A critical review of digital storyline-enhanced learning
- 1.2k Downloads
Storyline is one of the major motivators that lead people to play video games. However, little empirical evidence exists on the instructional effectiveness of integrating a storyline into digital learning materials. This systematic literature review presents current empirical findings on the effects of a storyline game design element for human learning and performance that were analyzed using a multidimensional approach for classifying storyline outcomes and impacts. Specifically, it addresses two key questions: (a) What types of storyline were empirically examined? and (b) What are the unique affordances of digital storyline-enhanced learning? Only eleven studies that assessed the relative effectiveness of digital story-based interventions as compared to a non-story-based method were found. These findings present mixed results for storyline-related instructional effectiveness and suggest directions for future investigations and also practical guidance for designing effective story-based digital learning environments.
KeywordsStoryline Digital narrative Computer games Game design Engagement Learning outcomes
I would like to thank Dr. Robert Reiser for his comments on early drafts of this manuscript and Umit Tokac for evaluating the gathered studies for a meta-analysis fit.
- Asgari, M., & Kaufman, D. (2004). Relationships among computer games, fantasy, and learning. Paper presented at the IERG International Conference.Google Scholar
- Bittick, S. J., & Chung, G. K. W. K. (2011). The use of narrative: Gender differences and implications for motivation and learning in a math game. Los Angeles: University of California, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).Google Scholar
- Boyle, E. A., MacArthur, E. W., Connolly, T. M., Hainey, T., Manea, M., Kärki, A., & van Rosmalen, P. (2014). A narrative literature review of games, animations and simulations to teach research methods and statistics. Computers & Education, 74(0), 1–14. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2014.01.004.
- Bransford, J. D., Sherwood, R. D., Hasselbring, T. S., Kinzer, C. K., & Williams, S. M. (1990). Anchored instruction: Why we need it and how technology can help. In D. Nix & R. J. Spiro (Eds.), Cognition, education, and multimedia: Exploring ideas in new technology (pp. 115–141). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Calleja, G. (2011). In-game: From immersion to incorporation. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- DeRouin-Jessen, R. E. (2008). Game on: The impact of game features in computer-based training. PhD Dissertation, University of Central Florida, Orlando.Google Scholar
- Federation of American Scientists. (2006). Summit on educational games: Harnessing the power of video games for learning. Washington, DC: Federation of American Scientists.Google Scholar
- Greenwood-Ericksen, A. (2008). Learning African-American history in a synthetic learning environment. PhD Dissertation, University of Central Florida. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/89208380?accountid=4840.
- Herrewijn, L., Poels, K., & Calleja, G. (2013). The relationship between player involvement and immersion: An experimental investigation. Paper presented at the Proceedings of DiGRA 2013: DeFragging Game Studies, Atlanta.Google Scholar
- Iuppa, N., & Borst, T. (2007). Story and simulations story and simulations: Tales from the trenches. Burlington: Focal Press.Google Scholar
- Jenkins, H. (2004). Game design as narrative architecture, in First Person. In P. Harrigan & N. Wardrip-Fruin (Eds.), New media as story, performance, and game. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Johnson, T. E., Spector, J. M., Huang, W.-h. D., & Novak, E. (2007). Instructional gaming effects on learning outcomes and instructional strategy selection. Technical Report prepared for Conventional Training versus Game-Based Training Project, Naval Air Warfare Center, Training Systems Division and JXT, Inc, Dayton, OH.Google Scholar
- Kinzer, C. K., Hoffman, D., Turkay, S., Gunbas, N., Chantes, P., Dvorkin, T., et al. (2011). The impact of choice and feedback on learning, motivation, and performance in an educational video game. In C. Martin, A. Ochsner, & K. Squire (Eds.), Proceedings, GLS 8.0 Games + Learning + Society Conference (pp. 175–182). Madison: ETC Press.Google Scholar
- Koenig, A. D. (2008). Exploring effective educational video game design: The interplay between narrative and game-schema construction. PhD Dissertation, Arizona State University.Google Scholar
- Laaksolahti, J. (2008). Plot, spectacle and experience: Contributions to the design and evaluation of interactive storytelling. Ph.D, Stockholm University.Google Scholar
- Laurel, B. (1993). Computers as theatre. Wokingham: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
- Lepper, M. R., & Malone, T. W. (1987). Intrinsic motivation and instructional effectiveness in computer-based education. In R. E. Snow & M. J. Farr (Eds.), Aptitude, learning, and instruction: III. Conative and affective process analyses (pp. 255–296). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Malone, T. W. (1980). What makes things fun to learn? A study of intrinsically motivating computer games. Palo Altao: Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.Google Scholar
- Malone, T. W., & Lepper, (1987). Making learning fun: A taxonomy of intrinsic motivations for learning. In R. E. Snow & M. J. Farr (Eds.), Aptitude, learning, and instruction (Vol. 3, pp. 223–253). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Marchiori, E. J., Torrente, J., Blanco, Á. d., Moreno-Ger, P., Sancho, P., & Fernández-Manjón, B. (2012). A narrative metaphor to facilitate educational game authoring. Computers & Education, 58(1), 590–599.Google Scholar
- McKee, R. (2005). Story—Substance, structure, style and the principles of screenwriting. York: Methuen Publishing.Google Scholar
- Miller, C. H. (2004). Digital storytelling: A creator’s guide to interactive entertainment: Elsevier/Focal Press.Google Scholar
- Novak, E., Johnson, T. E., Tenenbaum, G., & Shute, V. (2014). Effects of an instructional gaming characteristic on learning effectiveness, efficiency, and engagement: Using a storyline to teach basic statistical skills. Interactive Learning Environments. doi: 10.1080/10494820.2014.881393.Google Scholar
- Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Leech, N. L., & Collins, K. M. T. (2012). Qualitative analysis techniques for the review of the literature. The Qualitative Report, 17, 1–28.Google Scholar
- Prensky, M. (2001). Why games engage us. Retrieved February 15 2010, from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Why%20Games%20Engage%20Us.pdf.
- Rouse, R. (2005). Game design: Theory and practice. Plano: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.Google Scholar
- Spires, H. A., Turner, K. A., Rowe, J., Mott, B., & Lester, J. (2010). Game-based literacies and learning: Towards a transactional theoretical perspective. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Denver, CO.Google Scholar
- Sung, Y.-T., Chang, K.-E., Lee, Y.-H., & Yu, W.-C. (2008). Effects of a mobile electronic guidebook on visitors’ attention and visiting behaviors. Educational Technology & Society, 11(2), 67–80.Google Scholar
- Walkington, C., Clinton, V., Ritter, S., Nathan, M., & Fancsali, S. E. (2014). The impact of cognitive and non-cognitive text-based factors on solving mathematics story problems. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Educational Data Mining. London, UK.Google Scholar
- Wroten, C. (2014). Win over your e-Learners with storytelling. Retrieved February 18 2015, from http://elearningindustry.com/win-over-your-e-learners-with-storytelling.