DLF Lunchtime Series #7:
How to build learner autonomy through branching narratives

30

OCT, 2019

Lunchtime Series
Teaching & Learning
Branching Narratives

Above: Danielle Teychanne

Presented by Danielle Teychenné, Interactive Media Developer in the Health Pod of Deakin Learning Futures, on the 29th October.

A step by step approach to building branching narratives for teaching and learning

Made popular by ‘Choose your own adventure’ books and digital games, a “Choice-Based Narrative is a story that allows for choices to arise at designated junctures within an experience” (Velissaris, 2017, p.16) and are a powerful tool for teaching and learning. 

These interactive experiences can foster student agency, problem solving and critical thinking; illustrating potential consequences that one’s decisions have on any given situation. With unlimited replayability, branching narratives afford students a safe environment for failure in which they can develop vulnerability that is critical for deep learning. 

 

Above from left to right: Julia Savage introduces Danielle’s Session; the audience engaged in activities; Danielle presenting.

Branching narratives can also offer students a perspective that is vastly different from their own, allowing the player to step into the shoes of a character –  which can promote empathy and understanding. With new generations of school leavers entering university, “storytelling is important to Gen Z. They care about seamless experiences and ongoing relationships — not transactions” (EY, 2016, p.). In our digital age, these narratives can provide a fun and enjoyable learning experience for students in which they are actively engaged. 

 With HTML authoring tools (such as H5P and Twine) it is now easier than ever to create and publish highly interactive experiences for student learning.  

 This workshop presented a step by step process of brainstorming and drafting a branching narrative, including vital story elements such as main message, character development (including motivations, backstory etc), conflict, twists and decision points. 

 Danielle will be hosting this workshop at Deakin Downtown on February 26, 2020.

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EY, 2017, From innovation to expectation — how M&E leaders are responding to Gen Z, EY, available here

Velissaris, N.: Making a choice: The Melete Effect and establishing a poetics for choice-based narratives. Ph.D. thesis (2017), available here

Useful Resources

Attached are Danielle’s slides and how to guide.

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