Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Up-Side-Down eLearning Story – Mirror Effects

Our belief:
At Vignettes Learning we use stories in eLearning; however, we make them interactive. The emphasis is getting  learners involved in the story and not just telling the learners the story.
Humor is one of the best ways to teach serious matters. While the intelligent use of absurdity could compel rational thinking, a parody has the capability to mirror a truth.  __________________________________________________________________________

Preview the video and see how the seemingly truthful presentation is used to mirror and demonstrate the failures behind the “truths.” Think of how this can be of use in your eLearning interactive story design. This is an “Up-side-down eLearning Story.”

Watch the video below.

The developers of the video Live with it! iPhone App makes a strong case for the clever use of parody to send a message across. The less attentive or slightly insensitive viewer would realize the absurdity only midway through the film, if not,  then most likely already towards the end.

Roger J. Kreuz & Richard M. Roberts dissects the anatomy of parody and satire in their paper On Satire and Parody: The Importance of Being Ironic, Metaphor and Symbolic Activity. They write:

“Like the Socratic teacher, the author of a parody knows his or her subject  well; however, the parodist does not need to affect a pretension of ignorance.  In fact,  the  parodist  makes his  or her  familiarity with  the  original work  obvious. To be effective, the parody must ‘ring true’  (Falk,  1955, p.  15) to  the original. Rather than expose ignorance, parody criticizes or flatters. 

As in works that employ dramatic irony, successful parodies require the  audience to construct multiple mental representations. A work  of  parody  may mean nothing to the uninitiated reader because there is no 'chorus'  written into  the parody  to make this  knowledge  manifest.  If  the reader  recognizes the resemblance between the parody and the original work, then  the parody can succeed for that reader. This similarity between parody and  dramatic irony should not imply that dramatic irony is a necessary feature of  parody...

Is it possible for a satire to also be a parody? The answer is yes, but now the  reader must keep  in  mind  at least three simultaneous representations:  a  representation  of the  events in the  text itself,  a representation  of  how  the  events in the text imitate the original work, and a representation of how the  events in the text have implications both  beyond the text  and beyond the original work...

When satire  and parody function together within the same work,  they  achieve their unique goals independent of each other.”
Initially, who would have thought that this video is a parody, a cleverly disguised  absurdity presented in an authentic setting with a compelling script?  In just two minutes, the video was able to bring the attention to the said company, enumerate the effects and consequences of its corporate failings and call to action so that a stand can be established to help solve the issue.

Read my related blogs:

How the ‘Anchoring Effect’ Affects eLearning Scenario Development

The Battle of Stories - Instructional Design Approach

Roger J. Kreuz & Richard M. Roberts (1993): On Satire and Parody: The Importance of Being Ironic, Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 8:2, 97-109.

LIVE WITH IT! iPhone app.

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"

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