Information Systems Education Journal


V18 N5 Pages 34-53

Oct 2020

Using Fable-Based Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool in Assessment Exams

Sean Humpherys
West Texas A&M University
Canyon, TX USA

Jeffry Babb
West Texas A&M University
Canyon, TX USA

Abstract: A fable is a story, often fictitious, that uses narrative to weave an illustrative medium from which new knowledge may be comprehended. Frequently, some moral or ethical lesson is couched within the fable. Fable-based learning, folklore-based learning, and narrative pedagogy are terms used to represent the use of storytelling for learning. These learning tools build on narrative theory via our understanding of the role of metaphor and metaphorical reasoning in the learning process. Narrative theory postulates that humans are natural storytellers and interpret the world through narrative. Academic examples of fable-based learning abound in mathematics, science, business, psychology, and computer information systems. Outcomes of this teaching tool include overcoming resistance to learning, increased learning, enjoyment, openness to new beliefs and perspectives, and increased learner engagement. We find that the application of fable-based learning is current limited to teaching and lecturing. We propose extending fable-based learning and storytelling to the assessment phase of pedagogy. The assessment phase is knowledge-verification process where learning is measured through exams or assignments. We explore how storytelling can be used in the design of assessment exams and give an example of a multiple choice exam that uses fable-based learning principles in a Management of Information Systems course. The fable-based exam was deployed in the course and qualitative reflections were reported. We propose that fable and storytelling in assessment exams has the potential reduce test anxiety, increase enjoyment, increase cognitive fluidity, and increase perceived realism or relevance of the learning objectives.

Download this article: ISEDJ - V18 N5 Page 34.pdf

Recommended Citation: Humpherys, S., Babb, J., (2020). Using Fable-Based Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool in Assessment Exams. Information Systems Education Journal18(5) pp 34-53. ISSN : ISSN: 1545-679X. A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIGCON 2019