Are Your Stories in Enterprise L&D Engaging or Disengaging or Even Needed In the 1st Place?

Why do you even need a story in the first place if your Content is clearly authentic and what someone needs to learn in order to be successful or more successful back on the job?

I came to the realization a long time ago that stories used in an Enterprise Learning Context were too often an entertaining distraction intended to Pull the Learner in when the Content alone wouldn’t.

As someone schooled way back in 1979 in the Analysis-Design-Development of Performance-Based Instruction – including both Job Aids & Training – that are now becoming more popularly known as Performance Support & Learning Experiences – it never occurred to me that I needed to “pull the Learner in” using a story.

The title itself should do that for all but the most totally clueless Novice – who knows so little about the Job that they need to Learn How To Perform Competently – as I subscribe to a Truth-In-Titling Convention that I formalized back in the early 1990s – that could have been addressed with a proper Job Overview from Tier’s 1 and 2 in my 5 Tier ECA Inventory Framework.

The Greenest Novice wouldn’t necessarily appreciate any nuance from a story – and unless you are warning them about how they can drive the process into the ditch and/or hurt themselves or others – I would worry about our need to engage their affective domain – because that gets tiring/draining after a while – and then less effective.

Give it to me straight. No sugar coating. No entertainment. And get me into authentic Practice with Feedback ASAP.

If the title isn’t descriptive and engaging all by itself – you’re probably not producing Performance-Based Content or your Titling isn’t descriptive enough or both.

Or you are operating in an Educational Learning Context where it isn’t clear why THIS CONTENT needs to be learned as the ultimate application of said content is unclear or varies across the Target Audiences – and then there is a need to Pull the Learners in somehow and get them to take learning this content seriously.


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