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Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
Narrative Techniques for Learning
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Narrative Techniques for Learning

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Stories are frequently used in learning situations (e.g. elearning training scenarios), but fiction writing has several strategies that can be used to make those stories more interesting and …

Stories are frequently used in learning situations (e.g. elearning training scenarios), but fiction writing has several strategies that can be used to make those stories more interesting and compelling (and less boring).

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  • “Strengths are the things a character can do; weaknesses are the things he can't do. Vulnerabilities are the things that can hurt him.”
  • “Strengths are the things a character can do; weaknesses are the things he can't do. Vulnerabilities are the things that can hurt him.”
  • “Strengths are the things a character can do; weaknesses are the things he can't do. Vulnerabilities are the things that can hurt him.”
  • “Strengths are the things a character can do; weaknesses are the things he can't do. Vulnerabilities are the things that can hurt him.”
  • “Strengths are the things a character can do; weaknesses are the things he can't do. Vulnerabilities are the things that can hurt him.”
  • Transcript

    • 1. © Usable Learning 2013 Narrative Techniques for Learning Storytelling tools for more engaging learning
    • 2. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com First, a few big ol’ caveats O It’s about the learning – this is just a tool in your toolbox O Don’t let the story take over O Don’t think you have to do ALL these things And one big shoutout: .com
    • 3. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Why do we care about stories? O Context O Triggers O Emotional Context O Managing Cognitive Load
    • 4. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com We decontextualize a lot This is my issue with “themes”
    • 5. © Usable Learning 2013
    • 6. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Decontextualizing helps with simplicity and clarity
    • 7. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Let’s try with a little more context
    • 8. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Triggers in the environment? 1 2 3 4
    • 9. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Contextual Triggers
    • 10. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Emotional Context Suppose you are healthcare professional taking a webinar on strategies for dealing with irate patients.
    • 11. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com The sales commission is going to be 10%!! The sales commission is going to be 10%!! The sales commission is going to be 10%!!
    • 12. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Managing Cognitive Load Insurance Procedures O Evaluation O Incident O Documentation O Claim submission O Subrogation O Settlement O Read the following the following story about Ryan and his family…
    • 13. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Let’s see some scenarios Interviewing Sales Computer Skills How can we make these vivid and compelling?
    • 14. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com And one more… Restaurant Safety
    • 15. © Usable Learning 2013
    • 16. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Our hero… Eriq, a newly-hired Chef/Manager Eriq is an ambitious young chef – he just got hired at La Primavera, a fine dining restaurant that’s been a local fixture for years, but lately has gotten a bit tired and predictable. The owner hired Eriq to freshen up Primavera’s image. If he can prove himself here, he’s several steps closer to being able to open his own restaurant.
    • 17. © Usable Learning 2013
    • 18. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Add a goal Eriq, a newly-hired Chef/Manager I want to put La Primavera back on the culinary map! I need to shake things up to do it, but there’s the annual food review coming out in a few months, and I want to be on their BEST OF list.
    • 19. Add an Antagonist Eriq is in charge of the kitchen, but the front of house manager is the owner’s sister, Joanne. She was very good friends with the previous chef/manager, and argued bitterly with the owner over the decision to replace the previous chef.
    • 20. © Usable Learning 2013
    • 21. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Add a weakness or flaw Eriq, a newly-hired Chef/Manager I’m going to make this menu sing – it’s going to be a whole new world. The owner is a little worried because I don’t have any experience also being in charge of kitchen management, but how hard can that be? I’ve been working in kitchens for years and I know my way around. And when he tastes my new menu, he’ll forget all his other worries.
    • 22. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Now you try Interviewing Sales Computer Skills Pick one, and come up with: • A protagonist • A goal for the protagonist • An antagonist • An opposing goal for the antagonist • Add a weakness
    • 23. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Let’s look at structure Act I Act II Act III
    • 24. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com The Hero’s Journey O Departure O The Call to Adventure O Supernatural Aid O The Crossing of the First Threshold O The Belly of the Whale O Initiation O The Road of Trials O The Meeting with the Goddess O Woman as the Temptress O Atonement with the Father O Apotheosis O The Ultimate Boon O Return O Refusal of the Return O The Magic Flight O Rescue from Without O The Crossing of the Return Threshold O Master of the Two Worlds O Freedom to Live This is toooo complicated... Source: Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949)
    • 25. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Three Act Structure I First Act O Establishes the characters, and the normal world O Action is started with an inciting incident, that: O signals the end of the first act, O ensures life will never be the same again for the protagonist and O raises a dramatic question that will be answered in the climax of the story Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_act_structure
