Facts – whether foundational or advance – can be related to real-life occurrences to engage learners and help them find context while gaining required knowledge.
Does story-based learning
only apply to experienced learners?
What is common among these photos?
design at the University of California, Irvine and a nagging question has surfaced.
Is story-based learning only applicable to audiences who have experience on a
given subject or does it also work in
teaching foundational and factual knowledge?
here, we define factual or foundational knowledge as scientific formulas and
technical processes and procedures. We
also define story-based learning as a design method using narrative and interactive
stories rooted in real-life events. Click here.
comes to my mind quickly are the works of Richard Feynman – Nobel Laureate,
B. Audoly and S. Neukirch – Breaking Spaghetti and teaching kids measurement
What can we learn from
these examples and how can we apply them to the elearning design?
scientists to link a common day to day experience- breaking spaghetti- to the
explanation of the dynamics of elastic rods.
spaghetti all throughout the presentation and makes it as a reference point.
Readers and students understand the scientific facts better because they are
presented with a commonly understood representation – spaghetti.
Please see more.
real-life examples to state his problems. In this case, he used the boat’s
travel time to compare two methods. Access the link, click on “Exercises” and
select “Boat Time.” You may also see other examples here –
Units of Measurements
I found this interesting illustration. “While learning about the letter Ii and
units of measurement, the Junior Kindergartners read “Inch by Inch”
by Leo Lionni. The story is about a little inchworm that must measure different
things. When threatened that he’ll be eaten if he doesn’t measure Nightingale’s
song, he uses his imagination to get himself out of a tough situation. As an
extension, the children used one-inch square paper number tiles to create an
inchworm. They had to find the correct numbers and glue them in order to create
their useful friend.” See more.
Making facts and new knowledge familiar
– challenge and solution
The above examples illustrate how factual knowledge, whether foundational (kids
on measurement) or advance formulas (Feynman’s “ Boat Time” and B. Audoly/S.
Neukirch’s “Spaghetti Break”) are best learned by using familiar
real-life-events or stories. Selecting these stories can be approached in this
natural instincts to face challenges and find solutions
elements of stories become a form of goal-seeking device, relative to
presenting a challenge to the learner.
The interactive elements of stories, on the other hand, aid in the quest for
resolutions. In this pursuit for answers lie the opportunities for interaction
by the learner. Natural instincts compel learners to be in Constant Readiness mode for learning.
The examples above show some form of a challenge and a quest for a solution.
This is at the very core of the design that engages learners. Feynman always
used problems and solutions to engage learners.
common or familiar real-life experience
worms are common or real-life occurrences. The purpose of selecting a real-life
episode is to help the learner visualize and simplify the theory and fact in
their minds, as it “happens in real life.”
The easiest way to achieve this is to
think that all theories, facts and foundational knowledge do exist in real-life
situations; that theory and fact explain real-life phenomenon.
“I observe nature and then I construct a
the very familiar illustration of “Newton’s apple” on gravity.
can ask the question, “Facts are based on reality. Therefore, what is the
reality behind the facts?” This is a good place to start connecting the
real-life experiences and facts.
The “dynamics of elastic rods” do happen in spaghetti.But why use spaghetti and not rods? Well, spaghetti
is obviously more familiar to many of us – it’s fun, it’s food – hmmmm. Rods, who cares?
with imaginary stories
on “The Little Inch Worm – Teaching Units of Measurements”, children had no
prior experience of measurements. By creating or connecting a parallel story,
which is anecdotal or mythical and adding the challenge and resolution
(children used one-inch square paper number tiles to create an inchworm), the
children learned the concepts of inches and measurements. However, they learned the real-life meaning
first and then the factual concept of inches and measurements.
In eLearning for adult situations, this is accomplished by case stories and
caterpillars? Worms evoke the image of the dark side of things, the fear in us.
meaning of facts. Facts are rooted in real-life events and therefore are
observable or relatable. Stories present challenges and need for solutions,
which is a natural learning instinct. In the absence of experience, the creation
of imaginary stories allows learners to
Ray Jimenez, PhD