SHIFT's eLearning Blog

Our blog provides the best practices, tips, and inspiration for corporate training, instructional design, eLearning and mLearning.

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5 Character Archetypes You Can Use in Your eLearning Courses

Pretty much anyone can present information, but an honestly good eLearning course designer knows how to make that information stick with learners even when that audience isn’t interested. Because that’s the nature of an eLearning course: sometimes your audience is enthralled with the subject and sometimes they’re just being pushed to learn because of a job or class. It should be your goal to make content memorable no matter your audience’s interest level.   One of the best ways to do this is to incorporate engaging and unique characters in your courses. A learner might not remember every piece of content you present to them, but they will remember an aqua aardvark appropriately named ADDIE. While that might be too cartoonish or “out there” for many courses, I think you can see the point of how using a character gives your audience something to visualize and hold onto in the sea of new information they are being immersed in.

Keep eLearning Real: 4 Basic Story Types to Link Learning to the Real-World

Everybody loves a good story, even your (seemingly) staid and somber corporate learners. That's because, a child lurks inside all of us; he loves to peek into other people's lives and go with them on their journeys. Unconsciously, he tries to identify himself with the good guy in the story—the one who overcomes all challenges, bashes the baddies, and emerges as the hero in the end. Stories are captivating. The actions of the protagonist, who we can relate to, inspire us to think or act similarly. This is why, stories have been used throughout the ages to teach morals and values to children. You can also use stories to teach your corporate learners technical and soft skills that will help them further their careers. There are four basic type of stories. You have to know about them before you can choose a format that best fits the drab learning matter and tell a story that your learners will lap up.

How to Stop Being Boring: Creating eLearning with 5 Key Story Elements

Some of us remain awake till the wee hours leafing through the pages of a riveting story or scrolling down our Kindle screens. The movie buffs among us blow up our earnings on Netflix. Some others prowl the blogosphere to read about their favorite bloggers' lives and experiences. We all love stories. We love tales that resonate with our emotions and aspirations. Your corporate learners are no different. You know this, so spare your audiences the ordeal of going through tables, statistics, graphs, and pie charts when they take your course. Instead, couch your material inside an engaging story that not only tickles their gray cells but also fires their imaginations. How do you transform seemingly drab learning matter—HR policies, fire safety guidelines, Six Sigma principles, customer experience management, and the like—into engaging stories that will keep your learners hooked? First, you have to change your mindset and start thinking like a stroyteller. Then, you have to understand the elements that make up a story. And then, you can start weaving your stories.

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