Interactive Stories, tools and techniques, Part 2, now with added literature

The YouTube Interactive adventure is a video example of an activity I have wanted to do for a long while,

Almost every teaching environment I have worked in has someone who suggests one of these.

Typically, it’s someone who was a teenager in the 70’s or 80’s, when Choose Your Own Adventure books were huge. Fighting Fantasy, were the most popluar. Making Mobile Learning Work, 2011, has a study of a choose your own SMS based adventure, a flood disaster response scenario for Geography students, based on a real flood in France in the seventies. Students were given a briefing pack about the area, and then a three day simulation ran, via text automated messages. Students had assigned roles in local government. Outcomes included drowning while wading to the police stations. Student responses were positive, and the majority seemed meaningfully engaged by the project. And, once set up, the project can run itself. Measuring engagement is one thing however, measuring outcomes, another.

Another (extremely simple) example is the Modal Maze of Terror, used for Upper Intermediate Students in English. There’s an in depth instructional page from educators here, that also has different structure types – and their actual video (below) is cool

The Fictionengine have a post up about it from the writing angle here. Inkle offer a free online tool to develop interactive stories, as do Twine, which works on Linux (examples here) People also used post it notes to create stories, with directions to locations, instead of page numbers, based on the actions you take, which adds a concrete, kinaesthetic aspect. (update…kinaesthetic. But, as we know, learning styles don’t seem to hav much of an impoact on learning outcomes).

I’d like to develop one which uses a variety of media. So, YouTube videos, text or notices on walls, real live people, email and sms auto responders. Here’s an example of the Inkle one I wrote at 6am. It’s not good, or even educational, but it’s easy to use and do. It would be good to be able to embed audio and video, not just images.

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