    • 26. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Three Act Structure II Second Act O ―Rising action", the hero attempts to resolve the problem, but things just get worse. O It gets worse, because the hero doesn’t yet have the needed skills O They must not only learn new skills but arrive at a higher sense of awareness of who they are and what they are capable of, which in turn changes who they are (Character Development). O This cannot be achieved alone and they are usually aided and abetted by mentors and co- protagonists. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_act_structure
    • 27. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Three Act Structure III Third Act O Rising action for the primary challenge O Dark Moment – the hero doubts him/herself, and all appears lost O Climax – the final challenge O Return/Ending – emotional justice is restored Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_act_structure
    • 28. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Add a weakness Eriq, a newly-hired Chef/Manager • Act I • Normal world • Inciting incident • Act II • Things get worse • Needs skills • Needs to develop character • Act III • The big challenge • A dark moment • Climax • Follow up C h a r a c t e r A r c
    • 29. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Eriq’s Path • Act I • Normal world • Inciting incident • Act II • Things get worse • Needs skills • Needs to develop character • Act III • The big challenge • A dark moment • Climax • Follow up Eriq is cocky, and convinced he’s way ahead of everything. Joanne warns him that there’s likely to be a health inspection, but he blows her off. The inspection happens, and it does not go well (learning activity – act like the health inspector).
    • 30. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Eriq’s Path • Act I • Normal world • Inciting incident • Act II • Things get worse • Needs skills • Needs to develop character • Act III • The big challenge • A dark moment • Climax • Follow up Eriq gets embarrassed but rallies quickly. He addresses the health concerns found in the inspection, but doesn’t proactively address anything. Another surprise inspection finds new problems, and the restaurant could be shut down. The key restaurant critic witnesses the debacle.
    • 31. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Eriq’s Path • Act I • Normal world • Inciting incident • Act II • Things get worse • Needs skills • Needs to develop character • Act III • The big challenge • A dark moment • Climax • Follow up Eriq is warned by the owner that he isn’t cutting it, and considers firing him. Eriq admits to Joanne that she was probably right, and that he’s not cut out for this. The follow up from the health inspector is happening – Joanne helps him with preventative health and safety, and they manage to keep the restaurant open. After steady development, they finally get a new review, and are added to best restaurant list.
    • 32. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Now you try Interviewing Sales Computer Skills Map out your three acts: • Act I • Normal world • Inciting incident • Act II • Things get worse • Needs skills • Needs to develop character • Act III • The big challenge • A dark moment • Climax • Follow up
    • 33. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com A few other tips…
    • 34. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Show, Don’t Tell Tell Show ―At 3AM, I was hiding in the bathroom for something like the forty- seventh consecutive night and– just as during all those nights before—I was sobbing. Sobbing so hard that a great lake of tears and snot was spreading before me on the bathroom tiles… - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love I’m at rock bottom. Action IS character. - Jenny Crusie, Popcorn Dialogues
    • 35. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Use Dialogue O An angry customer comes into the store, unhappy about her phone… O A middle-age woman stormed in to the store ―I CANNOT believe the shoddiness of this product! When I pay THIS MUCH for a device, I expect it to last longer than three days…‖
    • 36. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Consequence-based Feedback O ―Incorrect, a better choice would be to establish a perimeter before proceeding into the secure area.‖ O BLAM! ―You just triggered a secondary device, killing yourself and several bystanders…‖
    • 37. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Create Urgency When individuals perform in the real world, they’re motivated. …Yet in the learning experience …those motivations aren’t likely to be there. How do we make it closer to the real context, to maximize transfer? Exaggerate the circumstances. http://blog.learnlets.com/?p=2931 Clark Quinn, Learnlets Blog
    • 38. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Dial it up Also from Clark Quinn’s Learnlets Blog: O ―You’re not working on a patient, you’re working to save the ambassador’s daughter O You’re not just making a deal, you’re making the deal that the business is going to need to keep from going into receivership O You’re not just designing a networking solution, you’re designing one to support the communications for the rebels overthrowing the oppressive regime‖ http://blog.learnlets.com/?p=2931
    • 39. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Avoid Clichés https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbhrz1-4hN4
    • 40. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Use humor…carefully Humor is memorable… …and subjective http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/xlm/20/4/953/
    • 41. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com TVtropes.org O Unlikely hero O Wisecracking best friend O Best friend who dies to prove the hero has feelings O All explosions make huge fireballs O 5-man band
    • 42. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Look for inspiration What’s the story?
    • 43. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Even Non-fiction can have structure Nancy Duarte: Resonate
    • 44. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com The Best Story: Their Own http://businessofsoftware.org/2013/02/kathy-sierra-building-the-minimum-badass-user-business-of-software-a-masterclass- in-thinking-about-software-product-development/
    • 45. © Usable Learning 2013 www.usablelearning.com Questions/Suggestions? Thanks! - Julie@usablelearning.com - Twitter: usablelearning - Slides & References: bit.ly/ls_story

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