Increasing learners' self-efficacy beliefs and curiosity through a Frankenstein-themed transmedia storytelling experience

Peter Nagy, Areej Mawasi, Kristi Eustice, Alison Cook-Davis, Ed Finn, Ruth Wylie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Using Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as inspiration, this paper presents a Frankenstein-themed transmedia storytelling experience, which encompasses simple hands-on activities and an online narrative experience that allows students to model scientific work and engage in various science activities. The study aimed to test whether students can develop higher science and creative self-efficacy beliefs, and a stronger science curiosity, by engaging in the transmedia experience that combined hands-on and online narrative activities compared with participating in only hands-on or online narrative experiences. Our paper presents findings from two classroom studies using survey findings. Results show that all three conditions (hands-on, online game experience and transmedia) had a significant positive impact on learners' self-efficacy beliefs and curiosity, but there was no additional benefit for the transmedia condition. Nevertheless, our work has various implications for learning sciences about the potential benefits and drawbacks of transmedia storytelling experiences. Our findings can help educators and researchers design and run transmedia storytelling projects. Practitioner notes What is already known about this topic Transmedia storytelling is a popular and adaptable learning application. Transmedia storytelling can be beneficial due to transfer of learning. Transmedia storytelling may foster learners' engagement and knowledge acquisition. What this paper adds The paper presents a Frankenstein-themed transmedia experience that combines digital and hands-on activities and borrows several themes from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. Findings from this study show that transmedia storytelling can boost learners' science and creative self-efficacy beliefs and science curiosity. However, transmedia storytelling combining digital and hands-on experiences is not more effective in bolstering self-efficacy beliefs and curiosity than digital or hands-on experiences alone. Implications for practice and/or policy Transmedia storytelling might have unintended consequences for learning because it may exhaust learners' cognitive resources. Learners' transliteracy skills and competencies may influence what benefits they gain from partaking in transmedia storytelling experiences. Educators need to take learners' transliteracy skills into consideration when they wish to design and/or use transmedia storytelling experiences for learning purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • STEM
  • creativity
  • games
  • multimedia
  • primary education
  • role play
  • secondary education
  • self-regulated learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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