In Lieu of a Traditional Essay Assignment: Literary Hypermedia Pedagogy with Twine 1.0


Imagine you are a literature professor trying to engage discussion on a reading assignment. Your facilitation of conversation goes well and students actively participate, but you wish there was some way for students to react to classroom discussions beyond the walls of the classroom. In lieu of providing them with another traditional essay assignment, you want to get students to reflect in new ways, experiment, and collaborate through project-based learning. The field of educational technology is about understanding how learning, design, and technology help influence innovative choices, solve critical educational challenges, and redefine the learning experience. Digital tools can enhance student learning experiences by augmenting reflective and creative practices. Twine 1.0 is especially appealing because students using it can engage in close reading practices in an experimental and open-minded way, stripping away predetermined notions of text towards larger literary analysis. What happens when students are given the chance to use a hypermedia platform like Twine 1.0 to collaborate and share their interpretive practices that radically go against the grain of a traditional essay in logical, linear, and coherent format? This thesis engages the disciplines of media studies, digital humanities, and educational technology. I investigate how hypermedia can be used as a pedagogical tool at the intersection of creative technology and literature studies. Most often essays must follow a logical sequence and have a definitive argument. I have designed a student assignment that uses the Twine 1.0 hypernarrative platform as a non-linear navigational infrastructure to perform digital creative writing-based exercises in support of literary analysis. By incorporating creative writing and media-based practices into literature studies, there can be new ways to fracture narrative and invite new ambiguities for textual interpretation in a variety of creative and experimental formats. Hypernarratives allow a multiplicity of writers to insert their own voices alongside canonical ones, asserting how the digital medium of hypermedia allows for mutli-vocality. Through such learning design and pedagogy, I propose and exhibit scholarship as a creative act. This interdisciplinary thesis involves components of: ● Designing an assignment for a student project that uses the Twine 1.0 hypermedia platform for experimental literary analysis ● Producing a demonstration of such a project using Twine 1.0 hypermedia ● Writing a thesis on using Twine 1.0 hypermedia platforms for literary analysis purposes


Special Major Senior Thesis: Critical Studies in Media Arts


Educational Technology, Hypermedia, Digital Pedagogy, Twine 1.0, Recomposing Literary Close Reading, COVID-19