What If Students Remembered Course Content: Storytelling as Pedagogy

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Eric Landrum


Introduction. Whether it is a family story, a great novel, or a captivating movie, we feel engaged as we enjoy a good story. Before histories were recorded, storytelling was the method of passing on histories, lineages, and traditions (Fawcett & Fawcett, 2011). Storytelling is a method of learning, whether the story is based on morals, knowledge, or complex ideas. For generations, stories have fascinated us and left lasting impressions. The phrase “once upon a time” is deep-seated in our minds since our earliest memories. This phrase sparks imagination and curiosity in all people (Caminotti & Gray, 2012).

Why is storytelling not utilized more often if it is an effective method for learning? Caminotti and Gray (2012) believe “storytelling is a lost art that many organizations do not use or promote” (p. 433). Storytelling has been traced back centuries, but is it incorporated in teaching techniques presently? Research has been conducted on effective methods of storytelling in pedagogy, or teaching (Miley, 2009; Shank, 2006). We often remember stories, regardless of how long ago we heard them. Perhaps storytelling is a more effective way to teach students long-term concepts.

Our goal is to expand upon research regarding storytelling in pedagogy. Our goal is to analyze professors’ use of storytelling in pedagogy. We hypothesize that professors using storytelling in pedagogy experience greater engagement from students. We also hypothesize that as professors use storytelling more, the better students perform.

Method. We will examine storytelling in pedagogy by randomly selecting professors at Boise State University to participate. We hope to get 100 responses from our administered survey. After finalizing the survey and after obtaining IRB approval, this online survey will be administered via Qualtrics.

Anticipated Results and Discussion. By conducting a survey across academic units, we expect to find high levels of variability regarding the usage of storytelling as pedagogy. After identifying those disciplines which utilize storytelling as pedagogy, we may be able to identify and extract best practices from those disciplines and faculty members who have optimized a storytelling strategy as pedagogy.

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