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Operationalizing Creativity

Storytelling has long been understood as an effective tool for engaging learners. Humans are natural storytellers that are hard-wired to respond to stories. A good story makes conceptual content accessible, relevant, and can provide a spark that motivates curiosity and exploration.

In his book “Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence,” Roger Schank (1990) states that stories in learning environments are effective because they present learners with a mental model for how content works that they connect to and evaluate against their existing logic for how the world works.

But telling a tight, compelling story is creative work that sits on top of all the other responsibilities that faculty developers have to shoulder. Wiley supports faculty developers by providing creative services, allowing faculty to stay focused on the other priorities of course design and development.

Vlerick’s MBA program featured a series of animated metaphors that would introduce course concepts and themes in a series of short, highly-produced videos that were meant to provide a compelling introduction to the course. To operationalize the creation of these videos, we developed a video content form that asked faculty developers targeted questions about their courses. By responding to the form, faculty developers quickly and efficiently provided the inputs that our media team needed to create highly produced videos. By zeroing in on core messaging needs and crafting simple, straightforward questions, we made the creative process as easy as, well, filling out a form.

With the inputs captured in these forms, a Wiley content producer was able to quickly draft scripts that honored the content and reflected the faculty’s vision. By the time the illustrator and animator received the final draft, the scripts had clear, strong visuals that were easy to storyboard and create. The forms ultimately saved time for both sides and made each step faster and easier.

Wiley supports faculty developers by providing creative services so that faculty can focus on the other priorities of course design and development.

Some course videos are more complex and require a little extra time from everyone. But when the goal is simple — in this case, give a quick preview of a course so students know what to expect when they sign up for it — there’s no reason the process can’t be simple, too.

Schank, R. (1990). Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.


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