Digital storytelling for student engagement and reflection Phil Gravestock & Martin Jenkins University of Gloucestershire April 2008

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  • Slide 1
  • Digital storytelling for student engagement and reflection Phil Gravestock & Martin Jenkins University of Gloucestershire April 2008
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  • Session structure Introduction and activity Digital storytelling at the University of Gloucestershire Engagement and reflection A framework for evaluation and assessment
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  • How did you get here? Tell a colleague your story of How you got here in no more than 60 seconds Then find another colleague and recount to them the story you have been told
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  • Storytelling storytelling is a way for storytellers to give meaning to their experiences (Nygren & Blom, 2001: 372) We use narrative to: communicate with others represent and understand ourselves make sense of our experience make sense of the world around us [story] construction process judgments and inferences are required at two levels: about discrete items of information and the adequacy of the unfolding story. Selecting, comparing, inferring, arranging and revising are activities which we regard as cognitive strategies. (Robinson & Hawpe, 1986)
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  • What is a story? no single structural representation of a story. However the prototypical story identifies a protagonist, a predicament, attempts to resolve the predicament, the outcomes of such attempts and the reactions of the protagonists. Creating an effective story is therefore a matter of effective causal thinking (Robinson & Hawpe, 1986) Connected succession (Misher, 1995)
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  • Oral vs written stories Oral presentation is more personal the personal voice connection Social allows development a narrative written down by the storyteller is a more reflected expression (Nygren & Blom, 2001) Writing introduces division and alienation, but in a higher unity as well. It intensifies the sense of the self and fosters more conscious interaction between persons. Writing is consciousness-raising (Nygren & Blom, 2001)
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  • Digital Storytelling at the University of Gloucestershire Digital storytelling provides a means of combining elements of these oral and written traditions: the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling (in which) stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, giving deep dimension and vivid colour to characters, situations, experiences and insights (Leslie Rule of the American Digital Storytelling Association in Crow (2006)). Students are also increasingly comfortable with story as a medium and a means of engagement, particularly with a more diverse and non-traditional student population (Moon, 2007).
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  • Digital Storytelling at the University of Gloucestershire Our interpretation of digital stories: Media artifacts combining still images and mp3 files The heart of digital storytelling is the development of the story, the narrative Combines narrative and collaboration as learning strategies with technology to enable a fresh approach to student engagement and reflection
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  • Range of uses - University of Gloucestershire Induction Reflections on design developments Reflections on personal development Personal journeys Critical incidents Group presentations
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  • Pedagogy of storytelling Student engagement Reflection for deep learning Effective integration of technology Project based learning (Barrett, 2006)
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  • Reflection and engagement Individual reflection focusing attention on the task storytelling process requires the organising and ordering of thoughts emotional engagement Storytelling can encourage students to integrate feeling and thought, the subjective and objective ways in which we make judgments about our world (Beatty, 2000) Within a social setting allowing students to present their ideas in a public forum and to engage in the critiquing of their own work
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  • Social Reflection A formal setting for review of stories may help to bring about thoughtful and reasoned change to practice (McDrury and Alterio 2002, p111) A studio model (Schn 1983; 1987) may assist : multiple perspectives to be explored scaffolding in a peer learning forum enhanced reflective learning enrichment of discipline-based learning communities
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  • Digital storytelling, literacy and skills potential to blend digital, oral, art and written literacies Creating literally a portfolio unto itself Jason Ohler (
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  • Analysis of use Feedback from staff and students has been generally positive But does digital storytelling work as a technique? Can we find a workable means of evaluation and assessment? Product vs process?
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  • Evaluation using Map of Learning (Moon 1999) Increasing levels of reflection : 1: Noticing 2 : Making sense 3 : Meaning making 4 : Working with meaning 5 : Transformative learning
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  • Framework for evaluation Project planningEvidence of storyboard, critical evaluation StoryThe success of the story; Map of Learning Media applicationAppropriate use of media, image selection LiteraciesBlend of different literacies Technical deliveryLength of story, sound, music a base level Flow, organisation and pacing Was the story well organised? CreativityEvidence of originality (to the student) Emotional impactEvidence of personal engagement with the story Citations, permissionsProper credit assigned, permissions obtained, correct citations Academic understanding How well it meets the academic goals
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  • Plenary discussion
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  • References Barrett, H : Researching and Evaluating Digital Storytelling as a Deep Learning Tool Crow, C. (2006) Digital storytelling connects youth across cultural divides. o/bridges.mspx (accessed 23 Jan. 2008) o/bridges.mspx McDrury, J. and Alterio, M.G. (2003) Learning through Storytelling in Higher Education Using Reflection and Experience to Improve Learning. London: Kogan Page. Mishler, E G : Models of narrative analysis: A typology Journal of Narrative & Life History, 5(2), 87-123
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  • Moon, J. A. (1999) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development. London: Kogan Page Ltd. Moon, J. A. (2007) In press. Nygren, L & Blom, B (2001) Analysis of short reflective narratives: a method for the study of knowledge in social workers actions, Qualitative Research, Vol 1 pp369-384 Ohler, J : Storytelling, literacy and learning Robinson, JA & Hawpe, L (1986) Narrative thinking as a Heuristic process in Sarbin, T.R. (ed) Narrative psychology: the storied nature of human conduct, Praeger Publ Schn, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books. Schn, D. (1987) Educating the Reflective Practitioner. New York: Jossey Bass.