The Narrative Theater

Concluded in August, 2011

The Narrative Theater designed, built, and empirically evaluated an interactive creativity environment that facilitated the exploration of alternate representations in the creative process. The concept of representation is central in creativity, and the Narrative Theatre offered an ideal “laboratory” for investigating multiple representations in the creative process because stories can be expressed in rich text and re-represented in animated stories with accompanying narration and spoken dialogue. In the Narrative Theatre, students were assisted in crafting a more sophisticated narrative writing product via a virtual world where characters “come alive” to animate their stories. The Narrative Theater provided an appealing and dynamic environment that enhanced 7th grade students’ creativity and improves writing achievement.

The Narrative Theater was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and was directed by the team of Dr. James Lester (Computer Science) and Dr. Hiller Spires (Curriculum and Instruction). This work was shaped by previous game-based learning projects that focus on 8th grade science.


James Lester
Principal Investigator

Dr. Hiller Spires
Co-Principal Investigator

Bradford Mott
Research Scientist

Julius Goth III
Graduate Research Assistant

Eunyoung Ha
Graduate Research Assistant

Dr. Lisa Hervey
Graduate Research Assistant

Seung Lee
Graduate Research Assistant

Manning Pruden
Graduate Research Assistant

Jonathan Rowe
Graduate Research Assistant

Tanya Watson
Graduate Research Assistant