How to Add Suspense to eLearning Stories – Tip #14

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A great story is not only told and heard but should be felt by your learners – enough to elicit a response, a recall of a similar experience, a discovery or a solution to an unresolved event. Most of all it results in more meaningful and gainful learning that impact their performance and behavior.

Are your elearning stories merely told or experienced?
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Consider these important tips:

  1. Build a strong story. Since there is a lack of a powerful story, there is no source to communicate suspense to the learners. A story must be emotionally charged to grab the learner’s attention.In the example “Argument” featured above, the person is trying to decide which way to go. Is it the stairs, the garage parking or other ways. To create the suspense in a scene, the story must be based on real-life
  2. Create images that reinforces the sense of suspense. In the example above, the scene shows a garage – dark , eerie, fuzzy – suggesting unknown risks. This heightens the learner’s wary feeling.
  3. The scene should draw automatic reactions from learners. The environment spontaneously makes the learners recall an experience or impression of a dark alley or place.
  4. Utilize the experiences of your learners. Characters are potent messengers of content and story. Let the learners clearly see the expressions of the character. In “Argument”, notice the person shows a worried look. 
  5. Increase suspense by controlling the elements and the levels of intensity. All the elements are adjusted to ensure that the learners gain and understand certain levels of emotions and obtain and discover the content and lesson you want them to learn.

The “Argument” is an example of learning the idea of making decisions. This is a
college course on “Building Arguments” references.

Interactive stories are powerful tools that bring about the discovery of context that results to meaningful learning events.

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”