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Compelling interactive stories can be used to get and keep learners’ interest in online courses. Interactive storytelling presents information in a manner that involves learners by allowing them to connect with the content. Incorporating interactive storytelling into online education offers the potential to increase student interest and knowledge retention. Interactive storytelling also allows learners to create a personalized experience. By analyzing examples of interactive stories, we identified five features of interactive storytelling: dynamic presentation, data visualization, multisensory media, interactivity, and narration. We explain each feature, and its educational benefits, with illustrations provided from five interactive storytelling examples. We also discuss the implications of interactive storytelling for online course design.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at TechTrends, published by Springer. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1007/s11528-016-0136-2