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Digital storytelling

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  • I am delighted to be able to speak here today and I’m going to tell you how we have included Digital Storytelling as a means of encouraging medical students at University of Leeds to reflect. I am not going to talk too much about the technology of digital storytelling as that has been written about and discussed a lot in the past. I am going to show how we have used it to change the way students reflect and how we have made this mainstream practice. Just to put it all into context the module I teach is called IDEALS which stands for innovation, development, enterprise leadership and safety. The aim of the module is to develop and prepare students for the role of providers and leaders of healthcare and replaced the PPD module .   The cohort is divided up into groups of 10-13 students and teaching takes place in these groups weekly and are facilitated by a teacher with a health practitioner or medical background. Each group is taught the same topics and given the same information.
  • Doctors as reflective practitioners   Much has been written about the benefit of reflective practice in health professionals and Drs are required by GMC to show ongoing reflection. This is one reason why reflection it taught in university. This usually involves a tet-based approach using a model of reflection to develop a greater understanding of a situation and how the student may act differently in the future. However my experience has been that the students pick a reflective model that they have been taught and just work through it without much thought in the hope that they will pass the assignment and not have to be bothered about thoughts and feelings again til the next time. In order to reflect effectively students must be able to explore their thoughts and emotions and consider what may appear to be subjective experiences alongside hard facts. As many of the students come to medical school with a science background this can be difficult.  
  • Students also feel that they are always pushed for time whether it is learning new clinical skills or revising theory and they aren’t able to reflect in-practise as a more experienced doctor can so it is important that they have the skills and tools to reflect after the experience.   Therefore there does seem to be a need to make reflection less about a tick box exercise and more about a useful way to become a reflective practitioner and a good doctor.
  • In 2008 the Medical School were part of a JISC funded project Reflect 2.0: Digital storytelling to develop reflective learning with next generation technologies & practice. With assistance from the Regional Support Centre Yorkshire and Humber the staff developed a pilot project where a small number of students volunteered to do a digital story to demonstrate reflective practice. The results of the pilot project showed that the students had found it a useful way to develop their reflective practice and it appeared to engage the students in reflection.
  • What we did was introduce the idea to the students in a whole cohort and explained the task to them.   They were required to produce a short 3-5 mins presentation reflecting about their first few weeks at university using digital images and voiceover for the story. They were not marked on their technical ability but on the robustness of the reflection. They were to carefully consider which images to use and why. And informed that taking own photos facilitates the most reflection. They could use any software they wished to produce their digital story and there was a range including PowerPoint, Photostory, and imovie   Following the initial briefing the students had a teaching session about the theory of reflection and what it was all about and could get further support from their facilitator if needed or the learning technologist in the department.   It was also important to fully brief all the facilitators so that they understood the process and that the assessment was equitable. I mentioned that the students are digital natives but most of the facilitators did not consider themselves tech-savvy and therefore a training session about digital storytelling was provided.
  • Ziller in 2000 and Taylor in 2002 both showed that the use of visual images and photographs could enable a learner to develop the reflective process more easily than the use of written text.   Digital stories help to make that transition from description to reflection a little easier as the act of storytelling pushes the learner to think more deeply about the situation and their thoughts and feelings about it. Sharing the digital story is also part of the reflective process as they can act as a catalyst for discussion and debate stimulating reflection in both the creator and the audience.   Reflection occurs in stages, at the time the student sources images either online or taking them. Choosing the images that closely embody emotions lead to deeper thinking about those feelings. This means the student has to think about what they want to say and what meaning they want to give it. During the creation of the digital story the linking of pictures to the narrative lead to further reflection and then, as discussed, when they present and discuss.   Another benefit is that although used to presenting in front of a group from school or previous courses presenting about emotions and feelings is difficult. Having the voiceover eliminates this problem and also the student can get their story exactly how they want it to sound and redo if needs be. Then just press and go for the presentation.
  • What we did was introduce the idea to the students in a whole cohort and explained the task to them.   They were required to produce a short 3-5 mins presentation reflecting about their first few weeks at university using digital images and voiceover for the story. They were not marked on their technical ability but on the robustness of the reflection. They were to carefully consider which images to use and why. And informed that taking own photos facilitates the most reflection. They could use any software they wished to produce their digital story and there was a range including PowerPoint, Photostory, and imovie   Following the initial briefing the students had a teaching session about the theory of reflection and what it was all about and could get further support from their facilitator if needed or the learning technologist in the department.   It was also important to fully brief all the facilitators so that they understood the process and that the assessment was equitable. I mentioned that the students are digital natives but most of the facilitators did not consider themselves tech-savvy and therefore a training session about digital storytelling was provided.
