Children's collaborative storytelling with linear and nonlinear approaches

Chen Chung Liu, Kuo Ping Liu, Gwo Dong Chen, Baw Jhiune Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Collaborative storytelling is an imperative and innovative pathway to children's learning. Collaborative storytelling can be developed in linear and nonlinear approaches. Linear stories contain exactly one begin, one middle and one end. All children collaborate on a shared story in the form of relay and no branches can be developed. Children deeply rely on evaluating the relationship, continuality and coherence of story path before sequentially participating in building up the story. By contrast, nonlinear stories enable children to link and orchestrate different ideas. Children can thus integrate other's episodes to develop different branches of stories. Since the linear and nonlinear approaches facilitate children to develop stories in different manners, children's perception towards linear and nonlinear approaches may be different, which may affect their motivation and ultimate success in collaborative storytelling. However, research which has empirically documented the children's perception of linear and nonlinear approaches is scant. In order to explore whether children's perception and learning behaviors about linear and nonlinear collaborative storytelling approaches are different, a Web2.0 storytelling platform featuring animated picture books is designed for the study. The platform implements multimedia elements such as texts, pictures, images, music and narration to increase children's engagement and collaboration. More specifically, children are facilitated to collaboratively sketch pictures, create animations and share comments of works. The study involved a four-week empirical study, comprised of a questionnaire concerning four factors: derivation, remix, ownership and positive interdependence. Two intact classes of 57 participants, the 3rd graders were randomly assigned and treated as linear group and nonlinear group. The quantitative analysis of the questionnaires was conducted through an independent t-test to analyze and compare children's perception between the two approaches. Children's onscreen activity and collaboration process were also logged and screen videoed for further analysis. Results showed children in nonlinear group performed superior to those of linear group in all four factors. To conclude, this study may be of importance in providing a deep understanding of how children's perception about linear and nonlinear approaches in collaborative storytelling activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4787-4792
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Event2nd World Conference on Educational Sciences, WCES-2010 - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 4 Feb 20108 Feb 2010


  • Collaborative Storytelling
  • social media


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