Design principle 3:

→ Engage the learner by using a story

Add a story to your drill by creating a short course. This will allow you to contextualize the sets of questions and give people relevant information before they start answering the questions. Check below to find out how it’s done!


A story is often used as an introduction to a drill, making it the first thing shown to people when they start the drill. Another option is to use stories in a course in between drills, or at the end of a drill or course. Stories can come in the form of text, images, audio clips or videos. Contrary to the other Drillster features, stories are strictly one way. Make sure you keep it brief (see design principle 2). When a story does not add value to your drill or course, it’s best to just leave it out and let people focus on the truly valuable information.


A story can serve the following purposes:

  1. Provide context: seize the opportunity to provide context to the person who will be doing the drill. A story can give the student or employee an idea of what they are about to do, what the subject matter is, and why the drill is important.
  2. Boost commitment: a story is an ideal way to convey a message to drillers. A video of the director explaining how Drillster works and why the learning material is so important, for example, can be very powerful. Seize the moment to boost commitment, and to motivate and persuade people.
  1. Stress urgency: it can sometimes be useful to use news items to stress the urgency behind drills. Possible news items you can use are recently published research results or newspaper articles about a company that was, for example, fined for non-compliance.
  2. Introduction or summary: you can include learning material in a story, such as an article about which questions will be asked later or certain rules that are important to have top of mind to succeed on the drill. Don’t overdo it though, because the actual learning will have to be done in the drill itself!

There are numerous cool ways to design a story. We have included an example below. The possibilities are endless, so you can really go nuts on this!


An example of how to create more engagement and convey the urgency of the drill with a story →

10 drill design principles

With the 10 drill design principles, we help you on your way to designing the perfect drills. These tips will help you create the best questions based on educational design principles and ensure an effective learning process and well-anchored knowledge. Click on one of the other 9 design principles for more information and clear examples per design principle.

Workshop drill design

Rather have a personal explanation of how to make the perfect drill? We provide drill design workshops and refresher courses for (future) instructional drill designers. Fill in this form and we will contact you.

Need support?

Don’t have the time or resources to make good drills yourself? Find out how we can help!

  • Training: training your employees to become Certified Instructional Drill Designers.
  • Drill design: you can also opt to outsource parts of the drill design process to us.
  • Drill review: one of our educational specialists will help you by reviewing your drill content.
  • Bulk input: entering large volumes of content.
  • Communications: we would be happy to help you with internal communications on implementing the Drillster method.
  • Customization: integration into an LMS or learning portal: “Drillster inside” your trusted environment.

We would like to offer you the best possible Drillster experience! Therefore, we use cookies to collect information in order to optimize the website and give you the most relevant information. Read more about our cookie policy here.

Of course! Rather not