Informal Learning Through Interactive Narratives: an Overview of Research Design & Execution



September 8, 2022 - 1:00 PM


September 8, 2022 - 2:00 PM

Informal Learning Through Interactive Narratives: an Overview of Research Design & Execution

Thursday  8 September 2022; 1:00 to 2:00 PM Eastern time (GMT -4)

Understanding invisible disabilities has become a more consistent conversation in recent years. While this conversation has included developing better medical treatment and legislative progress for accessibility requirements, there remains progress to be made in comprehending how these invisible disabilities impact a person’s daily life. This dissertation research focuses on how informal learning tools such as interactive narratives could be developed to provide insight into the ways an invisible disability influences a person’s day that otherwise goes unnoticed by the mainstream population. To provide this insight, an advanced prototype of an interactive story titled Under the Rock was developed and based upon the researcher’s experiences growing up and living with advanced hearing loss.

The narrative used for Under the Rock was drafted using an autoethnography methodology to capture key moments from the researcher’s memories and translate them into a game narrative. Following a choose-your-own-adventure story format, users are asked to guide the main character through a series of situations that are directly influenced by her hearing loss and learn about the impact of each choice. To test the efficacy of Under the Rock, a survey study was conducted to determine what users most commonly took away from the game experience. This survey study found that a majority of users began with an expected baseline of minimal knowledge about hearing loss, and after completing the study many reported a deeper understanding of hearing loss within the context of everyday life. While there is a great deal of work to build upon within this research, this advanced prototype of Under the Rock and accompanying survey study show promising initial results in developing effective informal learning resources for educating mainstream populations about invisible disabilities and their impact on daily life.


  • How to organize a research project and accompanying research document
  • Understand the technical documentation of an interactive narrative built in Twine
  • Understand how to apply technical communication skills to digital media projects

Attendee Takeaways:

  • New understanding of how to use technical communication skills to document a personal story
  • Introduction to using Twinery to build interactive narrative
  • Introduction to drafting a research document

For current CPTC certificants: This webinar provides 2 CEUs for recertification, in the Project Planning core competency area.

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