Tiered Engagement

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Tiered Engagement means that the reader receives different material based on both their own experience of the text and on their interest. Tiered engagment is one model for tailoring a text to the reader while maintaining focus and progress around a central narrative.

Beyond the Cut: A full definition and discussion

The lexia that the software presents depend on the reader's experience of the text and outside the text. An older reader who comes to a passage about being lost in a wood may read about how the protagonist finds their way again by looking over a topographic map, learning how to read it and comparing it to the landscape around them. A younger reader who is not ready for details about reading topographic maps may merely read that the character lost their way but then remembered their map and learned to read it. The software can present 'tiers' of engagement to the reader-- tiers of complexity (map skills or not) or tiers of involvement with topics (cartography, navigation). The story changes by the reader's experience outside the text.

The software can also change the story depending on the reader's experience within the text. For instance, if earlier in the story the reader had played a mini-game where a map was available and could help the character, the player's use of the map indicates to the software whether the reader is ready for that side-story. Similarly, if the reader had already done a topographic map side-story within the text, the software would know not to include it in the current story. Thus the software could 'know' of the reader's interest either through previous choices and readings or through direct feedback like a quiz, survey, or interactive feature which depends in part on external skills.

The software may also tailor the story to the reader's express interest. The following events can indicate interest either as curiosity to hear more or as difficulty understanding-- both are 'interest' of a sort useful to educators for teach and to storytellers for engaging.

  • clicking on a link
  • reading a lexia for a long time
  • revisiting a lexia multiple times
  • choosing links which cause a lexia to be presented multiple times
  • repeated link choices within a category or type of link

The software can present lexia which relate to topics, characters, themes, or events which the reader has expressed interest in. It is important with a central narrative and with educational material to 'stay on target' so that the author or teacher can a) ensure that the desired material is addressed (including material as desirable as a 'goal' and 'conclusion') and b) to provide a baseline commonality between experiences of the story to allow discussion and comparison. Tiered engagement allows the reader to 'zoom in' on parts of a story while still continuing along the story which the authors wrote and the other readers are reading.

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This page contains a single entry by Scott Price published on December 28, 2005 6:09 PM.

Discover Magazine: What Remains to Be Written? was the previous entry in this blog.

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