With the rise in popularity of mobile phones in our daily lives, it has also become an important platform for training and learning. Storytelling can be a powerful learning intervention – in classrooms as well as for corporates. It has a lasting impact and increases retention of information through stories.
There is scientific backing that storytelling actually changes brain chemistry, and if done in an effective way, can lead to strengthened relationships and acts of kindness. Can this powerful way of teaching and learning adopted for mobile learning delivery? To explore various options, we have to first consider that stories can be told in many different ways, not just in the traditional text-based narrative. Various forms of storytelling can be adopted and mixed to create a suitable mix – as per learner preferences and the learning objectives.
For learners who prefer visual learning, graphic novels or graphics-based stories can be created to make sure that textual content is less but the essence of the story is not lost. To keep things light and informal, a comic can be created that touches upon serious topics in a lighter vein. Maps, charts or statistics can be represented to create stories as well. Music and audio-visuals can also be bound together to create stories for learners who do not prefer to read. Instead of strictly following one route, the developer may opt for a mix of one or more to create maximum impact.
To create stories for the mobile platform, instead of a traditional approach, it is better to adopt routes more suited for the platform. Mobile devices have smaller screens compared to laptops or desktops computers. Therefore a text-based approach might not be impactful enough. Instead an approach with graphics or audio-visuals would be more suited to the m-learning platform:
- Stories can be made part of mobile based games that present a quest for learners to follow, based on a set of missions.
- Stories can be shared in the form of case studies with figures and findings highlighted for maximum impact
- Video-based stories can also be very powerful in engaging mobile learners. Audio track can also run along these videos to give an option of just hearing, when the learner does not want to stare at the screen anymore.
- Blogs can also build in stories and practical experiences that will interest learners of all kinds. Option of ‘subscribing’ into the blog can be made available which makes sure that learners get instant intimations as soon as new content is uploaded on the blog.
- Video blogs can also be story-based and accessed on the mobile platform. Like textual blogs, learners can subscribe into them as well and get mails or text messages on their handheld devices as soon as new videos are up. This makes sure that learners are subtly pushed for learning from time to time till they are truly interested in learning videos and look forward to them.
Mobile learning strategies are many and storytelling is one that is very well suited to the uniqueness of the platform. By choosing the right way to go ahead, storytelling and mobile learning can be an effective combination.