This doctoral research is in progress, and are being published on this site as the project progresses. We give a flavour of the work here meantime...
In order to investigate the representational requirements for a metadata scheme, we have surveyed the literature on narratology—in essence, conceptions of what 'a story' is. From this we draw conclusions for story technologists seeking the most promising models in this vast literature.
"If as in our case, the purpose of the schema is to assist the creation, recall, comprehension and telling of stories, then it is very important that the schema itself should not be an obstacle. Our aim was a schema that will support stories and only stories but places no restrictions on either content or context. The result is a hybrid which includes aspects of point models, feature models and affect models."
To investigate the potential of storymaking as a medium for knowledge sharing, we have surveyed the literature on storytelling in organizations, as well as analysed naturally occuring online storytelling among General Practitioners, to assess the degree to which this is a phenomenon.
"But PM (Bronchopneumonia) doesn’t solve the problem either. I had a very demented old boy in EMI unit a week or so back. ?CVA ?Fit (had before) ?Fall with head injuring unwitnessed in the night[.] Big black eye and abrasion –- not sent to hospital. Died as expected 4 days later. Reported to coroner as injury. No mention of dementia which was what really killed him."
To investigate the interaction design requirements for a story annotation interface, we have prototyped a user interface offering a variety of ways to 'tag' a story, in both a freeform manner, and as guided by the underlying narrative scheme. 24 participants (untrained users, both health professionals and non-experts), engaged with this tool. The annotation schema is split into ‘Indexical’ dimensions where the annotator is guided by an editor’s annotation and ‘Relational’ dimensions where they are entirely on their own. In addition to the editor’s annotations, the health professionals are given optional access to some of the annotations by non-experts. Grounded Theory is used to analyse audio-video data capture.
Two screens from the Storymaker prototype:
KEY: This is the first annotation screen.
Mauve areas are for menus. Pink areas are for the reader. Blue for the author and editor – It’s the editor who provides example suggestions. Guidance is green
This screen is for story Points. The reader is a Health Visitor. They agree with a Point a Knowledge Media Researcher has made: when submitted he Point drops into the pink area.
The editor has made no Secondary Points. The Health Visitor though, does make a Secondary Point by constructing the text which they type it into the pink area.
What else might the reader have done? They could have agreed with the editor by ticking the checkboxes.
They could have demoted and promoted to change the order of importance. Or, they could have done nothing and moved on.
KEY: This is the story Features screen.
The reader this time is a Knowledge Media Researcher. Notice the Reader's Suggestions area is empty, since they don’t have access to other readers’ suggestions until they have made their own annotations.
In the centre of the screen they show high but not total agreement with the editor by ticking. At the bottom of the screen there is a menu of literary terms – with definitions. They browse the list but don’t select from it. They type two Features of their own. All their Audience suggestions are compiled in the pink fields at the foot.
The results are being written up at present. A very brief summary:
Participants vary widely in their task behaviours.
- Are engaging; they arouse a range of emotional responses
- Trigger new stories “I know; that happened to me too...”
- Vary in complexity; embedding, many characters and mixed styles increase it
The ‘Indexical’ dimensions:
- Suggestions tend to be deliberated, crafted and formal
- “For me it’s X” announces a highly personalised view, different from the editor’s
- “Can I say what I want?” indicates an expectation of greater constraint
- Participants become involved in constructing text in order to make suggestions
- The editor’s indexing is variously regarded as: correct / helpful / stifling
The ‘Relational’ dimensions:
- Suggestions tend to be spontaneous, strange and informal
- Participants are more relaxed, find their voice, take control
- They relate the stories one to another, and to themselves in imaginative ways
General mark up & the user interface:
- No appreciable difference between knowledge media researchers and medics
- Common difficulty is expressing in words what they want to say
- Requiring assistance to navigate, understand object functions and task terms
“I can kind of relate to this because I’ve thought about how do we - this is a nice way of doing it actually … these hyperlinks and so on usually come from the author don’t they and […] it’s the reader that matters; and even the choice of indexing terms, again it’s the reader that matters; but people are different…”