Expository Writing: Choose Your Own Adventure

Mountain landscape background with the Storium logo and the text: Choose Your Own Adventure: A Game-Based Writing Classroom

In this first-year composition course, student texts are central to creating a collaborative learning environment. Using the online storytelling platform, Storium, students research and compose a storytelling project that will become the basis for reflection and peer feedback for the rest of the term. With Storium, writers can collaboratively compose a multimodal story with text, images, and sound, as each participant takes turns contributing to a scene as either a narrator who introduces the scene or a character who continues its development. Writers choose or design a theme and setting with input from Storium’s library of story-development tools. For every scene they write, students engage in workshops and begin gathering examples of effective rhetorical choices from each other’s work. From those workshops and accompanying reflections, students then design a style guide as a class, which will be assigned as a foundation for students in future iterations of the course. Student Bio-Mythographies, Storium Projects, and Style Guides can be found at scholarblogs.emory.edu/chooseyourownadventure.

Learn more about the course experience with the following posts:

Let’s Learn with Storium!

Working with Storium in the classroom gives student texts central place in creating a collaborative learning environment.

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Teaching with Storium

This post offers a formative assessment to prepare students for a game-based learning experience in first-year composition.

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Why I would Teach with Storium Again

After teaching the course, I discuss how game-based learning led to my students asking to revise their writing beyond the requirements of the class!

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Student Feedback

My absolute favorite feedback to receive in student evaluations came from this class: “the teacher is very democratic!” In the context of this class, I often led the class in voting exercises because I wanted to instill in them a sense of ownership of the Storium assignment. We collaboratively wrote the rubric for their scenes and then voted on changes with each workshop.

Class Portfolio