Transforming Online Learning through Narrative and Student Agency
Abbreviated Journal Title
Educ. Technol. Soc.
Online learning; Narrative; Agency; Undergraduate education; Emerging; media; SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY; COMPREHENSION; SELF; ENVIRONMENTS; SCIENCE; DESIGN; MODELS; Education & Educational Research
Efforts to improve online learning have focused primarily on the technology platform for delivering educational content and supporting student discourse. In this paper we describe an alternative approach that invokes two powerful forces behind human learning: narrative and agency. Each of these constructs and their potential impacts on learning is reviewed, and the design of a large-enrollment online undergraduate course that leverages these elements is described. A study of student learning and engagement was conducted using surveys and an analysis of student projects on 96 students enrolled in the new course. Surveys were also administered to 129 students taking a traditional online course in other departments to provide a comparison data set. Results of this study indicated significant benefits of employing narrative and increasing student choice on interest and perceived relevance of the course material, critical thinking, and the acquisition of design skills. We conclude by discussing the implications of these results on the design of online instructional environments generally, and call for the increased adoption of interactive storytelling elements into web-based learning platforms.
Educational Technology & Society
"Transforming Online Learning through Narrative and Student Agency" (2012). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 2942.