With the rise in popularity of mobile phones in our daily life, it has also become an important platform for training and learning. Storytelling can be a powerful learning intervention, both in classrooms and for businesses. It has a lasting impact and increases the retention of information through stories.
There is scientific backing that storytelling actually changes brain chemistry and, if done effectively, can lead to strengthened relationships and acts of kindness. Can this powerful form of teaching and learning be adopted for mobile learning delivery? To explore various options, we must first consider that stories can be told in many different ways, not just in traditional text-based narrative. Various forms of storytelling can be adopted and mixed to create an appropriate mix, based on student preferences and learning objectives.
For students who prefer visual learning, graphic novels or graphic-based stories can be created to ensure that the textual content is less but the essence of the story is not lost. To keep things light and informal, you can create a comic that touches on serious issues in a lighter way. Maps, graphs, or statistics can also be rendered to create stories. Music and audiovisuals can also be put together to create stories for students who do not prefer to read. Rather than strictly following one path, the developer can go for a combination 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 more suitable routes for the platform. Mobile devices have smaller screens compared to laptops or desktops. So a text-based approach may not be impressive enough. Instead, a graphics or audiovisual approach would be more suitable for the mobile learning platform:
- Stories can be part of mobile games that present a quest for students 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 stories can also be very powerful in engaging mobile learners. The audio track can also be played throughout these videos to provide the option to listen only, when the student no longer wants to look at the screen.
- Blogs can also incorporate stories and practical experiences that will interest students of all stripes. The option to ‘subscribe’ to the blog may be available, ensuring that students get an instant prompt as soon as new content is uploaded to the blog.
- Video blogs can also be story-based and accessible on the mobile platform. Like text blogs, students can also subscribe to them and receive emails or text messages on their portable devices as soon as new videos appear. This ensures that students are subtly pushed to learn from time to time until they are genuinely interested in the learning videos and look forward to it.
The mobile learning strategies are many and the storytelling is one that suits the uniqueness of the platform very well. By choosing the right way to move forward, storytelling and mobile learning can be an effective combination.