Tuesday, July 28, 2020

2020 #DTA: #VWEDU: Narrative-based learning and the use of digital places as teacher and text With the DTA as mentor

Narrative-based learning and 
the advantage of digital places.   
With the DTA as mentor.

Brief illustration of how to to create an instructional narrative.
The castle of darkening light

There is always a story


Template narratives for quests

  • A discovery is presented as a quest.
  • A problem appears and is solved.
  • Is there anything to be taught that would not fit these templates?

Educational narratives: examples

Example scenario (language)

  • S (the student) start as a peasant digging potatoes.
  • An owl flies down, perches on your shoulder, and gives S the call.
  • [The details of the call provide the motivation and goal of the first mission.]
  • S's first mission is to enter the Castle of the Wizards.
  • The owl remains on the shoulder and guides S to the castle
  • S finds the drawbridge across the moat drawn up. so you cannot enter.  
  • S asks the guard how to  enter. She responds in [the target language].
  • [The response uses all the words in Lesson 1]
  • The owl explains that S must use [the target language] with the people in the castle.
  • The guard responded in text, so S copies it and sets out to decode it.   
  • The owl tells S how to get a novice cap, which will help to learn the language.

The powers of the novice cap

  • When S wears the novice cap, S is transported to another scene.   
  • This scene is cluttered with many objects and animated people.
  • A few of these have words floating above them in [the target language].
  • The owl advises: "If you need a hint, click me and type hint."
  • S finds that a click on an object gets the name displayed in the target language.
  • S uses clicks to decode the nouns (all concrete) in the message.
  • S finds that animations illustrate verbs (and maybe adverbs).
  • Piles of similar objects differing in one property illustrate adjectives.
  • S uses all this information to decode the message.
  • The guard has asked for a list of things. 
  • S takes copies of the requested items.
  • S leaves the learning place by removing the novice cap.

Earning the reward

  • S asks the guard to lower the drawbridge. 
  • The guard responds by asking for one of the items in the previous request.
  • The guard will only accept the item she asked for.
  • She goes through the entire list; when everything is supplied the bridge lowers.
  • She also gives S a new cap, Novice Learner.

Extend by iteration

  • The above shows how lesson 1 would go.
  • Subsequent lessons would be similar in pattern.
  • But subsequent lessons would use what is learned in previous lessons.

Visit me on the web

  • Drop by my web offices Weekdays: 12:-12:30 pm Central time (US)
  • I am available for free consulting on any topic in this blog.
  • Cybalounge and 3DWebWorldz (Orientation room)
  • I will be in both places, so you may need to speak to get my attention.
  • Web-worlds, 3D virtual worlds running in a browser. Summary
  • And we can visit the Writer's Workshop on the Web
  • Don't register -- enter as guest.  


  • Original text in this blog is CC By: unless specified public domain.
  • Use as you please with attribution: link to the original.
  • All images without attribution in this blog are CC0: public domain.
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  • Annotated screenshots made with Jing
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  • Selby Evans in Kitely and Hypergrid, Thinkerer Melville in Second Life.

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