september 23


why identifying your course narrative is so important

  • Engage your online course learners

At Edios, we’ve built a course development framework that borrows heavily from our time working in television development. This post is the beginning of a series that will introduce this framework and discuss the importance of storytelling as it relates to online education. 

A learner’s relationship with digital video has evolved dramatically over the last decade. According to Statista, the average weekly time spent with online video worldwide from 2018-2021 has increased from 10.5 to 17 hours per week. Competition for learner’s attention is fierce. A boring, uninspired course that fails to connect will not compel a learner to engage and even worse, they might decide to click the dreaded red X and move on to some other content (hello Tik Tok). 

So what can you do to ensure your course connects with your learner and delivers on its objectives? 

It starts at the earliest stages of development. The development of any online learning program begins with identifying the COURSE NARRATIVE. I define the course narrative as the overall journey that a learner is asked to take throughout a course. If a narrative is defined as a story or an account, then the course narrative is quite simply the course’s overall story. A course narrative is not simply telling a story, but rather creating a touchpoint, deep connection, and actual application of the content for the learner. Don’t confuse storytelling with the course narrative. Storytelling is a tactic and the course narrative is the foundation. If a course requires a learner to take a journey, then as a course developer you must get them to commit and engage with the content in order to deliver on that journey’s desired outcomes. The course narrative provides not just the HOW but the WHY for the learner. 

A clear course narrative is essential to any type of video training, whether it’s a 2 minute microlearning video or a multi-course certificate program. At Edios Media we’ve produced thousands of hours of online educational videos across both academic institutions and the enterprise. Through this experience we’ve learned just how essential it is to take the necessary time in the earliest stages of course development to identify the key elements that comprise the course narrative. We call these the 5 Pillars of Course Content: the learner, the dilemma, the promise, the instructor, and the lessons. I will be diving deep into each of these in upcoming posts (so stay tuned). Together, these elements shape the narrative of the course and more importantly provide an opportunity for your learners to connect with the content in a more meaningful and emotional manner.


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