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E-learning with Impact: the Role of Narrative Structures and Methods in Designing and Delivering E-learning in a Corporate Environment


In a fast developing and disruptive digital‐driven era, it has become evident that organizational learning could not have stayed unaffected either by the hype or the need for transformation. Corporate training experts are challenged to find ways to enhance learners’ engagement in a new digital learning eco‐system and to provide them with an overall meaningful experience. Additionally, they have to ensure that the whole organization in which the learning takes place will profit the most.

This chapter elaborates on how narrative structures as an integrated part of a unique development model for e‐learning are used to maximize learners’ engagement and learning. This model has been used in several training initiatives in the corporate environment and it leverages different pedagogical strategies, behavioral change, and psychological theories and concepts. Most importantly, the use of stories is the groundwork where the development teams, the learners, and the various stakeholders involved interact with each other through a participatory process. When using these concepts, it becomes attainable to capture and leverage the informal learning, which takes place in every corner of the organization and appropriately transform it to formal e‐learning programs for the profit of the whole organization.

Inspiring challenges, practical examples, process parts, and extracts from e‐learning courses where the above‐mentioned model is used are deployed in this chapter. They give a clear view of how narrative structures work in a newly induced digital ecosystem in the organization field of learning, and how it becomes feasible to maintain the human contact needed for an efficient learning outcome.


  • Learning Experience
  • Project Team
  • Engagement Model
  • Participatory Process
  • Behavioral Economic

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  1. 1.

    Quote by Ira Jeffrey Glass (born March 3, 1959), an American public radio personality host and producer of the radio and television show “This American Life”.

  2. 2.

    Dziuban et al. (2004), referred to blended learning “as a pedagogical approach that combines the effectiveness and socialization opportunities of the classroom with the technologically enhanced active learning possibilities of the online environment …” (p. 3)

  3. 3.

    Tacit (or implicit) knowledge according to Nonaka and von Krogh (2009) “… covers knowledge that is unarticulated and tied to the senses, movement skills, physical experiences, intuition, or implicit rules of thumb. Tacit knowledge differs from explicit knowledge that is uttered and captured in drawings and writing” (p. 635).

  4. 4.

    In the book of Snyder and Lopez (2009), a chapter on the flow concept written by J. Nakamura and M. Csikszentmihalyi is included.

  5. 5.

    The “influential inquiry” phase consists of the following processing steps: Exploration of organizational needs, learning history, organizational readiness, willingness for intentional change (different to adaptive change), and learning strategy. It uses different participatory processes and techniques in order to support and increase the possibility of evolving implicit knowledge to informal learning and also build from the beginning sustainable relationships between all stakeholders who are influential actors of the project during its later phases.

  6. 6. (retrieved 15 Feb. 2012)

  7. 7. (retrieved 15 Feb. 2012)

  8. 8.

    From Brené’s Brown website: (retrieved 9 Oct. 2016)

  9. 9.

    From Yannis Angelis post in LinkedIn “The e‐learner, the e‐trainer, and how to bridge the space between.”: (retrieved 09 Oct. 2016)

  10. 10.

    Eugenio Mollini, an organizational development consultant and founder of the GAIT model says about Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi: “The man whose last name is so difficult to pronounce in English, has dedicated his life conducting research around that state by which a person becomes one with the ‘here and now’, when they enter in a flow condition, regardless if they are working on a task or enjoying an opera performance. This flow state is very similar to what I call genuine participation: the state in which people start to be self‐regulated, self‐organized, and self‐managed.”

  11. 11.

    I received this “loving” feedback from a colleague in Brazil who was one of our test users. We were on same‐time live chat as she tested the first two modules of an e‐learning course for a medical device.


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Angelis, Y. (2017). E-learning with Impact: the Role of Narrative Structures and Methods in Designing and Delivering E-learning in a Corporate Environment. In: Chlopczyk, J. (eds) Beyond Storytelling. Springer Gabler, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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