Revisiting stories for learning

From the plays of Shakespeare to the modern day speeches of President Obama, stories have been used to communicate key messages which audiences not only remember but also pass on to others. That’s what makes stories such powerful tools for learning.

Neuroscientists tell us that stories help us make links between stories and our existing experiences. This means that when presented with a new problem we intuitively search for a story that can help us make sense of it. On the other hand, retaining information without a narrative can be dependent on repeated rehearsals. Information stored in this way is quickly replaced and often forgotten.

So how can instructional designers harness the power of stories?

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