Welcome to the IF Educators' Forum!

Welcome to the IF Educators’ Forum, which has now joined the traditional list of Intfiction.org discussion groups. We hope that this forum will help IF educators to find and support one another. Despite there being resources available online, many interactive-fiction-using teachers, at present, operate in a state of isolation that makes it hard for them to pursue their interest in teaching, or teaching, with interactive fiction. The Educators’ Forum provides a space and an opportunity to bring together the diverse group of educators who have shown interest in using IF in their work.

Also, if you’d like to participate in a discussion that’s a bit less public than a forum, why not sign up for the IF Educators’ Mailing list? It’s at

See you soon!

6 Likes

Hello! I’m Judith Pintar, chair of the IFTF Education committee. Please drop a note here to tell us who you are and what you teach! I’m at the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I teach Inform 7 in a freshman social science course, and a game design class for Seniors/Graduate students. This is what else I’m up to on campus: https://el3.judithpintar.com/ Who are you?

6 Likes

Hi, All,

I’m Brendan Desilets, a member of the IFTF Education Committee. I’ve has taught in Massachusetts schools since 1968, at the middle school, high school, and university levels. I currently work as an adjunct professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. My classes have featured interactive fiction since 1985. Right now, I’m especially interested in using Inform 7 to improve student writing.

I maintain a website called Teaching and Learning with Interactive Fiction. Please have a look, if you’d care to.

Peace,
Brendan

6 Likes

Hello! I’m Laura Cabochan. I’m a doctoral candidate in New York University’s Educational Theatre Program and an associate artist in its Verbatim Performance Lab. I make and facilitate interactive theatre for young people–sometimes for conventional performance spaces, more often in classrooms–and am fascinated by the myriad ways technology can be integrated into them. Not only do I see interactivity as a way of making learning more engaging for students, I also see how it can generate spaces for meaningful dialogue and critical consciousness raising.

I was really inspired during Narrascope and am looking forward to chatting with fellow educators about how different fields can dialogue with IF and possible collaborations!

5 Likes

Hi! I’m Mike Spivey. I teach mathematics at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, with specializations in optimization, mathematical modeling, and combinatorics. I’ve written a couple of IF games that feature mathematics heavily, A Beauty Cold and Austere and Junior Arithmancer. I’m interested in teaching/exploring advanced mathematical concepts through IF and games in general.

This fall I’m teaching a new (for me) course on interactive fiction. My university has a graduation requirement that every student take a class combining two distinct academic disciplines. The IF course will combine English and computer science: We’ll analyze IF works as literary texts, and the students will learn Inform 7. They’ll also create some of their own projects using Inform 7.

6 Likes

Hello! Mark Stahl here. I’m an ex-middle school / high school math and music teacher, currently based in South Florida. I’m fascinated by sciences and arts alike, and I hope to find an opportunity to teach something involving IF some day. I believe strongly in the incredible power of IF to engage the human imagination and emotions, and I foresee IF becoming an increasingly prominent part of both literature and education as time and technology progress. I feel that IF may be far superior to almost any other medium for the purpose of teaching kids to read and type properly; and for the purpose of engaging their imaginations, critical thinking skills, and creativity. IF seems to roll up all the good things into one package that might appeal to modern kids’ obsession with constant technological interaction.

It was a pleasure meeting the IFTF EdCom this past weekend at Narrascope, and I am proud to call myself an IFTF EdCom Affiliate!

3 Likes

You’re going to do an amazing job in the fall. I can tell from your talk at the conference that you’re going to be all over this and the kids are going to eat it up.

2 Likes

Hi, I’m J. J. Guest (Jason) and I’m not currently involved in education, but I have been on and off since 1994. I’d love to be involved in teaching IF.

I’m a freelance motion graphic designer by trade, but in 1994 I completed a PGCE in Art and Design Education, which involved several placements in schools in Leicestershire. The following year I moved to London to work in the animation industry. In the noughties I was invited to teach animation software such as Adobe After Effects at the Animation Workshop, part of VIA University, Denmark. I have worked there as an external examiner every year since 2013. In 2016, wishing to take a break from the TV and film industry, I took a job as a Media Studies Technician at Wanstead High School, near where I live. This was full-time for the first year, and I did a further year and a half working two days a week. It was great fun!

Writing IF is my real passion, and I’d love the opportunity to teach the craft to adults or kids in the Greater London area or the South-East; Sussex, Essex or Kent.

