R. Lyle Skains (Bournemouth University, UK)
Jennifer A. Rudd (Swansea University, UK)
Carmen Casaliggi (Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK)
Emma J. Hayhurst (University of South Wales, UK)
Ruth Horry (Swansea University, UK)
Helen Ross (Helen's Place, UK)
Kate Woodward (Aberystwyth University, UK)

Using Interactive Digital Narrative in Science and Health Education

ISBN: 978-1-83909-761-4, eISBN: 978-1-83909-760-7

Publication date: 24 May 2021


Skains, R.L., Rudd, J.A., Casaliggi, C., Hayhurst, E.J., Horry, R., Ross, H. and Woodward, K. (2021), "Prelims", Using Interactive Digital Narrative in Science and Health Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xii.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Lyle Skains, Jennifer A. Rudd, Carmen Casaliggi, Emma J. Hayhurst, Ruth Horry, Helen Ross and Kate Woodward. Published under exclusive license by Emerald Publishing Limited

Half Title Page

Using Interactive Digital Narrative in Science and Health Education

Title Page

Using Interactive Digital Narrative in Science and Health Education


R. Lyle Skains

Bournemouth University, UK

Jennifer A. Rudd

Swansea University, UK

Carmen Casaliggi

Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK

Emma J. Hayhurst

University of South Wales, UK

Ruth Horry

Swansea University, UK

Helen Ross

Helen's Place, UK


Kate Woodward

Aberystwyth University, UK

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2021

Copyright © 2021 Lyle Skains, Jennifer A. Rudd, Carmen Casaliggi, Emma J. Hayhurst, Ruth Horry, Helen Ross and Kate Woodward.

Published under exclusive license by Emerald Publishing Limited.

Reprints and permissions service


No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters' suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-83909-761-4 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-83909-760-7 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-83909-762-1 (Epub)

List of Figures

Figure 2.1. Bunchems Models of the Reaction by Which Methane and Oxygen Combine to Form CO2 and Water.
Figure 2.2. A Simplified Excerpt of the Backend Structure of No World 4 Tomorrow, Showing the Multiple Pathways That the Interactive Digital Narrative (IDN) Takes Dependent on Choices Made.
Figure 2.3. Holistic Agentic Climate-Change Engagement Model (h-ACE).
Figure 4.1. The Practitioner Model of Creative Cognition.

List of Abbreviations


Antimicrobial Resistance


Climate Change Education




General Practitioner (medical)


Holistic Agentic Climate-Change Engagement Model


Higher Education Institution


Interactive Digital Narrative


Infectious Storytelling


Multi-drug Resistant Tuberculosis


National Health Service (UK)


No World 4 Tomorrow


Only Always Never


Primary Investigator


Research Excellence Framework


Health and Science Communication


Special Educational Needs


Special Educational Needs Coordinator


Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics/Medicine


Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics/Medicine




World Health Organization


Welsh National Memorial Association


You and CO2


This book offers initial insights and lessons learned from two pilot studies using interactive digital narrative (IDN) as educational interventions seeking to effect positive behaviour change regarding topics of global social issues: climate change and antimicrobial resistance.

‘You and CO2’ is a series of workshops for secondary school students: the researchers led hands-on sessions in the chemistry of carbon footprints, reading a climate-change-themed IDN and composing IDNs on the same theme. ‘Infectious Storytelling’ centres on affecting patient behaviours that contribute to antimicrobial resistance: in this project, researchers examine tuberculosis's (TB) representation in creative media in the Romantic era and post–World War II. This research informed a purpose-built IDN to effect positive change in public behaviour surrounding the current epidemic of antimicrobial-resistant TB (as identified by the World Health Organization).

Both these issues contribute to increasingly urgent ‘global challenges’: issues of climate change and ineffectiveness of medication for treatment of communicable diseases, particularly with regard to highly mobile and interspersed populations. There is a dire need to instill a stronger sense of personal responsibility to act as individuals to resolve global issues, and these pilot studies present IDNs as possible approaches in these resolutions. The studies presented in this book are an examination of the efficacy of entertainment media, specifically IDNs, to purposefully effect positive behaviour without resorting to obviously ‘edutainment’ games that students receive negatively.

This book's key contributions are in the areas of interdisciplinary research and education methods, combining arts and science methodologies and approaches to address significant global challenges (climate change, antimicrobial resistance). As such, it will offer insights for a rapidly growing subject area: interdisciplinary approaches. Its methodology and reflective sections on addressing the particular challenges of truly interdisciplinary research (from extremely disparate fields) will be especially helpful to future research teams.

More specifically, this book addresses science communication through interactive digital narratives. IDNs have been shown to increase the efficacy of teaching on a range of topics, as has entertainment media in general. The IDNs at the foundation of the book's two studies were built to capture audiences' attention through strong entertainment narratives whose underlying informative and persuasive themes regarding climate change and antimicrobial resistance could affect audiences' perceptions and subsequent behaviours regarding these issues. By utilizing an interdisciplinary array of research contexts and methodological approaches, these projects aim to empirically test the effectiveness of ‘playful learning’ for behaviour affecting global sociological, health and environment issues; the following chapters deliver early conclusions based on the projects' pilot studies and interdisciplinary working.

Keywords: Health Communication, Science Communication, Interactive Digital Narrative, Interdisciplinary Research, Wide Interdisciplinarity, STEAM, Entertainment for Education, Climate Change Education, Antimicrobial Resistance Education