The collaborative team of Katie Pratt, Dan Trudeau, and Brad Belbas will attend a training at the nationally recognized Center for Digital Storytelling based in Berkeley, CA. The three-day training is designed specifically for educators and includes technical training, discussions of digital storytelling methodology, and resources for implementing digital storytelling in the classroom.
Based on the training, this team will then design and run a two-day, hands-on digital storytelling workshop on the Macalester College campus for 16 participants from across ACM schools. Because the Center for Digital Storytelling training is not specific to higher education or to liberal arts institutions and curriculum, Katie, Dan and Brad will do additional research on digital storytelling pedagogy which they will incorporate into the workshop design. We will review and curate relevant literature, web-based resources, and how-to videos. We will also gather input from faculty and staff contacts at other higher education institutions (for example the University of Minnesota) with experience in digital storytelling.
The faculty cohort participating in this workshop and seminar will form a community of practice across ACM colleges who will mutually foster continued learning in digital storytelling pedagogy. This community will provide a supportive environment for future communication, collaboration, and innovation around digital storytelling pedagogies and Digital Humanities more broadly. As a result of this project, we will have developed curriculum for a hands-on workshop and digital storytelling pedagogy seminar. This curriculum could be replicated in future years or at other ACM colleges.
Digital Storytelling Workshop
The workshop itself will take place over January break. It will be housed in Macalester’s digital photography laboratory, which is equipped with the necessary software. During the workshop, participants will step into the student role and produce a digital story of their own. In experiencing firsthand the conceptual and technical processes involved, faculty will be better equipped – and feel more confident – to guide students. The workshop will end with a discussion of how faculty can use these to assemble a digital storytelling assignment for a specific course they will teach in the 2016-2017 academic year, if not before then. We will also assign readings and exercises for the group members to complete before we reconvene in May.
Faculty and staff educators from any ACM school are eligible to participate in the workshop. We anticipate 8 participants from Macalester, 4 from ACM colleges within driving distance (e.g. less than four hours by car), and 4 from ACM schools who would fly in. We are requesting funds to support faculty from farther away institutions to travel and stay in the Twin Cities to attend the workshop. Our target audience is non-experts who have little prior experience with media production. We will give preference to applicants who can identify a feasible strategy to disseminate the results of their work on digital storytelling pedagogy at their own institution. We will hold one pre-workshop webinar orientation over fall semester 2015 in which we introduce digital storytelling, distribute articles and other resources, and discuss the format for the January workshop.
At the end of the spring 2016 semester, we will bring the cohort back to the Macalester campus for a one-day digital storytelling pedagogy seminar that will delve deeper into the topics of assignment design, assessment, learning outcomes, and discipline specific concerns. In the interim months, participants will have completed a series of exercises including designing a digital storytelling assignment that they would potentially incorporate into one of their classes, investigating the technical support resources on their home campuses, and finding examples of digital storytelling relevant to their discipline. The seminar is intended to make full use of these immersive experiences by fostering face-to-face interaction, group reflection, and team-based problem solving to deepen the participants’ understanding and facility with digital storytelling pedagogy.
During the seminar, participants will work in teams to refine their assignment and discuss the nuances of using digital storytelling in their courses. We will also address how digital storytelling can be used beyond the classroom to disseminate research results, help students reflect on their learning (for example by producing a digital story about their study abroad experience), or enrich community engagement. We contemplated having off-campus group members participate remotely in this seminar, but we felt the educational value and community building potential of face-to-face interaction was worthy of the additional expense need to bring the cohort to the Macalester campus a second time.
Concurrent to the above activities, Katie, Dan, and Brad will develop a website focused on digital storytelling techniques and pedagogy which will serve to support learning for workshop participants and disseminate knowledge to the broader ACM community. The website will house resources such as a bibliography, links to relevant websites, and assignments that have been designed by workshop participants. It will also allow us to document and share–via webinars and short essays–the January workshop and the spring seminar so that this learning is available to a wider audience. Finally. the blog will serve as a discussion forum for educators interested in digital storytelling.
- Summer 2015: Initiate digital storytelling pedagogy website. Background research on digital storytelling pedagogy. Outreach to contacts at ACM institutions. Recruit potential participants.
- August 2015: Katie, Dan, and Brad attend a digital storytelling training at the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, CA.
- Fall Semester 2015: Design January workshop and spring digital storytelling pedagogy seminar. Solicit applications and select participants. Hold a pre-workshop webinar orientation.
- January 2016: Two-day, hands-on digital storytelling workshop for 16 faculty from ACM institutions. This will take place in Macalester’s digital photography lab.
- Spring Semester 2016: Participants will complete readings and exercises to build on their learning from the January workshop and prepare them for the May digital storytelling pedagogy seminar.
- May 2016: One-day digital storytelling pedagogy seminar on the Macalester campus.
- On-going: Maintain website and listserve. Follow-up surveys with participants to evaluate the impact of the training on their teaching. Opportunities for the training cohort to reconvene via webinar to discuss the implementation of their digital storytelling assignments and explore possibilities for further learning.
- May 2017: Follow-up with participants to discuss the implementation of their digital storytelling assignment.