Title: Narrative and meaning in the design of interactive learning environments

Authors: Atif Waraich, Alison Sharman, William L. Mitchell

Addresses: Department of Computing and Mathematics, Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Chester St, Manchester M1 5GD, UK. ' Department of Computing and Mathematics, Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Chester St, Manchester M1 5GD, UK. ' Education and Training Group, The British Council, Bridgewater House, 58 Whitworth St, Manchester M1 6BB, UK

Abstract: One problem in developing Interactive Learning Environments (ILEs) that incorporate narrative is how to ensure that the narrative elements used are meaningful to the target audience. This paper proposes a design approach that allows child users to express design ideas that are meaningful to them, in narrative form. The Brampton project is described; this investigated how children could be involved directly in the design of educational resources. It shows how the Informant Design (ID) and ethnographic approaches used in the project were not simply complementary but interdependent in uncovering meaning. The Garstang project builds on this by focusing on the role that narrative can play in an ILE designed to teach map-reading skills. The design process attempted to address the need for a narrative that had meaning for its target audience. A design framework has been devised that elicits narrative design from children in a way that is useful to designers.

Keywords: narrative design; informant design; multimedia; interactive learning environments; meaning; child learning; educational resources; ethnography; map reading.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2004.006016

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2004 Vol.14 No.6, pp.472 - 483

Published online: 21 Jan 2005 *

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