Designing and Developing Interactive Narratives for Collaborative Problem-Based Learning

  • Bradford W. MottEmail author
  • Robert G. Taylor
  • Seung Y. Lee
  • Jonathan P. Rowe
  • Asmalina Saleh
  • Krista D. Glazewski
  • Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver
  • James C. Lester
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11869)


Narrative and collaboration are two core features of rich interactive learning. Narrative-centered learning environments offer significant potential for supporting student learning. By contextualizing learning within interactive narratives, these environments leverage students’ innate facilities for developing understandings through stories. Computer-supported collaborative learning environments offer students rich, collaborative learning experiences in which small groups of students engage in constructing artifacts, addressing disciplinary challenges, and solving problems. Narrative and collaboration have distinct affordances for learning, but combining them poses significant challenges. In this paper, we present initial work on solving this problem by introducing collaborative narrative-centered learning environments. These environments will enable small groups of students to collaboratively solve problems in rich multi-participant storyworlds. We propose a novel framework for designing and developing these environments, which we are using to create a collaborative narrative-centered learning environment for middle school ecosystems education. In the learning environment, students work on problem-solving scenarios centered on how to support optimal fish health in aquatic environments. Results from pilot testing the learning environment with 45 students suggest it supports the creation of engaging and effective collaborative narrative-centered learning experiences.


Narrative-centered learning Collaborative learning 



This work is supported by the National Science Foundation through grants DRL-1561655, DUE-1561486, DRL-1934153, DRL-1934128, and DRL-1921495. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradford W. Mott
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert G. Taylor
    • 1
  • Seung Y. Lee
    • 1
  • Jonathan P. Rowe
    • 1
  • Asmalina Saleh
    • 2
  • Krista D. Glazewski
    • 2
  • Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver
    • 2
  • James C. Lester
    • 1
  1. 1.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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