Storytelling in e-learning, or the art of creating memorable courses

Storytelling e-learning blog

People have great stories to tell. Narration is a natural human feature that, for thousands of years, has been evident in each and every artistic expression of our time. Literature, cinema, music; just to name a few. But also, in the stories we tell in our day-to-day lives. In fact, human communication has always been made through stories. However, although we may have incredible messages to tell, these will not be memorable if we do not know how to convey them.

Storytelling in e-learning is much more than just simple narration. It is the art of turning a message into an unforgettable story, using narrative elements worthy of the best screenwriters in Hollywood.

Why great stories are effective in e-learning

Even in the digital age, stories are the only way to guarantee a connection with the audience. Up until now, our brains have not evolved at the same pace as technology, and stories have the power to convey information in the same way that humans think. In this sense, the use of storytelling in e-learning is the same as with great love stories. It is the most effective way to create experiences, establish an emotional connection, and therefore increase engagement and understanding. In short, it provides that something extra that turns ‘unappealing’ content into something unique and easy to comprehend. Because, let’s be honest, “no pain, no gain” is not the best way to go, and memorizing a myriad of different information is not the same as retaining the essence and lessons of a specific story.

As you’ve already seen, it’s essential for e-learning to be appealing and exciting, and this is precisely what storytelling manages to achieve. Here are some examples of how stories or narratives make online learning much more appealing:

  • Arouse emotions

Laugh, cry, inspire… Think about the last time you got excited about a movie, an ad, or a book. There is something timeless about the stories that connect us with our true selves. So, when stories are used to convey concepts in an e-learning course, it’s easier to establish emotional connections so that your audience trusts more in the value of the content, therefore helping them to better retain the information.

  • Captivate

Just like a good show on Netflix, when we incorporate an engaging story throughout an e-learning course, the audience will become more involved in order to try to figure out what happens next.

  • Connect

Just like in real life, e-learning storytelling should focus on characters, situations, and problems that people are already familiar with. Providing context makes the courses applicable to the everyday situations of the student (such as their daily work tasks). In addition, anecdotes and analogies facilitate the learning of complex or abstract concepts.

  • Entertain

With e-learning, these stories transport us to another dimension that we are familiar with, they allow us to enjoy the content, and at the same time they make us more aware and present so we can retain the most important information.

  • Give meaning

The most powerful thing about stories is that they give meaning to what they are telling us. Our brain already knows how to process the information in a story, whether by reading or listening, so that the student can concentrate on what’s most important: absorb and comprehend the training content.

From a simple online course to a memorable story

We guess you’re already convinced of the power of storytelling. Now you just have to put your imagination into practice and transform your content into great stories. How can you master storytelling in e-learning?

  1. Know your audience: Who will be listening to your story? It’s important that you’re well aware of who your training content is aimed for, to know your target audience in-depth, what they need, and what inspires or motivates them in order to achieve that emotional connection that we’ve talked so much about.
  2. Establish a message and a goal: Ask yourself which knowledge is important for your audience to retain, and focus your storytelling on conveying those specific ideas.
  3. Choose a format: You currently have a wealth of possibilities available for storytelling. But if you really want to reach your audience, the most effective e-learning style is through interactive online courses, since they offer a multitude of formats to tailor the content to your needs. For example, when the content is brief and easy to understand, but at the same time you want it to be engaging, such as a piece of corporate communication, at isEazy Author we recommend the vertical format of our express courses. This way, the audience can follow your story in a linear way, without having to go from one slide to another.
  4. Content strategies: To create a memorable story in your course, make use of audiovisual resources such as videos, audios, infographics, games. Content creation software usually integrates a multitude of interactive possibilities into each tool, allowing you to tell memorable stories easily and without the need for technical know-how. In addition, with isEazy Author you can use third-party content or material that you’ve produced on other platforms, so that integrating your own story into your e-learning courses will be much easier. Some of those platforms or services include YouTube, Vimeo, Canva, SlideShare, iVoox, Loom…
  5. Share the story: Last but not least, use the right channels to share the content you’ve created with your audience. Remember that with isEazy Author, we make it easy for you and we’ll adapt to your distribution needs 😉 Want more info? Here’s everything you need to know.

All set? Then it’s time to turn your e-learning content into stories that captivate your audience from the very start. Remember: isEazy Author helps you develop memorable e-learning courses in just a few minutes, and without the need for technical know-how. To learn more, discover our plans and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Josefina Castelán


Josefina Castelán

Content Marketing Specialist at isEazy

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