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A New Kind of Skilled Improvement: Storytelling and Its Place within the Classroom


Is there a greater technique to join with college students and present empathy?
Is there a greater technique to illustrate how our curriculum is profession related?

To reply these questions and extra, the College of Phoenix (UOPX) College Coaching and Improvement group, together with Dr. Eve Krahe Billings, dean of Tutorial Innovation and Analysis on the College, developed and piloted a brand new workshop referred to as Storytelling in Greater Schooling, devoted to storytelling and its software to greater schooling. The workshop consisted of asynchronous modules targeted on the speculation and observe of storytelling, using storytelling as a instructing software, and storytelling as a technique to spotlight the profession relevance of our curriculum for UOPX college students. The expertise culminated in a collection of synchronous Storytelling Festivals the place individuals have been capable of inform their tales reside and obtain suggestions from different course individuals in addition to facilitators.

“The great thing about this pilot was three-fold: Storytelling as a instructing observe turned actual for individuals, a group of inquiry was organically constructed round storytelling on college Yammer, and we had a transparent line of sight to the unimaginable depth and breadth of experience throughout our college inhabitants—these are unimaginable individuals,” Dr. Krahe Billings mentioned.

The facilitated workshop:

  • Concerned bringing in an exterior subject material professional
  • Passed off over a five-week interval
  • Culminated in a synchronous storytelling format
  • Included weekly dialogue boards, journals, and assignments
  • Integrated a third-party software, Jamboard, to supply real-time suggestions to individuals
  • Required lively participation by workshop individuals and facilitators – lurking was not allowed
  • Allowed the College Coaching and Improvement group to mannequin finest practices (course design, engagement, suggestions, and so on.)

The pilot included college from all College of Phoenix schools and encompassed upper- and lower-division programs in pc science, psychology, schooling, math, accounting, historical past, well being administration, writing, and nursing.

Because the workshop started, college reported pleasure and a little bit apprehension:

  • I’ve all the time thought the connections that college make with college students are so essential, and with all that’s occurred over the past two years particularly, I feel it’s essential now greater than ever to make connections with college students. I’m excited for this workshop as a result of I feel storytelling will be a good way to attach with college students. Although I really feel like I incorporate some facets of storytelling in my discussions with college students once I share my experiences with sure subjects, I don’t really feel like I totally perceive the right way to incorporate this instructing technique.
  • On this workshop I hope to enhance my storytelling expertise in order that I can higher relay the sensible software of the monetary accounting ideas coated within the three intermediate accounting programs. Having concrete examples introduced typically helps college students higher comprehend the ideas being studied and tie them into their private {and professional} life. I might additionally like to have the ability to assist college students enhance their important considering expertise in order that they will efficiently take care of accounting conditions that wouldn’t have particular examples within the textbook.

Because the workshop progressed, individuals explored numerous story buildings, reviewed the science behind storytelling, started to construct their very own story repertoire, created a course matter to story chart, and introduced a course story of their very own on the culminating storytelling competition. It was a number of work, nevertheless, however all of it scaffolded to the ultimate story presentation.

At the start of the workshop, individuals weren’t positive how storytelling could possibly be used as a strong software to create an empathetic classroom or the right way to set up the relevance of curriculum to their trade, nevertheless, by the top of the workshop, the entire individuals reported that storytelling was key to elevated empathy and profession relevance.

So, what’s subsequent? Our preliminary knowledge reveals that college strongly imagine that the workshop was a worthwhile funding of time. Because the individuals facilitate their post-workshop lessons and apply the storytelling methods utilized in class to their instruction, we’ll accumulate scholar knowledge to investigate their ideas on whether or not or not the incorporation of tales strengthened their reference to college and elevated the relevance of the curriculum. Till our subsequent article, if you want to discover the world of storytelling, the next assets are a superb start line:


Tahnja Wilson, MBA/MIM is the director of College Coaching and Improvement on the College of Phoenix. She has over 20+ years in greater schooling specializing in finest practices, the incorporation of video games into the curriculum, and “common sense” design.

Eve Krahe Billings is the dean of Tutorial Innovation and Analysis on the College of Phoenix. Her time is split between main the College’s Institutional Evaluation and Analysis Group, and benchmarking UOPX initiatives to rising finest observe and market initiatives throughout greater ed.



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