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Bachelor 2020/2021

Transmedia Storytelling: Narrative worlds, emerging technologies, and global audiences

Type: Elective course (Media Communications)
Area of studies: Media Communications
Delivered by: School of Media
When: 4 year, 3 module
Mode of studies: distance learning
Language: English
ECTS credits: 4

Course Syllabus

Abstract

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). How do the professionals develop such expansive narratives? How do they ensure that each element stays true to the original story? How do they innovatively use different technologies to share the stories, grow audiences and create an active and involved community of fans? 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.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To help to design a strategy for developing and telling your own transmedia story.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • To be able to shape ideas into compelling and well structured narratives and complex story worlds.
  • To be able to identify, understand, and engage different audiences in your stories.
  • To be able to create cohesive user experiences across different platforms.
  • To be able to evaluate existing and emerging technologies to share story with the world.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • What is Transmedia Storytelling?
    This module will introduce you to the instructors of this course, and give you an understanding of how the course works and what you will learn. We will also introduce you to what Transmedia Storytelling is and how it is important to the way we interact and communicate. We’ll explain the anatomy of story and the importance of developing a narrative, and show you some examples of contemporary transmedia storytelling. The information in this module will form the backbone of your own transmedia strategy that you will develop over the duration of the course.
  • Creative Ideas Generation - Building a Storyworld.
    This module introduces you to creative thinking techniques that you can use to help you develop a cohesive and rich story narrative. You’ll explore important models of creative thinking, along with different tools and techniques that can help you expand your narrative into a storyworld that will become the basis of an effective transmedia strategy.
  • Understanding a Transmedia Audience.
    Understanding the different audiences that engage with elements of a transmedia experience can help develop and improve the reach and impact of your storyworld. This module explores the concepts of ethnography and participatory design as a means of identifying, engaging, and learning from your audience, to help you to focus your strategy to better meet their needs.
  • The Transmedia User Experience.
    The success of your project is ultimately determined by the quality of the audience's experience. Will your transmedia strategy capture people’s imagination and continue to engage them in multiple facets of the larger storyworld over time? In this module you will being to think about how the convergence of narrative, audience, and technology affects the design of a transmedia strategy. You will also explore theories and frameworks that will help you better understand how to design and evaluate engaging, persuasive and enjoyable transmedia user experiences.
  • Using Creative Technologies.
    Working in a transmedia context means taking a flexible and inclusive approach to technologies - old and new. Within this module, you will be exposed to evaluation and design strategies for different technologies in a transmedia storytelling context. It showcases several examples of creative uses of technology in storytelling, and explores how emerging digital technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are creating new possibilities for narrative personalisation and audience immersion in a story.
  • Stories from Industry - Professionals’ Career Journeys and Advice.
    Meet the instructors who will be guiding you through the course, and benefit from the stories of personal career journeys of some of the biggest names in transmedia storytelling from the USA (Hollywood), Canada, and Australia. Hear their advice about getting started in the industry, and examine examples of their work in movies, digital entertainment, virtual reality and more.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Assignment 1: What is your story?
    Submit your assignment and review 3 peers' assignments to get your grade.
  • non-blocking Assignment 2: Who are you telling your story to?
    Submit your assignment and review 2 peers' assignments to get your grade.
  • non-blocking Assignment 3: How is your story experienced?
    Submit your assignment and review 1 peer's assignments to get your grade.
  • non-blocking Assignment 4: How will you use technology to tell your story?
    Submit your assignment and review 1 peer's assignments to get your grade.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.25 * Assignment 1: What is your story? + 0.25 * Assignment 2: Who are you telling your story to? + 0.25 * Assignment 3: How is your story experienced? + 0.25 * Assignment 4: How will you use technology to tell your story?
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Hassler-Forest, D., & Guynes, S. A. (2017). Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1701493

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Rampazzo Gambarato, R. (2013). Transmedia Project Design: Theoretical and Analytical Considerations. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.96CB59E4
  • Renira Rampazzo Gambarato. (2012). Signs, Systems and Complexity of Transmedia Storytelling. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.283B99B