© MARK JENKINS 2017

NARRATIVE LEARNING

ENVIRONMENTS

NARRATIVE  is a pervasive technology that human beings have evolved over millennia for entertainment, learning and the preservation and shaping of culture. By promoting cognitive activities such as suspension of disbelief and story involvement, narrative can potentially reinforce learning objectives and ingrain subject matter. (Harp and Mayer, 1998) Also one of the significant advantages is that narrative-centered learning provides a meaningful structure integrating pedagogical objectives into a unifying, coherent form that serves as a powerful motivating force for learning. (Rowe 2007).

 

In four ways TeamEverest develops Narrative Presence which is defined as "The subjective experience of being in one place or environment, even when one is physically situated in another." (Witner and Singer, 1998).  There are at least eight contributors to narrative presence: spacial presence, involvement, realness, immersion, quality, drama, interface awareness, exploration and lack of predictability. (Schubert et al., 1999)

 

In TeamEverest we generate Narrative Presence through four approaches.

  1. Through a compelling and true story that began in tragedy in 1982 and led to a return to the mountain four years later by a committed team who had a vision that Everest could be climbed with a new style of leadership and a vision that would enable the first North American woman to reach the summit with no loss of life by a route that had never been climbed before in its entirety.  Its a daring story of collaboration and commitment.

  2. Theming that creates greater immersion in a story and the willing suspension of disbelief. We have an ample supply of Himalayan expedition equipment to add to the realism. It has been noted that because of humans long history with story that we offer our suspension of disbelief willingly and the role of the storyteller is not to betray that trust.

  3. With relevant links to contemporary issues within the organization, participants give the story the benefit of the doubt as they can imagine that seeing their situation from a parallel story could help them better understand their own workplace dilemmas. 

  4. Our facilitator-led programs are supported by our Narrative Learning Platform - Townhall Builder this is a purpose-built platform for audience participation that also allows for non-linear and real-time changes to the storyline. This deepens the immersive experience.
     

These four factors put TeamEverest in a league it's own when it comes to memorable, compelling, relevant and engaging organizational learning.

References:

Harp, S. F., and Mayer, R. E. 1998. How seductive details do their damage: a theory of cognitive interest in science learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 414–434.

Witmer, B. G. and M. J. Singer. 1998. Measuring presence in virtual environments: A presence questionnaire. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 7(3), 225-240

Jonathan P. Rowe, Scott W. McQuiggan, James C. Lester 2007. Narrative Presence in Intelligent Learning Environments, Department of Computer Science North Carolina State University

Schubert, T., Friedmann, F., and Regenbrecht, H. 1999. Embodied presence in virtual environments. In Ray Paton & Irene Neilson (Eds.), Visual Representations and Interpretations. London: Springer. 269-278

“Other Everest climbers who've participated in TeamEverest have told me that TeamEverest is about as close as you can come to the real thing. That means a lot to us as we created it to be true-to-life; everything you see in TeamEverest was captured under those adverse conditions, the photos, video and walkie-talkie transmissions.

Jim Elzinga - Leader of Canada's most successful expedition to Mt. Everest