Transmedia storytelling is something I’ve been interested in for quite a while. Aside from the blending of diegetic and non-diegetic realities in the narrative, I think it’s the depth to which the design needs to be constructed that really interests me. Scattering the pieces of a puzzle across various media formats including text, video, social media, email, text messages, and more, Transmedia storytelling designs a path of experience where the audience feels as though they are at the controls, but where there is only one outcome. Reminiscent of a “choose-your-own-adventure” book, this form of story design is highly motivational and demands interactive engagement. Delivered across multiple platforms and sources, Transmedia storytelling also taps into the way in which we naturally “discover” in informal learning environments. In particular, how we surf the net or how we click our way through information to make connections. It uses our natural sense of curiosity and ability to problem solve to move you through the labyrinth. How then could we use this concept of mapping a path using clues and rabbit holes to engage a learning audience?
This concept is very intriguing to me indeed. What if the objectives of a course could be achieved by planting breadcrumbs of content along a maze of discovery in which the student stumbles upon key pieces of the puzzle. These puzzle pieces would become the rabbit hole which directs them to subsequent learning content and further objectives. Learners may not discover all the same clues nor engage in the same activities in the same way, but in the end they would all find the same conclusive end point or outcome. Take a look at this video on Transmedia storytelling to see an example of how it works in marketing and try to imagine designing a course using the same conventions. It’s not that far fetched an idea and one that I think would create a very motivational model.