Jan 2019

Online Learning Goes Hollywood

Using video storytelling to motivate learning

By Michael B. Horn

Hollywood is coming to a university near you—as nearby as the closest computer screen. Educators are attempting to harness the power of the industry that commands our attention at the movies (and on our tablets, televisions, and phones) for students in online college classes. 

Demand for online learning has exploded in recent years, with roughly one third of all students enrolled in accredited colleges and universities in the United States now taking at least one online course, and more than one quarter of all master’s students learning exclusively online. But keeping students engaged with those courses—so they not only enroll, but also persist and learn—has proved a tricky nut to crack. 

Enter Hollywood. Hollywood artists are storytelling masters. And there is ample evidence to suggest that human brains are wired to learn through stories.



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