The Narrative Theater designed, built and empirically evaluated an interactive creative 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 improved 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.