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Narrative and Episodic Story Structure in Interactive Stories


A three-part exploratory study was conducted to examine children's responses to interactive, nonlinear HyperCard stories and the children's design of stories in HyperCard. Twenty-three fifth graders took part in a semester-long language arts training program that included HyperCard as well as traditional stories in books. Two questions were posed: how HyperCard affects children's understanding of story structure, and what happens when the conventions of story--beginning, middle, end--are transformed into a nonlinear form. First, the children were introduced to a variety of children's stories, which were read to them. The characteristics of story structure and the components of stories were explained and discussed. Second, the children were introduced to HyperCard through the"Amanda Stories," which are interactive, nonlinear narratives told through a series of pictures that include simple animation and sound effects but virtually no written text. After completing one of the "Amanda Stories," they discussed the story structure and story features and compared the story to book-based stories. In the third and final phase, the children wrote and illustrated their own stories, which were adapted to HyperCard. Research methods used in this qualitative study included taking notes on class discussion and student questions on the stories read aloud from books; observation of student pairs working through the "Amanda Stories" and related interviews; and evaluation of student stories, both text and pictures. The results suggest that children can adapt to the new story structure offered by HyperCard. However, training in the features of story structure and having students practice designing stories for the hypertext medium were both beneficial to the students. (13 references) (BBM)


McLellan, H. Narrative and Episodic Story Structure in Interactive Stories. Retrieved December 11, 2019 from .

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