SDD202 - How to Write eLearning Scenarios in the Shape of a Comedy Plot
Everyone likes stories. Using storytelling techniques to spice up otherwise dull training modules is a great idea. Situating learners in a realistic context encourages them to apply skills and retain knowledge longer. But it's not easy to write engaging narratives. Scenarios written by educators tend to be prescriptive, predictable, and preachy. Learners know when they are being manipulated to think or feel. Recent studies have shown that this sort of training may actually produce a reverse effect. Outwardly, they may click the right answer, but inwardly they resent it.
In this session we will explore how to write better elearning scenarios using the plot devices and ancient archetypes of comedy. We will view scenes from films, study their construction, and learn to apply techniques used by writers of stories, films, and screenplays. We will look at the three-act structure: beginning, middle, and end. That's a good way to start conceptualizing an eLearning scenario but by itself, it doesn't go deep enough to be very helpful. It's easy to get started plotting out your story only to lose your way without a clue of where to go next. Next, we will look at beat sheets used by screenplay writers to plot out a comedy movie. In film writing terms, a "beat" refers to a single story event that transforms the character and story at a critical juncture. The culminating activity will be to design a scenario together using the techniques we've discussed.
In this session, you will learn:
- What are the basic plot shapes of stories and why you should be aware of them
- What is essential to include in your story's beginning, middle, and end
- How to apply story beats to plot your scenarios, when key beats should occur and why
- Why the plot structure of comedy is especially appropriate and effective in learning scenarios
- How to use 'eu-catastrophe' and character transformation to anticipate learning
- How to apply these techniques to achieve your learning goals
Designers, developers, managers
This strategy can be used with any of the current tools such as Storyline, Captivate, Camtasia, Lectora, PowerPoint, etc.