Telling timber tales in higher education: a reflection on my journey with digital storytelling
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AbstractThe challenges of the Higher Education landscape are the result of massification and globalisation. The general lack of preparedness in students and lack of academic literacy means that plagiarism is increasingly a challenge in written assignments. In the South African context, this is amplified, as students may be studying in their third or fourth language. Relying on students' affinity for visual learning, digital storytelling was first used as an alternative assessment method (to a written assignment) in 2011. This paper is a reflection on a lecturer's journey with digital storytelling, beginning with the first project in the Industrial Design programme at a University of Technology in South Africa. The short movie clips, known as digital stories, were created with off-the-shelf equipment and techniques, and any open source software available to the students. By evaluating the project using the lens of Authentic Learning, some of the benefits and challenges of using this alternative means of assessment could be identified. The authentic learning, the polished end products, the engagement of students with the material, the decidedly independent learning, and the collaborative practice were recognised as key benefits. The students also saw the visual orientation of the project, the digital literacy-building, and freedom of creative expression as benefits, and revealed their resourcefulness during the student-led project. This paper also acknowledges the two models of digital storytelling, the growth of communities of practice and the possibilities for further research into this growing area of learning in Higher Education.
CitationBarnes, V. (2015) 'Telling timber tales in higher education: a reflection on my journey with digital storytelling'. Journal of pedagogic development 5 (1).
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
JournalJournal of pedagogic development
Series/Report no.Volume 5
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