So, I’m a screenwriter all of a sudden, then?
When we start looking at instructions as a dialogue with the learner, we can’t miss the fact that sooner or later the dialogue becomes storytelling. It’s a powerful medium – people have told each other stories since the dawn of time. Our memories are prepared to remember a good story – and when that story incorporates learning, then they will remember things that they have learnt along the way.
I’ve already given you a few examples where it is easy to see the connection between instructional materials and screenwriting – specifically the Xtranormal Series, and Conflict of Interest training. There is more – the 3D animations for the V40 project were all carefully planned, storyboarded and scripted, even when no words or actors feature.
Finally, collecting information and learning objectives, building them into a realistic scenario and producing an animation or film from the desk, with a minimum of time and resources – Here’s another example of my work at EASA – A 2-minute microlearning ‘burst’, regarding the most common type of accident – stalling a plane.
Interestingly, this project was well received and a full-fat properly financed version was planned – so my second submission was a full Movie-type script, describing scenes, the actors to be used, and with the dialogue.
There is an update to this – looking at the formats that Udemy and Coursera use for their courses. They say that theirs is the most popular layout for courses – I’m struggling with this idea for many reasons. The layout is basically one person talking.
This almost proves what I said on one of my first pages – the e-learning industry has turned out so much bad material that people have rejected it and gone back to chalk and talk. It’s an argument I have yet to have – but it goes to show the value of scriptwriting in e-learning – and how a really good script can simplify the task for both the developer and the learner.