  • Ziller in 2000 and Taylor in 2002 both showed that the use of visual images and photographs could enable a learner to develop the reflective process more easily than the use of written text.   Digital stories help to make that transition from description to reflection a little easier as the act of storytelling pushes the learner to think more deeply about the situation and their thoughts and feelings about it. Sharing the digital story is also part of the reflective process as they can act as a catalyst for discussion and debate stimulating reflection in both the creator and the audience.  
  • Reflection occurs in stages, at the time the student sources images either online or taking them. Choosing the images that closely embody emotions lead to deeper thinking about those feelings. This means the student has to think about what they want to say and what meaning they want to give it. During the creation of the digital story the linking of pictures to the narrative lead to further reflection and then, as discussed, when they present and discuss.   Another benefit is that although used to presenting in front of a group from school or previous courses presenting about emotions and feelings is difficult. Having the voiceover eliminates this problem and also the student can get their story exactly how they want it to sound and redo if needs be. Then just press and go for the presentation.
  • Need clear guidelines and support for both students and staff An understanding from the students that it is not a quick assignment and should take as long as an essay They still need an understanding of what reflection is and what is required Question as to whether public reflection is needed.
  • Reflection isn’t something that can been learned and perfected overnight and therefore the students have to realise that this won’t be the end of learing to reflect. But hopefully this process has given them another tools to enable refection. There is a lot written about the use of digital storytelling and a little of that is about using digital storytelling to enable students to become better reflectors. However this tends to be anecdotal and there needs to be some research to prove that it works. This is something that I have a plan for but the execution is proving difficult. However from my small experience I do believe that digital storytelling does lead to better reflection.    
  • Transcript

    • 1. A Picture Reflects 1000 Words ALT-C 2012 Deborah Judah http://www.flickr.com/photos/lrargerich/3203435803/
    • 2. Digital Storytelling refers to using digital toolsso that ordinary people can tell their ownreal-life stories.Wikipedia (2012)Stories are about how we experience thingsand not about how things actually are.McKillop (2004)
    • 3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mercyhealth/7142787777/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    • 4. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bmune/2386045249/sizes/z/in/photostream/
    • 5. flickr.com/photos/hackny/5685669686/sizes/ m/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jiscinfonet/291379959/sizes/m/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/hackny/5685669686/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    • 6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikegrenville/374671455/
    • 7. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/xpert/attribution/index.php?searchterm=reflection&x=0&y=0
    • 8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/moriza/63825179/sizes/m/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenjonbro/6341049000/sizes/m/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/nics_events/468846439/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    • 9. SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS http://www.flickr.com/photos/rottnapples/5541154557/sizes/z/in/photostream/
    • 10. THE ASSIGNMENT IS NOT A QUICK ONESTILL NEED AN UNDERSTANDINGOF REFLECTIONASSESS THE QUALITY OF REFLECTION http://www.flickr.com/photos/rottnapples/5541154557/sizes/z/in/photostream/
    • 11. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikki_pugh/5649354666/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    • 12. REFERENCES• Boud D & Walker D (1989) Promoting Reflection in Professional Courses: the challenge of context. Studies in Higher Education 23 (2) 191-206• Grant A, Kinnersley ,P. Metcalf E, Pill R & Houston H (2006) Students’ Views of reflective learning techniques : an efficacy study at a UK medical school Medical Education 40 (4) 379-88• Hlubinka, M (2002) Fostering a Culture of Reflection Constructionist Learners Digital Storytelling as a Tool for Reflective Practice• Jenkins, M. & Lonsdale, J. (2007). Evaluating the effectiveness of digital storytelling for student reflection. In ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ASCILITE Singapore 2007. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs /jenkins.pdf
    • 13. REFERENCES cont.• Moon J (1999) Reflection in Learning & Professional Development: theory and practice. Kogan page: London• McKillop C (2004) Cited in Thomson C 2012 Exploring Digital Storytelling JISC Netskils• Robin B (2008) Digital Storytelling: A Powerful Technology Tool for the 21st Century Classroom Theory Into Practice, 47:220–228, 2008• Sandars, J. & Homer, M. (2008) Reflective leraning and the Net Generation. Medical Teacher Feb 4:1-5• Sandars, J, Murray C, Pellow A (2008) Twelve Tips for using Digital Storytelling to promote reflective learning by medical students Medical Teacher 30:8 774-777
    • 14. REFERENCES cont.• Taylor, E.W. (2002) Using still photography in making meaning of adult educators teaching belief Studies in the Education of Adults 34 (2) 123-39• Ziller, R.C. (2000) Self-Counselling though re-authored photo- self-narratives Counselling Psychology Quarterly 13 (3): 123- 39
    • 15. Deborah Judahd.judah@leeds.ac.ukTwitter: deborahjudah