"At home we watch TV drama for relaxation, so we tend to think of it as a passive activity. But drama only works when it makes us active. And it does this by showing characters in difficult situations and prompting us to ask – ‘If that were me, what would I do?"

Tom Hickmore

Hello, my name’s Tom.

I make video for learning and I specialise in drama.

Like a lot of people, when the Covid19 pandemic struck I began to rethink a few things. I realised that, although I’d been making video drama for learning for most of my working life, a lot of my output was still suboptimal. When people think of training films, it’s not what they think of when we say “Netflix”. So,I took a serious look at what’s wrong with drama in learning and development. 

Where video drama for learning goes wrong is nothing to do with the low budgets, or “boring” subject matter.As long as you have a functional budget, you can design an engaging drama to fit it. And as long as your subject is one that people can have differing opinions about, it can make an interesting subject for a drama. 

The problem is simply this – while plenty of drama is produced in the sector – there’s little knowledge in L&D about how drama works – the very fundamentals of the medium. The result is a lot of poor-quality drama being designed and produced by very clever people who don’t know they are doing it wrongly. This is a fixable problem. An L&D problem!  

Author of

Watch & Learn

All this inspired me to write a short book, titled Watch & Learn,to share the essential knowledge needed to design video drama with all our colleagues in the world of L&D. The book became the first step on my mission for this conceptual toolkit to become a commonplace throughout the L&D network. The good news is that a little like chess, the principles of drama are not hard to grasp –although you can of course spend a lifetime becoming a master. 

Since publishing the book, I’ve appeared on a lot of podcasts and given many talks. And I’ve published a series of short videos with the self-explanatory title What Can TV Teach L&D?

This site collects together all these assets and will be the launchpad for more to come.

Tom Hickmore presenting a talk at Learning Technologies

VIDEOS

What Can TV Teach L&D?

What Can TV Teach L&D? - Star Wars
Specials
I’m giving a talk about drama in learning at this year’s Learning Technologies event on May the 4th. so of course I had to reference Star Wars!

April 26, 2022

Series 1
In which I reflect upon the anthropology of storytelling: how it functions to hold together large groups,how we see this demonstrated in Gogglebox and how we can apply this in the world of learning and development.

April 21, 2022

Series 1
In which I look at Channel 4’s flagship “issue drama” and its lessons for L&D. Stories are moral, but you don’t always have to draw them to a conclusion. You message is strongest when you make your audience work to make meaning.Plus, how to dramatize exposition.

April 21, 2022