Paper on Narratively Driven Educational Experiences in Remote Learning Scenarios

19th European Conference on e-Learning ECEL 2020 Proceedings

In October 2020, I attended the 19th European Conference on e-Learning ECEL 2020 hosted by the University of Applied Sciences HTW Berlin, Germany. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was held in a remote format. I presented a research paper called “Emergent Narratives in Project Based Software Development Education” via ZOOM.

Abstract: The nine months formative education program focussing on software development for the Apple technology ecosystem offered at University of Naples Federico II (Italy) utilises the Challenge Based Learning (CBL) methodology. As a collaborative and self-guided, inquiry-based learning method, it focuses on intrinsic motivation of learners, working on real world problems organised in projects (Challenges in CBL) with an experiential and progressive approach to apply acquired knowledge to build innovative digital products. For academic year 2019/2020 the authors introduced a narrative layer for the program’s learning experience design (Recke & Perna 2020a), following not a conceptual-logical but a temporal and experiential scheme and therefore an interconnected sequence of narratively driven Challenges. As universities remained closed for months during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, the current program’s design was transformed towards distance learning, while keeping the overall structure of narratively driven experience progression intact. Beyond considerations for remote collaboration, personalised learning, peer-feedback and peer-assessment, the authors present the narrative experience design and adaptation of the program’s experiential learning approach in remote learning scenarios with strong emphasis on fostering learner’s ownership, self- and co-regulated learning, intrinsic motivation and affective driven learning progression within a remotely connected communal learning environment of ~400 people. Drawing upon findings for remote learning and experiential e-learning presented by scholars, the paper contributes to the discussion on experiential learning in remote and online learning scenarios by showing how combining narrative elements with experiential e-learning principles in the context of Challenges Based Learning can result in increased engagement, motivation and sense of community in learners. It also presents how the aspect of individual portfolio building through teachable artefacts that rely on learner’s proficiency through teaching others embeds an additional layer of real-world professional experience to the formative program.

cite as: Recke, M.P. & Perna, S., 2020. Narratively Driven Educational Experiences in Remote Learning Scenarios. In Proceedings of 19th European Conference on e-Learning ECEL 2020. Berlin, Germany, pp. 438–444. DOI: 10.34190/EEL.20.062

The paper is connected to work done at the University of Naples Federico II’s Apple Developer Academy, where my co-author Stefano Perna and myself are faculty members. In various other publications we explored concepts of narrative theory in context of learning experience design and how it can be leveraged in active learning environments. This particular paper also addresses considerations for narratively driven learning experiences in remote or blended learning environments, prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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