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Going dragon hunting: using digital storytelling to enhance the student experience



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Chris Thomson, subject specialist, Jisc
Liz Austen, senior lecturer - research, evaluation and student engagement, Sheffield Hallam University
Richard Beggs, curriculum design consultant, Ulster University

Be inspired by people who are using digital storytelling to enhance the student experience with examples in teaching and learning and listening to the student voice. Try out activities you can use to get yourself and others telling stories and see how to make the best use of technology to create and share them.

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Going dragon hunting: using digital storytelling to enhance the student experience

  1. 1. The student digital experience Going Dragon Hunting Using digital storytelling to enhance the student experience 6 March 2018 | ICC, Birmingham
  2. 2. >Answer what do we mean by digital storytelling? >Hear how digital storytelling is being used >Draw on your storytelling skills >Construct and share a story about an experience >Consider how it might fit into your own practice What’s going to happen?
  3. 3. Dragons by Tristyan Schmurr CC-BY 2.0Dragons by Tristan Schmurr CC-BY 2.0
  4. 4. Emma looks surprised by Jay Ryness CC-BY 2.0
  5. 5. What do we mean by digital storytelling?
  6. 6. WIS3361 by marco Antonio torres CC-BY-SA 2.0
  7. 7. Stories are for sense making
  8. 8. The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo by Milos Milosevic CC-BY 2.0
  9. 9. Dr Liz Austen Sheffield Hallam University
  10. 10. Digital Storytelling for capturing student voices Dr Liz Austen Sheffield Hallam University
  11. 11. Exploring belonging • Engaging 'hard-to-reach' student groups in digital storytelling • February - May 2017 – BME students – Mature students – White males from lower socio economic / deprived areas – Students with non-standard qualifications – Care leavers • Resources and toolkit for supporting digital storytelling storytelling
  12. 12. Student voices My Journey to University Becoming a Mature Student
  13. 13. Rationale • Authentic • Innovative • Illuminating Challenges • Ethics • Recruitment • Time Lessons • Access • Barriers • Flexibility
  14. 14. Dr Liz Austen Senior Lecturer in Research Evaluation and Student Engagement I have been… @lizaustenbooth
  15. 15. Richard Beggs Recorded presentation
  16. 16. Where did it start?
  17. 17. Richar Beggs Ulster University Hydra Battle by Ray Harryhausen Public Domain sourced from:
  18. 18. The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo by Milos Milosevic CC-BY 2.0
  19. 19. Northern Ireland is at Peace video Maire Braniff, Ulster Uni
  20. 20. Copyright Ulster University
  21. 21. Domino background by Padrinan CC-0
  22. 22. Where next?
  23. 23. Old Wood Desktop by Raw Pixel CC-0
  24. 24. Thanks, questions?
  25. 25. Now it’s your turn…
  26. 26. Don’t Stop Believin’ by Juhan Sonin CC-BY 2.0
  27. 27. >Think back to your own experiences as a learner >Think about a transformative moment(that you’re willing to share) >A discovery >A conversation >A success >A failure >Don’t share it yet… Tell your story (Part 1)
  28. 28. “I remember this time when…”
  29. 29. >Making it visual >Think beginning, middle and end >What came before >Then what happened? >What came next? >Find an image that illustrates or encapsulates each of those stages >Share your story with 1 other person Tell your story (Part 2)
  30. 30. Next steps..
  31. 31. Some digital tools to try..
  32. 32. Adobe Spark >Create videos, pages and graphics >Via Browser or iOS apps >Free (needs Adobe, Facebook or Google account) >
  33. 33. Microsoft Sway >Mix media and text into scrollable page. >Incorporated into Office 365 >Free >
  34. 34. How would you do digital storytelling?
  35. 35. What opportunities can you identify for digital storytelling at your institution?
  36. 36. What will you need to consider to ensure your digital storytelling project is successful?
  37. 37. Thanks for participating What questions do you have?
  38. 38. Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND. Chris Thomson Subject specialist at jisc I have been… T 07468 722981 @cbthomson

Editor's Notes

  • Before we talk about Dragons… Tristan Schmurr Dragons CC-BY 2.0
  • …let’s talk about surprises!
    Warm up
    Turn to the person next to you and share something that happened to you that surprised you. Something out of the ordinary..
  • 5 mins
  • Background to the term DS
    Tempting to see it as a digital process – focus on production
  • This is probably a better illustration
    It’s about the story, using the affordances of storytelling to achieve something
  • Primarily, we use stories as a way of making sense of experience
    Gives experience a structure but more importantly, a point.
    Not enough in a story to say, this happened, then this happened etc.
    The meaning behind the events needs to be apparent, even if it’s never explicitly expressed
  • Thinking in metaphors, helps to think about stories in 2 particular types:
    Bit of a trope
    Intrinsic motivation to do, explore, fix, escape, improve
  • There are also stories about dragons
    Disruption from the outside, something beyond our control
    People have to deal with it or find some way to live with it

    That’s what makes it well suited to the student experience. Learning is about new experiences, assimilating them, making sense of them, overcoming difficulties (or sometimes not!)

