From Words to Worlds: Best Approaches for Storytelling in E-Learning Videos


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Best Approaches for Storytelling in E-Learning Videos

If you have ever delivered a lecture—even once—you know that keeping students' attention is challenging. One of the biggest issues everyone seems to face these days is a short attention span. It naturally causes the pull of smartphones and gives a lot of distractions, making it even harder to provide efficient e-learning. Unless you deploy the power of storytelling: a timeless answer to wandering attention.

Storytelling has one major advantage compared to traditional dry lectures: it can engage, connect, and make the subject interesting to the students. This is the most organic way to keep a person’s attention focused without scrolling or endlessly showing new content. After all, we all love stories, right? They stick in mind better than plain facts, making them a perfect medium for educational materials. 

In this article, we’ll explore how storytelling works in e-learning, and share with you techniques that you can apply right away. Keep reading.

Storytelling in E-Learning Videos: Why Does it Work?

Numerous studies claim that our brains are wired for stories. They provide us with the structure that helps to remember information in sequence, and most importantly, they trigger an emotion.

Recent studies show that videos that use storytelling engage a wider range of brain areas compared to text-based materials. It is easy to check from your own experience: you probably have a lot of visual memories. In contrast, words are rather a voice-over for these gaudy pictures in your mind.

But you might wonder if the plot and emotion are enough. Well, that’s not the whole package. Stories also evoke the sparkle we call “curiosity”. You don’t even have to wonder if that’s true, just try to remember the last time you watched the movie or couldn’t put down the book. The magic behind them was conjured up by the stories. Engaging stories can make even the most boring things fascinating, and that’s why it is a perfect tool for e-learning, as well as education in general.

In simple terms, stories are easier to remember than just plain facts. Research by Schoenmaker and Stanchev found that 70% of what people remember in their lives comes from what they see. Doesn’t it show how much e-learning materials with stories can help students remember things better?

What Makes Effective Storytelling in E-Learning Videos?

If you want to create truly engaging e-learning storytelling, you are going to need more than just a plot. Try to combine three elements: engagement, education, and appeal. Here’s how you can do that: 

  • Find a purpose. It is simple: before we start making anything, we need to know why we're doing it. So, consider what e-learning can do for your students. What do you want them to learn or achieve? Having a clear goal will help you to deliver value and evoke the right emotions.

  • Choose a narrative. Once you know your goals, you can pick the narrative that corresponds to them. The classic options include linear (sequential learning), non-linear (effective for diverse knowledge levels), or intersecting (for advanced learners). Choose a narrative that will be suitable for your audience and their current level, and effectively convey the main subject.

  • Create a plot. At this point, you need a strong foundation for your story. Events, facts, and developments that move the story further will depend on the plot. Keep in mind that a good plot should have an exciting storyline that grabs the audience's attention right away.

  • Introduce a character. People often find stories so captivating because they find something or someone to relate to. Develop a compelling character. This human element will help students connect with the material through the actions of the main figure of the story. 

Top E-Learning Storytelling Strategies for 2024

What types of storytelling can you use? What should you know before actually creating one? Let’s take a good look at how to use storytelling to power up your e-learning videos. 

Personalized Storytelling

Personalization matters. Not only is it a huge trend, but it is a tangible need that people have. Forget about “average users” and other similar marketing clichés. E-learning materials should be more aligned with students' or your audience’s preferences and learning styles. Otherwise, they may not be interested in them at all! 


Everyone loves bite-sized content today. It is more than just a trend that will soon disappear; this is the way of perceiving information for global audiences. Luckily, this is also can be a great learning approach. 

Breaking down a long story into smaller chunks of information often helps learners absorb information better and faster. How can you do that? Simply breaking long videos into shorter ones can be a great solution for people with busy schedules. Besides, to reflect on information delivered in this way is easier.

Cultural Fit

You can treat this as another dimension of personalization, but keeping cultural relevance and learners’ backgrounds in mind is crucial. This is a perfect way to ensure an inclusive and respectful environment for the students. Consider the cultural norms and values that they bring to the class so they feel more connected to the learning process.


Storytelling is a powerful strategy for education, but to pull it off, you need a little bit more than a vision: you need a skill.

If you feel like you don’t have enough experience for that, don’t get discouraged. Look for an e-learning production company that can develop your e-learning videos into powerful, engaging, and compelling storytelling that fits your audience, and provides them with the right message. With professional expertise, an e-learning production company can transform your content into a powerful storytelling experience, ensuring maximum engagement and impact for your viewers.

Disclaimer: this article includes a paid product promotion.

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