Narrative Techniques Workshop

Instructional designers from FIU Online recently attended a faculty workshop offered by the University of Miami, centered around the concept of narrative techniques. This was just one of many professional development opportunities available to instructional designers through the IDCC (Instructional Designer Core Curriculum) initiative at FIU Online. The principle behind these techniques dates back to the early history of humans and how storytelling was used to pass down lessons from generation to generation. Although technology has advanced quickly, the premise behind creating a story in order to learn remains valuable.

The Narrative Techniques discussed include:

  1. Faculty and Student Stories: focuses on first-person narratives that have occurred in the field. This technique is useful for retelling experiences and situations from a personal point of view.
  2. Role Playing: focuses on role playing places an emphasis on student assignments in which various roles are administered and interchanged throughout the assignment.
  3. Simple Simulations: focuses on real world processes that occur and change over time.
  4. Open Ended Problems: challenges students by forcing them to identify what they know in relation to a problem, then the focus shifts to aspects of the problem they do not know.
  5. Student Generated Media: focuses on students creating something interesting and providing an engaging narrative for review.
  6. Case Studies: focuses on real world situations. These situations can be analyzed and observed to determine individual or group reactions.

This workshop was sponsored by the Knight Foundation, to help explore and evaluate the effectiveness of narrative techniques as a core element in online courses—to “humanize” online learning.

For further information and resources, visit University of Miami Distance Learning Institute Workshops website or contact your Instructional Designer.

Luis Alvarado was a FIU Online instructional designer (2015-2018). His expertise includes the areas of emerging technology, learning theories, 21st Century instructional design models, user experience, and the incorporation of diverse modes of media into online courses. Luis applies sound instructional strategies developed through experience gained in higher education and government. He effectively structures course content, provides expert technical support, and advises faculty on the latest learning and interactive multimedia technology.

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