Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Participant

"Choose Your Own Adventure"

Jump to solution

I have a professor that wants to build a "choose your own adventure" course (like the kids books do) with dozens of pages and paths students could take.

I was thinking Mastery Paths might be the way to do it but I haven't played around with it much. 

Anyone have other ideas?

Thank you.


1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
Community Participant

Thank you. As open as this professor is, I think he may draw the line at allowing students to decide to combine many small assignments to replace one larger assignment, but this is definitely something I'll keep in mind for the future.

View solution in original post

21 Replies
Community Participant

I would recommend using an external tool similar to Twine, which is designed for choose-your-own adventure storytelling.   Twine is open source and will let you build a branched story using some basic if-this-then-that logic.  It produces raw HTML pages for the story, which you can upload/host somewhere.  You can pull it into Canvas using the Redirect Tool (Settings > Apps), and might even be able to host the Twine pages within Canvas Files.  

You might look at the work of Keegan Long-Wheeler who does quite a bit with Twine as well as as Canvas - his site has guides and examples of Twine and for using the Canvas Redirect Tool to pull in external content.   Customizing Twine Web App – Learning & Coding – Keegan Long-Wheeler 

Now I want to try it too. = ) 


Thank you. I will definitely look into it. The real problem is he wants to do this for Spring 2018, haha.

Community Member

Hi James,

I don't know how much assessment, or game based pedagogy your instructor wants to incorporate into their course, but you may want to look into Gradecraft as well. It is designed to facilitate the management of courses designed under similar, "Choose your own adventure" structures!


Hey  @james_dannibale ‌, are you looking at making the structure of the course into a choose your own adventure experience? Or are you looking at having students create choose your own adventure stories?

If it's the former, you may look at structuring the course using Canvas Prerequisites and Requirements. That would just be the instructional design challenge of getting all the pathways determined and the prerequisites/requirements setup right to automate student progression through the content.

One aspect of this style of course necessitates several times more possible points students can receive than what's required to earn an A. For example, in a course with 4 pathway, there may be 4000 possible points, but 900+ are where an A is earned. This is important, because it's what allows students to actually choose between content rather than having to complete all pathways (which then isn't really a choose your own adventure design at that point). Student agency and automation of the pathways are key.

Alternatively, if you're looking at having students create choose your own adventure stories, I have lots of content on this using Twine. From curriculum that I've built, to collections of Twine stories made by students (and faculty), to the many other Twine for Education resources.

Also, I've been toying with the idea of having student construct choose your own adventures stories within Canvas itself. (PS, that last link has tons of fun integrations to Canvas using this mechanism).

Happy to connect/chat on Twitter or have a video chat on this if you have questions, let me know. Smiley Happy

Have a wonderful day James!

(PS. Thanks  @brad_hinson  for the shoutout/connection)

We're looking to create the adventure ourselves and have the students choose which paths (subjects) within the course are of interest to them. I've been playing around using Mastery Paths but I'm not 100% happy with it yet. I totally get what you're saying with the number of points. I currently have my "choose a path" quizzes set into their own assignment category with a weight of 0. As long as I'm able to use the Mastery Paths, it should also exclude assignments outside of the chosen path from student grades but I kind of need to play with it more to see how it'll work.

Do you have much experience with MP's? This is really my first go at it.

I'm pinging  @kona ‌ here because she has a lot of experience with mastery paths.

For me, student choice runs everything in my classes (what they read each week, the assignments they do, the project they work on all semester), and I just find it easier to run all the content outside of Canvas; I cannot anticipate in advance what the students will be choosing to do! I don't define the paths in advance; the students build them themselves. Since there are 100 reading options in the UnTextbook, I calculated that there are trillions of possible paths, ha ha. Anyway, literally every student is creating a different course based on the choices they make.

To manage the recordkeeping, I have the students do what I call "Grade Declarations" where they record their work as it's completed. I don't know if that kind of "declaration" approach would work, but it might be a useful tool to take advantage of. It gets me out of the grading look completely so that I can spend my time interacting with the students on their projects. I wrote a post about it here: 

I haven't implemented them myself, but the conditional roll out of materials looks intense. (Intense as an engagement feature and intense as in the granularity of conditions yields complexity when setting up. The need to account for many different scenarios.)

I'll lean on laurakgibbs's recommendation of pinging  @kona  if you're deep diving into Mastery Paths. Smiley Happy

Community Participant

I am doing a project like this right now as we speak.  I am not using Mastery Paths; I am hyperlinking to pages.  I am happy to chat with you if you want more detail. or 908-497-4363

My thought definitely went to Mastery Paths when I saw this and more specifically that this might be a good use for the following hack -