Narrative: Designing for Context in Virtual Settings

Narrative: Designing for Context in Virtual Settings

Patricia Arnold (Helmut Schmidt Universitat, Germany), John D. Smith (Learning Alliances, USA) and Beverly Trayner (Escola Superior de Ciencias Empresariais, Instituto Politecnico de Setubal, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-488-0.ch011


In this chapter we consider the role played by narrative in negotiating and reveal-ing contexts: we explore how narrative can help make more visible the contexts ofindividuals as well as of the evolving community in virtual settings. We use thenarrative genre to “walk the talk” of a research story that highlights three storiesof learning in virtual settings. Our set of cascading stories includes both designedlearning settings and settings that arose through the interactions of members in aself-organizing community. In exploring how narrative potentially fosters mean-ing making and helps uncover contexts we draw mostly on Bruner’s work on nar-rative and on situated theories of learning. In our research quest we aim todeepen our understanding of the intricate relation between narrative, context,and learning. To inform our design practice we summarize the “moral” of ourstory, transferring our insights into some initial guidelines for designing virtualsettings for learning.

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