Interactive fiction frameworks & constructivist learning

One of the great things about Interactive Fiction frameworks like Twine and Undum is that their application extends far beyond creating linear text-based games (and the skies the limit, as even a cursory a glance at the TwineThreads Twitter feed shows).

It's no secret that online learning suffers from high abandonment rates. It often still falls down when it comes to providing an interactive, learner-led and social learning experience and this is one of the reasons that MOOCs and other recent developments still haven't quite cracked the user engagement code.

Interactive fiction uses a "choose your own adventure" (for want of a better, less-trademarked term) structure. It's an interesting model for learning activities because it provides choices (and the possibility of a range of outcomes). And this can lead to learning pathways that reflect both the experiences and the goals of the learner.

Twine is an open source framework for creating text-based games. You can see a showcase of Twine-produced games via the Twine website at but I guess the most well-know example is Depression Quest.

Twine is a great tool for active learning and very easy to get started with. You don't necessarily need coding skills to create a Twine - though it certainly helps when it comes to adding additional interactions and other advanced features. There's a new online Twine authoring tool in beta and Twine clients for both Mac and Windows.

This is the why of Twine, I'll be looking into How to use Twine for creative learning in an upcoming post.