    Going to look at this through the lens of stories to interpret what it’s like to be a student and how stories can be used for teaching and learning
  • 10 mins
  • YU stories - sample of known students (how to recruit outside of a module) - 2 x 2 hour sessions 1. story telling (image mediated dialogue) 2. IT suite. Some one to one support as needed

    exorcism, therapeutic (but facilitator may not be a trained therapist)
    communicate how the story is being used (that voice is listened to is important)

    cohort experience (Art and Design extended degree) - one introductory session by the tutor and how to handout AND tutor did her own story - used in conjunction with a summative assessment (PDP formative) - being watched alongside the assessment -

    changing the feedback given, allowing holistic assessment, understanding personal challenges, hearing hidden voices...currently developing analysis of stories (products) for module review to be fed back to students
  • 35 mins

  • Where did it all start? Two places. Throughout my childhood in the 80s – I watched re-runs of Ray Harryhausen films, Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, clash of the titans, the hero battling the mystical creature, that was my first introduction to storytelling, and art which inspired me to go to Art College where I studied Visual communication. So visual culture and narrative has been a large part of my professional career

    Hydra battle
    Jason and the Argonauts
    Ray Harryhausen
    The trailer is not separately copyrighted from the film, and trailers for films released before 1964 are in the public domain.
  • Sorry for reusing Chris’s Photo! But, it’s all Chris’s fault. Digital storytelling as I now use it was introduced to me when I went to a session by Chris Thomson on Dragons and Butterflies in Riddle Hall QUB Connect More 15. Thank you Chris!!!

    I immediately loved it and saw the potential for enhancing the student experience in Ulster, I mentioned to my head of department at coffee that I want to do something at Ulster

    One of my colleagues, Colette Murphy, was also inspired and invited Chris over to do his train the trainer session shortly afterwards

    Now, what next, for me Digital Storytelling could enhance the student experience in 3 ways, 1. in class to get across difficult topics across in an accessible and reusable format, 2. Support the Research/teaching Nexus and 3. Student generated stories, their voice, their stories, but assessed, to raise their digital capabilities, presentation skills, planning, sourcing open content etc

    So knowing what I wanted to sell I now wanted to role it out across Ulster, at the time I worked in the Office for Digital Learning so had an ideal platform, but I needed an evidence base, a success story from within Ulster that would encourage others

    I remembered a conversation I had had with an Academic member of staff, Maire Braniff who had been working with her students to get them out of the classroom and experience topics, so I piloted the process with her

  • Using Maire’s story as my evidence I rolled out across ulster in ODL – 80 participants, Academics, professional support, placement students, PHd students
    Led to a number of things

    FE – Asked by a Colleague to teach digital storytelling on a post grad cert for FE lecturers, SWC have embraced it
    PSNI New Recruits (Ulster Partnership) – Somme and Easter rising (crossing barriers)
    Ni Fire brigade (PHd Student)
    Equality and diversity unit have created stories around their policies in conjunction with UUSU
    Digital Devolution network – Research project – Heriot Watt, Aberyswth, Ulster
    And other research projects, it seems to initially be adopted for this reason

  • But, that is a good thing, there’s the Research teaching nexus, which is vitally important, so students can see the results of research and the value of what topic they are studying or as an example of good practice in their area.

    It’s been a domino effect

    Example, Professor Maurice Mulvenna came to one of my digital storytelling back in early 2017, loved it, recommended it to his research colleagues
    Used as part of MIDAS EU 2020 project for early dissemination
    Showcased at EU, now have delivered sessions omnline to Oulu, Bilbao and Leterkenny
    As a result Professor Johnny Wallace asked me to teach on Digital Communication Media MSc, Students are currently writing their scripts and storyboards, presenting these on Mon night (5 Mar)
    Once academic staff see the value in it from using to disseminate their research, the are confident to use in their teaching, which will enhance the student experience, which gave me an idea…
  • Well, it’s not quite back to the drawing board, but I am in a new department in a new role with a wider reach and a responsibility for learning enhancement across Ulster. So I am doing things more strategically.

    I support course teams through validation and over the last few months have been working with history who are using sway to get their students to tell a historical story as part of their assignment (Digital Capabilities)
    I am also working will social sciences to use Adobe spark for similar assessment replacing presentations for 2nd year students

    I’m leading the learning landscapes project which has a number of active learning pilots from all faculties
    These will be captured and disseminated via digital stories, there will also be student voices
    I will be working with occupational therapy who what to bring digital storytelling into their classroom. We have a student with autism who wants to tell their HE story as a starting point
    I have a placement student next year and as part of their induction I want them to create a digital story around the transition from School to HE, I am going to open this up to other Ulster placement students too.

    Ending on my idea, it’s all about confidence. We are implementing a Masters of Education which I will be teaching on, I am module co-ordinator for enhancing the student experience module, part of the assessment will be creating a digital story around their practice.
  • 60 mins
  • Going to give you some constraints.
    Actually easier to do this than give complete creative freedom
    People show their creativity by making something that transcends the constraints.
  • ×