Stories as Decision Scaffolds: Understanding Nonlinear Storytelling Using Case-Based Reasoning and Educational Design Research

  • Andrew A. Tawfik
  • Matthew M. Schmidt
  • Fortunata Msilu


Case-based reasoning (CBR) is a theoretical approach to understand how narratives support problem-solving. In many game-based learning environments, nonlinear storytelling is a popular approach to unfold the problem-solving experience. For this study, we developed a game-like, case-based learning environment that utilized nonlinear, narrative elements to present cases and facilitate decision-making. The study presented here explored learners’ general perceptions of the learning environment, with a specific focus on usability. Evaluation results identified themes related to problem representation, perspective taking, decision-making, retention, and retrieval/reuse. Implications for case-based reasoning and educational design research are discussed.


Case-based reasoning Case library learning environments Decision-making Usability Design-based research Educational design research 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew A. Tawfik
    • 1
  • Matthew M. Schmidt
    • 2
  • Fortunata Msilu
    • 3
  1. 1.Instructional Design & TechnologyUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Instructional Design and Technology, University of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Educational Technology, Research & AssessmentNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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