Transmedia Storytelling: Narrative worlds, emerging technologies, and global audiences MOOC

This free 6 week massive open online course (MOOC) from UNSW Australia begins a new session every month. Enrol any time.

About the course

Transmedia storytelling is the practice of designing, sharing, and participating in a cohesive story experience across multiple traditional and digital delivery platforms - for entertainment, advertising and marketing, or social change. 

Have you ever read a book, seen a movie, watched a television show, or played a game that centred around different aspects of a larger story or universe? You may be familiar with popular examples of such universes like Star Wars, Marvel, and The Walking Dead (to name a few). 

How do the professionals develop such expansive narratives? How do they ensure that each element stays true to the original story? How do they innovatively use different technologies to share the stories, grow audiences and create an active and involved community of fans? 

More and more, we are also engaging with elements or franchises of larger and more complex stories across a much more diverse range of platforms like interactive web experiences, social media communities, mobile devices, theme parks, and even augmented and virtual reality. A major challenge that current and future storytellers face is being able to engage different audiences in a story that is seamlessly told across all of these different platforms.

What will I learn?

This course  will help you to design a strategy for developing and telling your own transmedia story. You will learn about what it takes to:

  • Shape your ideas into compelling and well structured narratives and complex story worlds
  • Identify, understand, and engage different audiences in your stories
  • Create cohesive user experiences across different platforms
  • Evaluate existing and emerging technologies to share your story with the world, and help your audience participate in the larger storyworld you create

The course provides you with a unique, authentic, and industry relevant learning opportunity. You will have access to current theory, industry examples and advice and undertake learning activities that will equip you with the tools you need to start developing your own ideas.

Who will my instructors be?

You will learn effective transmedia design strategies from leading UNSW Australia Art & Design academics. You will also examine case studies that demonstrate how amazing ideas, technology and audience contributions can be brought together to create dynamic storyworlds. You'll see examples of major, successful transmedia storytelling projects involving movies, digital entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and more. In collaboration with our industry partner X Media Lab, the course will give you inside access to the personal stories, insight and advice of the following innovative transmedia storytelling professionals from Hollywood USA, Canada and Australia. 

  • Susan Bonds, 42 Entertainment, Los Angeles, USA
  • Flint Dille, Screenwriter, Game Designer and Novelist, Los Angeles, USA
  • Cindi Drennan, Illuminart, Adelaide, Australia
  • Tom Ellard, UNSW Art & Design, Sydney, Australia
  • Catherine Fargher, Dr Egg Digital, Sydney, Australia
  • Hal Hefner, 3AM Creative, USA
  • Brian Seth Hurst, StoryTech,  Los Angeles, USA
  • Henry Jenkins, School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, USA
  • Mikey Leung, Digital Storytellers, Sydney, Australia
  • Alex Lieu, 42 Entertainment, Los Angeles, USA
  • Geoffrey Long, Annenberg Innovation Lab, University of Southern California, USA
  • John McGhee, UNSW Art & Design, Sydney, Australia
  • Joseph Narai, Transmedia Entertainment, Sydney, Australia
  • Jeff Nicholas, The Uprising Creative, Los Angeles, USA
  • Sergio Paez, Graphic Artist working in animation, TV, video games, and film. Co Founder, StoryboardArt, California, USA
  • Steve Peters, No Mimes Media, Los Angeles, USA
  • Stuart Samuels, Stuart Samuels Productions, Toronto, Canada
  • Charles Santoso, Concept Artist, Sydney, Australia 
  • Seth Shapiro, New Amsterdam Media, Los Angeles, USA
  • Scott Snibbe, Eyegroove, San Francisco, USA
  • Tracey Taylor, The Pulse, Sydney, Australia
  • Robert Tercek, Public Speaker, Digital Media Strategist, and Executive Leader for Creative Ventures and Business Innovation, University of Southern California, USA
  • Kevin Williams, Founder & Director of KWP Ltd and DNA Association, UK
  • Brent Young, Super 78, Los Angeles, USA
  • Maya Zuckerman, Transmedia SF, San Francisco, USA

Flexible learning options

The new format of the MOOC means that you can study at your own pace. You can complete the course as quickly or as slowly as you like. The 6 weeks course begins a new session every month - meaning that if you want to take a little longer to get your assignment right, or life gets in the way, you can be carried forward into the next session of the course with all of your work to date, so you can pick right back up where you left off when you are ready.

Enrol in the course for the next session now.

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