- Peer Review: Transmedia Storytelling: Narrative worlds, emerging technologies, and global audiences MOOC
Transmedia Storytelling: Narrative worlds, emerging technologies, and global audiences MOOC
- Feb 13, 2018 by Business
This free 6 week massive open online course (MOOC) from UNSW Australia begins a new session every month. Enrol any time.
About the course
Transmedia storytelling is the practice of designing, sharing, and participating in a cohesive story experience across multiple traditional and digital delivery platforms - for entertainment, advertising and marketing, or social change.
Have you ever read a book, seen a movie, watched a television show, or played a game that centred around different aspects of a larger story or universe? You may be familiar with popular examples of such universes like Star Wars, Marvel, and The Walking Dead (to name a few).
More and more, we are also engaging with elements or franchises of larger and more complex stories across a much more diverse range of platforms like interactive web experiences, social media communities, mobile devices, theme parks, and even augmented and virtual reality. A major challenge that current and future storytellers face is being able to engage different audiences in a story that is seamlessly told across all of these different platforms.
What will I learn?
This course will help you to design a strategy for developing and telling your own transmedia story. You will learn about what it takes to:
- Shape your ideas into compelling and well structured narratives and complex story worlds
- Identify, understand, and engage different audiences in your stories
- Create cohesive user experiences across different platforms
- Evaluate existing and emerging technologies to share your story with the world, and help your audience participate in the larger storyworld you create
The course provides you with a unique, authentic, and industry relevant learning opportunity. You will have access to current theory, industry examples and advice and undertake learning activities that will equip you with the tools you need to start developing your own ideas.
Who will my instructors be?
You will learn effective transmedia design strategies from leading UNSW Australia Art & Design academics. You will also examine case studies that demonstrate how amazing ideas, technology and audience contributions can be brought together to create dynamic storyworlds. You'll see examples of major, successful transmedia storytelling projects involving movies, digital entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and more. In collaboration with our industry partner X Media Lab, the course will give you inside access to the personal stories, insight and advice of innovative transmedia storytelling professionals from Hollywood USA, Canada and Australia.
Flexible learning options
The new format of the MOOC means that you can study at your own pace. You can complete the course as quickly or as slowly as you like. The 6 weeks course begins a new session every month - meaning that if you want to take a little longer to get your assignment right, or life gets in the way, you can be carried forward into the next session of the course with all of your work to date, so you can pick right back up where you left off when you are ready.
- Type of Material:
- Online Course, MOOC
- Recommended Uses:
- This MOOC could be used as a self-paced course, or could be used to support an existing course. It could also be used out of class, or as an independent study. Note: there is required enrollment and payment of fees to have full access to the course which will result in a certificate.
- Technical Requirements:
- Identify Major Learning Goals:
- Shape ideas into compelling and well structured narratives and complex story worlds. Identify, understand, and engage different audiences via stories. Create cohesive user experiences across different platforms. Evaluate existing and emerging technologies to share your story with the world. Assist the audience to participate in the larger storyworld.
- Target Student Population:
- Upper level marketing students, particularly those in advertising or promotions-based courses
- Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
- Students should have a fundamental understanding of marketing promotions.
- The online course appears to be very thorough, and videos/readings/assignments well-planned (at least those this reviewer evaluated). The course is embedded in a delivery system known as Coursera, and is available to students for $49 if wishing to earn a Certficate upon completion (with no academic credit awarded) or free without the Certificate. The sessions are scheduled for 6 weeks, 3-4 hours each week, however the student has 180 days to complete the assignments. The modules are taught by Art & Design instructors from the University of New South Wales in Australia, and the overall design of the course has received a collective 4.7 out of 5 in 29 reviews (dating back to October 2016). For students, the structure is very understandable, with clear expectations listed in a syllabus. The course walks the student through background information, examples, and application exercises, which seemingly provide a comprehensive overview of the topic of transmedia storytelling.
- This module is designed as a stand-alone topic, and would therefore be supplemental to business-related coursework. The embedded assignments are evaluated by the Transmedia Storytelling instructors/classmates rather than the “home” teacher in a traditional academic course. Full access requirement payment of fees and official enrollment at a specified time.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
- The Transmedia Storytelling modules are well-designed, and seemingly cover a great deal of material in a short amount of time. The videos are engaging, the readings intriguing, and the assignments applicable and often self-reflective. The course proceeds as a student would be used to (i.e. syllabus, weekly topics, etc.), and while structured, it is still independent enough to allow for flexibility. Course objectives are presented at the entry to the course materials. Individual unit/topics could easily be assigned as homework reading or used as in-class support.
- To incorporate the Transmedia Storytelling course into a traditional semester class would be challenging, since it requires additional work and the assignments are evaluated by the UNSW instructors/classmates. Additionally it covers a very specific concept and is taught by Art & Design instructors, which likely would not comprehensively cover all of the needed content in an instructors’ business-related course. This module may best be used as supplemental material for those specifically interested in this topic. Students who have completed the Transmedia Storytelling course have also recommended an eBook to assist in comprehension of the concepts. The "course" does not carry academic credit, and provides electronic certification of completion--suggested to be added to a LinkedIn profile.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
- For students interested in an online course, this module is very navigable, has clear instructions, and presents no technological problems in its delivery. The versatility of teaching methods, i.e. video and readings, allows for a myriad of devices for use, and the independent study format creates an ease in completion. The reviews listed online have not indicated any difficulty with access issues, and have generally praised the engaging nature of the delivery methods.
- Not all materials are accessible without payment.