3 Likes

Hello! I’m Ian, and I’m a graduate student at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. My research interests include children’s literature, environmental criticism, and digital literature. I wrote Animalia in 2018, a very silly game. Earlier this year, I taught an interactive fiction / creative encoding workshop at the undergraduate level, and I’ll be working in the fall to create a series of tutorials aimed at children and early teenagers which will teach the basics of interactive fiction creation in Twine and Inform (and perhaps other systems as well.)

3 Likes

Hello, everyone! I’m Clara Fernandez-Vara, and I’m Associate Arts Professor at NYU, where I teach in the Game Design department. I’ve been using interactive fiction tools to teach game writing since 2009, incluiding Inform 7, ChoiceScript, Twine and Ink. I’m very happy to see many familiar names here!

5 Likes

Hi all! I’m Kyle Haas, and I am a professional web developer.

Last year I began teaching a programming class to high-school sophomores, and ended up leveraging Twine as a tool for getting the students interested in coding. It worked really really well! I’ll be teaching the same course again this year and am currently in the process of putting together a lesson plan based on everything I’ve learned thus far about teaching this class.

2 Likes

Hi, Kyle,

Welcome!
I’m sure that participants in this forum will be very interested in the lesson plan you’re making, if you should decide to share it.

Peace,
Brendan

2 Likes

Hello, Clara,

Welcome to the forum! It’s always great to hear from you.

Peace,
Brendan

1 Like

Hi Everyone,

I’m Corrinne Lewis, an assistant professor (lecturer) at the University of Utah’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering program, and have been teaching IF for 6 and game development for about 10 years now. My students mainly use TWINE and Ink, but I don’t require either. I’ve had some really cool stuff submitted using Unity of all things - haha. Happy to have run across this group and I’m looking forward to more interaction with all of you.

Cheers,
Corrinne

4 Likes

Hi everyone! I’m Joanna

I’ve been teaching IF to high school students at the Orange County School of the Arts for the last two years. I’m (so far) the first and only teacher to teach this kind of material in the school’s Creative Writing conservatory. I built my lesson plans and syllabi from scratch after teaching myself with books like “Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine” and “Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling.”

Teaching is my part-time, passion gig though. I’ve been a videogame/PC hardware journalist for the last four years, so needless to say I pretty much eat/breathe games and literature in all their forms.

I’m super happy to come across this forum, and I’m looking forward to gaining more insight from y’all on teaching IF. IF teachers are hard to come by in my area!

3 Likes

Hi all,

Awesome to see this community come about!

I’m Frederik. I grew up with adventure games in the late 80s early 90s and have always loved games with a strong narrative focus. I was trained a language teacher and wrote a PhD dissertation on computer-assisted language learning (topic: effectiveness of corrective feedback in games developed for language learning purposes).

I am currently, among other projects, coordinating the EU-funded Erasmus+ project FanTALES, which is developing an approach for doing fanfiction-based interactive fiction storytelling in the language classroom (for English, German, Swedish and Dutch as foreign/second languages). This includes materials for teaching teachers what IF is all about and how it can be used in the language classroom.
https://www.fantales.eu/ > results

Any feedback on the materials welcome, by the way!

I don’t consider myself an expert in the creation of IF, but I’ve tinkered with Inform7, Ink and Twine, and would like to take part in an IF competition at some point in the future.

Looking forward to seeing this evolve!

Cheers,

-frederik

2 Likes

I’m not at all as experienced in IF teaching as the other people in this thread, but I’m teaching high school math this year and I’m experimenting with including IF.

I had a couple of students request extra homework because they were bored this year, so I’m assigning them to finish one of Mike Spivey’s math games (either A Beauty Cold and Austere or Junior Arithmancer, their choice) in the first few weeks. I hope they like it!

1 Like

That’s some very interesting research. Is your PhD dissertation available somewhere?

Hi Josh,

Thanks, you will find a summary with links to published chapters here:
https://www.kuleuven-kulak.be/~u0037921/phd_short.html

With best wishes,

Frederik

Hi, Frederick and All,

I hope you’re doing well.

I’ve taken a look at https://www.fantales.eu and it seems extremely useful. I particularly liked the materials for introducing IF to new users. These materials appear, as Frederick implies in the “results” section of the site.

Have a great day!

Peace,
Brendan