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‘Isn’t It Just Like Our Situation?’ Engagement and Learning in an Online Story-Based Environment
Educational Technology Research & Development (2006)
  • Trena M. Paulus, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Brian Horvitz, Indiana University
  • Min Shi, Indiana University

Teamwork skills such as conflict resolution and communication strategies are challenging to teach. The use of stories may help develop these complex skills. Although engagement is generally seen as a key component of learning environments, what constitutes engagement has not been fully explored. The purpose of this study was to examine how graduate instructional design students engage with and learn from stories in an online environment. This WisdomTools Scenario (Scenario) was designed specifically to facilitate the development of teamwork skills. Students followed the experiences of two fictitious student teams and discussed what happened asynchronously with small dialogue groups. Through a qualitative case study analysis, four themes emerged which captured how students engaged with and learned from this environment. First, engagement was evident through students’ emotional reactions to the characters. Second, this engagement was affected by perceived credibility and relevance of the scenes. Third, students often reflected on their prior experiences and demonstrated an increased awareness of teamwork issues. Fourth, students reported various degrees of application of what they learned to their team practice. Implications for the design of story-based learning environments are explored.

  • teamwork,
  • story-based learning,
  • blended learning,
  • scenario
Publication Date
Citation Information
Trena M. Paulus, Brian Horvitz and Min Shi. "‘Isn’t It Just Like Our Situation?’ Engagement and Learning in an Online Story-Based Environment" Educational Technology Research & Development Vol. 54 Iss. 4 (2006)
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