Media-Education Convergence: Applying Transmedia Storytelling Edutainment in E-Learning Environments

Media-Education Convergence: Applying Transmedia Storytelling Edutainment in E-Learning Environments

Stavroula Kalogeras (The University of Hull, Yorkshire, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2013040101
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Abstract

In the era of media convergence, transmedia (cross-media/cross-platform/multi-platform) narratives are catering to users who are willing to immerse themselves in their favorite entertainment content. The inherent interactivity of the Internet and the emotional engagement of story can lead to innovative pedagogies in media rich environments. This paper focuses on Web-Based Transmedia Storytelling Edutainment as a pedagogical practice in higher education.
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Media-Education Convergence And Transmedia Storytelling

The literature on globalization and convergence has several threads. According to Jenkins (2001), media convergence can be categorized as follows: Technological convergence- the digitization of all media content which allows them to flow across platforms; Economic convergence- the horizontal integration of the entertainment industry; Social convergence- consumers are multitasking and navigating through the new media rich environments; Cultural convergence- the rise of a new participatory culture by giving the average person the tools needed to recreate and recirculate content; Global convergence- the crossbreed of culture that results from a plethora of media content; and finally, my emphasis, Educational and Informational convergence- the distance learning paradigm, which is influencing and changing the traditional methods of teaching and learning.

As a result of media convergence, new pedagogies and theories of education have arisen. Open, distance and blended learning are on the rise, which are supported by media tools, media rich environments and technology. Moreover, complimentary to the change is the practice of transmedia storytelling which can be considered a student-centered pedagogical approach to education. Today, a film moves across media and it can have different parts such as a book, game and mobile component. This creative practice, where a story is at the center of media, is known as transmedia storytelling. The practice of transmedia storytelling is further examined here for its employment in education. The concept of Transmedia Storytelling Edutainment with the acronym TmSE is proposed and defined as using stories from popular entertainment to create educational components around a discipline. I argue that these self contained parts can be utilized as teaching aids, in conjunction with traditional learning tools, when the context of the material is complementary to the subject matter. The stories may be transmedia franchises; however, they are not limited to this classification, although the more popular stories that are distributed on multimedia platforms may have a better hook to capture learners’ attention. In educational terms, the ‘hook’ can be demonstrated in Gagnè’s Nine Events of Instruction (1985) which lists ‘gain attention’ as the first event (Clark, 30 June 2010).

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