Knowledge of appropriate behavior during an earthquake is crucial for the prevention and mitigation of natural disaster. Several studies confirm that disaster-risk education should be part of the national primary and secondary school curricula. The school plays an important role in developing a positive attitude towards safety as well as in increasing young people's social responsibility. This can especially be achieved by "active educational methods based on real situations". Narrative learning, according to this pedagogical vision, is seen as an educational approach mostly suitable for the development of cognitive abilities and knowledge in action, supporting processes of meaning construction through risk education contexts. In this paper, we present a methodology to design digital storytelling, a "media rich" strategy able to support the learning process in a civil emergency context and an authoring tool for creating Storytelling Complex Learning Objects (SCLOs), as a complex learning resource characterized by an adaptive mechanism that exploits a template-based approach, which is focused on the design of teaching situations suitable for achieving specific learning goals. The integration of this new kind of learning object with an advanced e-learning platform, namely Intelligent Web Teacher (IWT), that allowed us to carry out a full experimentation of the overall learning process, from content creation, to learning path packaging and adaptive delivery. The experimentation results demonstrate the effectiveness of both SCLO and authoring tool from a pedagogical and usability point of view. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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