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Presentation at AISB'07 symposium, Culture Lab, Newcastle University, april 2007

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  1. 1. AISB07 - AI and Narrative Games for Education Newcastle 2nd-5th april 2007 Effects of Narrative Levels on Comprehension : Theoretical Framework and Methodology Baptiste Campion Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) Groupe de Recherche en Médiation des savoirs (GReMS) Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
  2. 2. General Overview • Current PhD research led under supervision of Pr Philippe Marion (UCL) and Daniel Peraya (Univ. of Genève) • Attempt to combine cognitive and narratological approaches for studying interactive narrative • Object: Science popularization interactive narrative • Current presentation: work in progress
  3. 3. Whatʼs the matter ? • There exists different uses of narration in educative interactive documents • Is the educative ʻeffectʼ similar in each case ?  Interest of dinstinctions between situations  Interest of modelling presumed effects of narration and testing real effects  Interest both for classic and interactive narratives  Interest for researchers and designers
  4. 4. Comprehension I define ʻeducative effectsʼ in terms of comprehension. Comprehension is defined following Model of Comprehension of Van Dijk and Kintsch (1983) Comprehension process: double process (top down and bottom up) of construction of a coherent representation
  5. 5. Understanding narrative The reader must build a representation of narrative referent • Story Schemata (for ex. Mandler 1984) • Mental Models Theory (Johnson-Laird 1983) • Consistent and coherent with narratology
  6. 6. Narrative comprehension Following Herman (2002) narrative comprehension goes through the construction (by the reader) of a storyworld This storyworld is: •A mental model of ʻwhatʼs going on?ʼ •Set up by bottum-up (microdesign) and top-down (macrodesign) process
  7. 7. Use of narrative for comprehension Herman (2003): “My hypothesis is that stories provide, to a degree that needs to be determined by future research, domain- general tools for thinking” → Storyworld is the base on which comprehension of educative matter transmitted through a narrative is allowed
  8. 8. The ʻlevelsʼ of narration We postulate educational use of narrative on at least two levels: •Surface level (storyworld related to the story) •Deep level (storyworld related to knowledge domain) → Different comprehension effects ?
  9. 9. Research Assumptions • Deep level narrative should lead subjects to build a relatively unified representation • Surface level narrative should oblige subjects to work with two levels of representation : one for the story itself and one another for the educative content
  10. 10. Research Assumptions (II) A&B mixed A. Storyworld useful for Storyworld useful for: the story •The story + •The educative content B. Representation of educative content STORY
  11. 11. Methodology • Quasi-experimentation • Comparison of representation of a scientific phenomenon whether explained with a surface level narrative or a deep level narrative • Coherence of representations is observed with questionnaires : definition question, problem-solving question and drawing the phenomena • Indicators : relations between elements, specific vocabulary, conjunctions and disjunctions, ability of abstracting and re-use gathered info
  12. 12. Current experimentations • Subjects : 100 children of 5th year elementary school (+/-11 year old) • Experimental material : 3 versions of the explanation (short website) of a scientific phenomenon (decay formation) • Deep level, surface level and control group (non- narrative unfollowing Adam criteria [1996]) • Individual passation
  13. 13. Current experimentations (II) Summary of (quasi) experimental design: Identification questionnaire Deep level Surface level Control conditon condition group Deep level Surface level Non-narrative narrative narrative explanation Same questionnaire
  14. 14. Conclusions • Forthcoming results • Elements to take in consideration:  Nuances in results  Extraction operations  Never forget whatʼs the goal of an educative document: the presented distinction make no sense without this
  15. 15. Thank you for your attention. Baptiste Campion Université catholique de Louvain Ruelle de la Lanterne Magique 14 BE 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)