Episode 42


Duration 00:12:11      Recorded on April 02, 2008

In this episode Susan and Dan tell a story! The story is how to use “story” for instructional purposes.

Show Notes:

In this episode Susan and Dan tell a story! The story is how to use 'story' for instructional purposes.Long ago information was transmitted through story. The printed word changed much of that. Susan was reminded of the power of story in reading Daniel Pink's 'A Whole New Mind.'

Annette Simmons writes on the value of story in 'The Story Factor.' The story is like a mini documentary of what you've seen so others can see it too. It is a tool for sharing a point of view.Story is one way of contextualizing information. Gaming is about putting people into a story. Your ability to step inside a story helps humanize the learning and may help develop a sense of empathy.

Robert Dickman writes that a story is a fact wrapped in an emotion which then can compel us to take action.

Medical education has a long history of involving story in teaching by way of case studies and scenarios. Those same strategies can be used in other disciplines. Getting students engaged in solving a problem, making a recommendation, or breaking up problem down into simpler components are methods of using story.

One of the key components of the story is a problem. Sometimes we get too caught up on focusing on the solution they need to look at the problem.

Susan likes story upfront as an introduction. Dan suggests that different strategies may promote more multimodal learning. Fire, passion, or energy are easily transmitted through story.Dan and Susan then share their experience with Learning Scenarios Online, a novel way of offering online learning through a Valencia College. These courses are short online professional development opportunities where the learners follow the characters through a plot and modular activities that promote problem-solving and insight.

What makes a good story? Dan says a good story includes a point of view that is different from his own. Susan needs a character she can relate to or needs to know enough about the character. Dan looks for a story to take him to a new place, a different resolution.

Obviously, depending on how you are teaching with story, you might not always want to give the story and ending. Students need to find the ending! Dan reminds us that while there should be multiple paths, these cannot be too obvious or too obscured.

Dan further explains Learning Scenarios Online. We encourage listeners to look into that at http://www.learningscenariosonline.com.

About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.


Co-Host & Producer
Susan Manning
Co-Host & Producer
Dan Balzer
Executive Producer
Carl Heine
Special Inspiration