Next Wednesday May 13 I’ll be leading a workshop on “The Power of Stories in Learning” as part of the Association for Talent Development (ATD–formerly ASTD) Learning Leaders Forum. It takes place at Con-Way from 8 – 10:30 AM. During the workshop, we’ll go over why story-based training design enhances learner attention and outcomes; practical tips […]
I’ve had my eye on the Center for Digital Storytelling for a couple years, and this past week the timing finally worked out for me to take one of their workshops. I decided to make it an adventure and take a 10-hour road trip from Portland to Berkeley. The premise of the three-day workshop is […]
Humans naturally learn through stories. When we hear a good story, our brains release oxytocin, the “cuddle chemical” associated with empathy, cooperation, willingness to help others, and enhanced social cues. What is a story? At its basic structure, a story is a tale of imaginary or real characters, told to inform, persuade, or entertain. It […]
During the week of Halloween each year, I dress up a pumpkin. Not as a pumpkin…I dress up the pumpkin itself. I find pumpkins to be the perfect vessels for fleshing out a scene. Over the past dozen years I’ve been inspired by three themes: amusement parks, twisted fairy tales, and ghoulish vices. I compiled […]
I created this exercise as part of my Story-based Instructional Design session for the ASTD-Cascadia conference. It’s a tool you can use with another person or by yourself to practice adapting training content into a story structure. Pick a training topic, answer a few questions, and then begin shaping your topic into a story.
The year was 1980 and I was in the first-grade. Mrs. Taylor, a terrifying presence, was in her final year of teaching before retirement–a second career, as she had previously served as a commander in the army. (She is scowling and wearing big boots and bright red lipstick in our class picture.) During the first week of […]
When designing how a training course begins for your learners, flavor your approach with less Do Re Mi and more In Medias Res. No matter how linear the content, no matter how compliant-heavy the material, you don’t need to bore your learners with a lot of set-up. Throw them right in–most adult learners will thrive on the immediate […]
This Wednesday I’ll be speaking on the topic of “Actively Involving Learners Through Story” at the BlueVolt LEAP Ahead Conference in downtown Portland. My session will focus on the power of storytelling as a tool of persuasion, how stories can inspire and engage learning, and tips for interviewing subject matter experts during the discovery process. We’ll […]