Access Digital and Distributed Learning

Digital Storytelling workshop

Posted on: 29 Mar 2017

The workshop

The Office for Digital Learning is delivering digital storytelling workshops at the Coleraine and Jordanstown campuses. Digital stories are used to support blended learning curricula by providing material for the flipped classroom, encouraging debate and delivering content in inclusive and accessible formats that are clear, concise and easy to follow. Digital stories can also be used to support research dissemination and evidence impact.

  • 11 April 2017 - Jordanstown campus, 9.30am to 4pm in room 15J19
  • 13 April 2017 - Coleraine campus, 9.30am to 4pm in room E205>/li>

This hands-on workshop will provide an overview of digital storytelling, tips and best practice examples. You will also have the opportunity to write a script, storyboard and source imagery using creative commons licensed resources.

In addition to this workshop there will be follow-up webinars and training sessions later in the year. These will support the production of your digital story including audio recording and the production process using the free online web app WeVideo.

At the end of the process you will not only have a digital story to disseminate, but you will also have the skills to produce more digital stories in the future enhancing your digital literacy and potentially your students’.

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What is a digital story?

Storytelling has been around for thousands of years enabling stories, events and experiences to be shared using spoken word. Digital stories also use spoken word, but in addition to the human voice they integrate the story with digital technology to produce a visually rich narrative in a format that is portable and reaches a wide audience. Usually 2 to 3 minutes long digital stories combine audio, text and imagery in a video file that engages and enriches the storytelling experience.

What does a digital story look like?

Dr Máire Braniff, a lecturer in social sciences recently attended an ODL workshop on digital storytelling, and produced a digital story on teaching memory in divided societies. Máire’s story can be viewed below.

Northern Ireland is at peace from Office for Digital Learning on Vimeo.

“Working on a Digital Story with ODL proved to be an enriching and novel experience. Having watched some examples I was immediately convinced that this would be perfect for me to communicate some of the pedagogic challenges and how I was working to overcome them. This was the first time I attempted to make a digital story and with the support of Richard and Gemma the process was very accessible, creative and fun! The resulting digital story allows me to communicate to specialist and non-specialist audiences and so far has been used to profile research and teaching about divided societies to networks and potential partners across Europe.”

- Dr Máire Braniff, School of Social Sciences

Why use digital storytelling in HE?

Chris Thomson from JISC, an advocate for digital stories and the impact they can have ran a workshop with the University of Strathclyde to try and draw out the main reasons for using storytelling on a research project, these were:

  • Demonstrating impact to funding bodies through showing return on investment
  • Making connections with people at an interpersonal level
  • Getting a different perspective on your own activity
  • Giving deeper understanding and motivation to the researcher
  • Challenging the researcher to look at the impact of their work
  • Clarifying the vision
  • Evidencing that aims and objects have been achieved?
  • Encouraging engagement with research subjects and volunteers
  • Showing the impact of the university at a local level
  • Engaging key stakeholders

There are also other uses and the process could be used to enable your students to create rich student generated content and increase their digital literacy.

Resources and further reading