Storytelling and learning has been on our minds recently. In the past month we have taken a brief and delivered a story orientated learning solution for a large leading technology multi national.
Storytelling in learning was also a well attended and stimulating topic of presentation and discussion at the recent Learning & Development Community of Practice session held at the Development Bank of South Africa. This reminded me to go hunting for the periodic table of storytelling, an infographic that I remember seeing some months back. Google didn’t disappoint.
This table was found on Deviantart.com and was created by the user ComputerSherpa. Reading comments by the designer, it would appear that the Periodic Table of Learning is doing the rounds – 80,000 views and counting. This is both testimony to the quality of design and thought that has gone into it. I would suggest that it also has something to do with the rising interest in storytelling and the role it has to play in helping people learn. Storytelling in learning design is on the rise.
Our particular experience with storytelling is that you a need a little courage during the design and development stages of the learning approach. As a designer, you have to decide whether you are going to trust your audience to ‘get it’. More often than not, the value of the story is in the reflection and individual interpretation … you don’t need to spell it all out – allow your learner group to reflect and learn that way. You will need to decide whether you want to tell an allegoric or a literal story. Wikipedia has a category for narrative and storytelling. A little desk research will go a long way to getting you more comfortable with storytelling in learning.