This session will feature examples of students’ digital stories, in which they reflect on their experience of Higher Education. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the rubric used for the assessment of the digital story as a summative reflective task.
In 2014 a new summative assignment was introduced: a digital story in which final year students were asked to recount and reflect on their experience of learning at University.
A digital story, in this context, referred to short videos consisting of still and/or moving images, text, a voice-over and (optionally) a music soundtrack. Originally conceived – in 1998 – by the Centre for Digital Storytelling, as a way of facilitating community projects and supporting individuals to share personal narratives of their own life experiences, the digital story quickly spread to educational settings (McLellan, 2006). Sadik (2008) indicates that digital storytelling engages students on a number of levels: they find it enjoyable, it encourages them to think more deeply and it provides a way of integrating technology into the curriculum. McLellan (2007), further suggests that it encourages creativity, self-direction, problem solving and personal initiative.
The objectives of the assignment were:
1) to enhance digital skills – students created their stories using open, web based tools and Creative Commons licensed images and music, in order to produce an audio-video artefact with narration.
2) to develop reflective skills. As Elkins (1985) (cited in Mullen and Tyler, 2011) says, “we find out who we are by the stories we tell”. Through the identification and recounting of key episodes on their learning journey, students developed the ability to critically and objectively analyse the learning that emerged along the way – deepening their self-awareness.
Students fed back on this new assessment task that it gave them confidence in using technology:
“the digital story was not a task I was particularly looking forward to as I have never done anything of the kind before…The newly learnt skill of producing a digital video is not only one I can use when applying for jobs”
“…Looking back at this digital story makes me very proud…..(it) gave me an opportunity to express myself ”
The assignment has now run for two years and an analysis of the 200+ digital stories created indicates that students evidence a high level of creativity and engagement – and report increased self-confidence – through the production of this digital artefact. In addition, the stories reveal interesting insights into students’ experience of learning.
McLellan, H. (2006). Digital storytelling in higher education. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, Vol.19, Issue 15, pp 65-79.
Mullen, F., and Tyler, J.A., (2011).Telling Tales in School: Storytelling for Self-Reflection and Pedagogical Improvement in Clinical Legal Education (2011).Clinical Law Review, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp 283-337 [online] Available athttp://ssrn.com/abstract=2616317 Accessed: 20/3/2016
Sadik, A. (2008). Digital storytelling: A meaningful technology-integrated approach for engaged student learning. Education Technology Research, Vol. 56, Issue 4, pp 487-506.
The presentation can be found here: https://prezi.com/m/nihjpioqkvuc/tell-it-like-it-is-altc-2016/