822034 :Interactive Storytelling (NMD/CD/DJ)


Voertaal Engels
Werkvorm: 14x2 hours interactive lectures with workshop elements (Collegerooster)
Tentamenvorm: written exam + three assignments (see Specifics) (Tentamenrooster)
Studielast:6 ECTS credits
Inschrijving:Enrollment via Blackboard before start of lectures
Blackboard informatieLink to Blackboard (Als u de melding 'Guest are not allowed in this course' krijgt, dient u nog bij Blackboard in te loggen)


dr. R. van Enschot-van Dijk (coordinator)

dr. C.H. van Wijk

Doel van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

After this course, you:

  • Have gained an understanding of linguistic and psychological aspects of storytelling as well its interactive possibilities;

  • Are able to analyze and evaluate professional nonfiction stories based on scientific research on storytelling;

  • Are able to design and create a professional online story based on scientific research on storytelling.

Inhoud van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

Stories form an integral part of our lives. Compelling stories transport us to the narrative world leaving our own reality behind. To be called a story asks for a number of literary features, including a main character that drives the story forward, a plot with one or more dramatic turns and a thought-provoking resolution. In this course, you learn what a story is and what makes a story a compelling one. You become aware of all the different narrative techniques and forms in which you can tell true, nonfiction stories, in domains as divergent as journalism, health communication, advertising and political campaigning. This course applies the universal principles of storytelling to new media design by looking at interactive elements in stories, which actively involve the reader. The reader of interactive stories can for example determine the direction of the plot and even the outcome of the story or he can play with the points of view. We are going to look at interactive storytelling in, for example, content marketing and (serious) games and discuss how interactivity can be used in storytelling in a meaningful way.

This course consists of three consecutive parts: (1) analysis, (2) design and (3) execution. Each part involves reading and discussing (academic) literature as well as making assignments. Part 1 is a general introduction to the field: What features are essential for story-like narratives and how do readers respond to this genre? This involves elements from literary theory (heroism, drama, (un)happy endings) as well as elements from psychological theory (transportation, empathy, identification). Each student selects a set of professional online nonfiction narratives with interactive elements and analyzes the story-like features in them, assesses the quality of each story and determines the functionality of the interactive elements in these stories. Part 2 addresses design principles of nonfiction narratives, and how to incorporate these principles in the students’ own design of a professional nonfiction story with interactive elements. Part 3 addresses the actual writing of this story. Students do so in blog post format about an assigned theme.

Bijzonderheden (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar) An active and accurate working attitude is required. Reading the literature is for a larger part done as self-tuition. Every assignment has a strict deadline. Failing a deadline without a compelling reason implies removal from the course.

Examination takes place based on three assignments and a written exam:
Assignment 1 (individual: 20% of course grade): Find, analyze and evaluate two professional nonfiction stories with interactive elements using the terminology around narratives. Report on your analysis and evaluation. 
Assignment 2 (small group: 10% of course grade): Present your design of your own nonfiction story with interactive elements about an assigned theme. Use the course literature to defend your design.
Assignment 3 (small group: 20% of course grade): Create your nonfiction story with interactive elements and publish it on the course’s Wordpress site. This assignment includes a draft version, which is commented on by your peers, and a final version.
Written exam (individual: 50% of course grade).
All assignments and the written exam are graded. The grade of the written exam needs to be a 5.5 or higher. A grade below 5.5 for an assignment can be compensated with the other assignments. The overall grade needs to be a 6 or higher.

The course load (6 ECTS = 168 hours) is as follows:
14 seminars a 2 hours = 28 hours
Reading for 12 seminars = approx. 42 hours 
Preparing written exam = approx. 16 hours
Written exam = 2 hours
Preparing and writing assignments = approx. 80 hours

Preparation for the labor market
The students’ end product is a professional story aimed at a target group outside academia written as if it were for a professional medium. This story – if of sufficiently high quality - may well be published professionally, for example in a newspaper or on a professional blog. In general, stories like the one that students are creating in this course are stories abundantly created by professionals in various domains (marketing, health communication, journalism, et cetera). Students of this course are well equipped to create such stories as well.

Verplichte literatuur

  1. Hart, J., Storycraft. The complete guide to writing narrative nonfiction, University of Chicago Press., 2011.
  2. Green, M. C., & Jenkins, K. M., Interactive narratives: Processes and outcomes in user-directed stories, Journal of Communication, 64, 479-500..
  3. Other literature to be announced on Blackboard

Gewenste voorkennis

Affinity with storytelling, literary phenomena and (science) journalism, interest for (scientific) news coverage and writing (science) journalistic texts.

Vereiste voorkennis


Verplicht voor

  • New Media Design ( 2017 )

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