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In 2022, students at the National University of Singapore started using Stornaway as part of their Interactive Media Marketing Techniques course. We spoke with Dr Alex Mitchell, Senior Lecturer in Interactive Media Design to find out more about what his interactive marketing students are creating and their experience using the platform. 

Logo for the National University of Singapore - a crest shows an open book, 3 linked rings and an orange lion.
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A place for Stornaway in the National University of Singapore

Dr Mitchell and his colleagues came across in their exploration of interactive authoring tools on the market. One of Dr Mitchell’s research areas is interactive storytelling, with some of his work involving authoring tools – check out his tool for people who want to create text-based interactive stories that adapt to reader choice, HypeDyn.

After reading a little more about and gaining an understanding of the platforms co-founders’ interactive and storytelling expertise via our Medium articles, the team got in touch with us directly and we were able to ensure that our Academic Offer matched the needs of the university and students. We are always keen to make sure that we’re offering our customers – academic, creatives, business and beyond – the best possible experience and pricing.

Stornaway is now being used by students on the Interactive Media Marketing Techniques course. This is a hybrid interactive marketing/UX design class that explores the use of interactive storytelling and gamification for marketing.

Adding interactivity to student work – how Stornaway has made a difference 

In the first semester that students had access to Stornaway, they used it to create interactive product and brand stories. The groups made videos that introduced a product or told the story of the companies behind the product.

During the next semester, the focus for the interactive marketing students will shift to include a greater emphasis on storytelling and how interactivity can be a tool for this. Dr Mitchell has found that when exploring interactive storytelling, “the main challenge is at the conceptual level – how to think about the video from an interactive rather than a linear perspective”.

Reflecting on the interactive marketing students’ experience of using Stornaway for their projects

“The students found the platform very easy to use and accessible. The “story islands” concept, much like “nodes” in many hypertext authoring tools, is easy to grasp, and the support for branching and conditionals also is fairly intuitive.”

Stornaway was designed to be completely user-friendly. To allow anyone, from any background, to instantly find their way around the platform and understand how they could create what they set out to make. Students are exposed to so many different pieces of software and platforms on a day-to-day basis. Stornaway has always aimed to make its experience as smooth and intuitive as possible (with a collection of short tutorial videos guiding you through some of the most useful features). 

A Stornaway map showing lots of boxes ("islands") where videos and images have been uploaded
A screenshot from a student video - a girl in a purple top points to a speech bubble that reads "do you have any of these problems?". Below, in black boxes, are the choices: "Acne, Pore Issues, Sensitive Skin, I don't have skin conditions"

Student work from The National University of Singapore – a Stornaway map and a still image from the interactive video made. 

Dr Mitchell said that the challenge with interactive storytelling is around guiding students to think differently from the very conception of the ideas. Creating an interactive story requires you to think differently than when creating a linear project. He found that Stornaway goes a long way in enabling people to begin to change their thought processes.

“The tool does a good job of helping authors start to think about branching, alternative paths, and loops. The Map visualization is very helpful with this. I encouraged students to do “rough cuts” with placeholder images as they worked out the flow, replacing the images with actual videos when they had finished shooting, which worked well.”

We’re looking forward to seeing how the next semester shapes up for Dr Mitchell and students at the National University of Singapore and hope to see even more creative projects from them all.

Interested in using Stornaway so your students can make interactive projects?

Academic Offer was created to give students the opportunity to make interactive projects – whether in their film courses, their marketing degrees and everything else in between! In a world where edtech is booming, the next generation are enabling themselves to be up-to-date on the latest software and the most up-to-date practises to create the most engaging content.

Looking to use Stornaway to create your own unforgettable brand experiences?  Read more about how interactive, on-brand, personalised demos and explainers give your audience the information they really need: Interactive Explainers and Deep Dives.