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Digital Stories

Digital storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories. With the technology available today, digital storytelling is easy to effectively integrate into learning.

Example of a digital story that was produced by a CEHD first-year student:


Creating Effective Digital Stories

There are four main steps to creating a digital story for an assignment:

1. Plan

  • You must select a topic and do some research on it. You will be asked to submit a written “treatment” delineating what your digital story will be about. A treatment is essentially just a short summary that outlines the issue you want to address, your theory or opinion on the topic, and how you plan to present the information.
  • After the instructor returns the treatment with comments, you should submit a more formal summary of your digital story that will map out the desired product in more detail. This draft of the treatment should include specific research citations, names of people you would like to interview (and contact info if possible), and a list of the digital assets you would like to use, such as images or video (even if those digital assets have yet to be captured).
  • You should also list where you plan to get the equipment you will use to record and edit the digital assets you plan to use, whether it be your own equipment or borrowed through a checkout center like the SMART commons.

2. Produce

  • You will need to schedule time to gather and record all the digital assets to be used in your digital story, and also to edit and publish your story. 
  • You will also be required to submit a draft copy of your digital story to the instructor one or two weeks before the final digital story is due. This forces students to begin using the editing software in advance of the final project due date, hopefully allowing you to face the challenge of using new software without the pressure of a hard deadline.
  • Cite your sources: Make sure to take the time to add text to your digital story, citing where your research is taken from. If you want your digital story to be respected in the same way that your academic papers would be, you need to cite your sources. Sometimes you can only add your citations to the end of your digital story--this is okay, but it's preferred that you cite your sources onscreen at the time that you reference them.

3. Publish

  • You will need to learn how to export a self-contained video file from the editing software to share with your instructor.
  • Once a video file has been exported from the editing software, the video file will be uploaded to MediaMill and processed.
  • MediaMill tutorials and support can be found on the MediaMill site.
  • Once the file has been processed in MediaMill, it can be "shared" with the instructor, who can then collect all the digital stories into one project and create the derivatives and links necessary to post the videos online or display them at a showcase.
  • The process of sharing a video in MediaMill should be considered turning in the assignment to the instructor. At that point the instructor has control over the digital story. 
  • The digital stories should be submitted to the instructor far enough in advance to give the instructor time to both review them for grading as well as add links to the course management site or even a public website.

4. Distribute

Now the digital stories can be shared with each other and the world! Sharing digital stories on the Internet is easy. Ideas can be found on our video resources page.

Detailed Production Instructions

There are many resources available on the web to aid you in video production. For instructions specific to your work at the CEHD, check out our page on creating a video project.

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