor or co-worker is telling them the best method to deal with a situation at work. This type of information sharing is a common form of communication. One worker tells another a “story” about how to do a job or what to avoid. Learners and employees remember stories more effectively than random lists of policies and procedures.
A well crafted story is focused on helping the learner to solve problems and when it is done in a virtual world, the learner is immersed in the context of the situation and the learning becomes meaningful and memorable.
Other Storytelling entires:
Storytelling and Instructional Design
Tell me a story
A Unique Perspective on Video Games and Storytelling
Catalog of Recommended Books, Games and Gadgets Recommended Games and Gadgets Recommended Books Content Guide