Using digital storytelling as an assessment instrument: preliminary findings at an online university
conference contributionposted on 01.05.2009, 13:03 by Jeremy B. Williams, Kanishka Bedi
‘Digital Storytelling’ is a term often used to refer to a number of different types of digital narrative including web-based stories, hypertexts, videoblogs and computer games. While the definition of digital storytelling is still evolving, this emergent form of creative work has found an outlet in a wide variety of different domains ranging from community social history, to cookbooks, to the classroom. It is the latter domain that provides the focus for this paper, specifically the online classroom in the graduate business school environment. The authors hypothesise that as – in the majority of societies – people are ‘hard wired’ both to tell and to listen to stories from a very young age and, significantly, to remember stories, the scope for deep learning using this particular pedagogical tool is considerable. The more conservative forces within business schools may not be persuaded by this idea but – whether they are or not – the fact remains that, in the knowledge economy, digital technologies have become the modus operandi for business communication. In this sense, a business school curriculum with a heavy bias towards textbased, essay-style assignments might be adjudged out-of-step with the times. A supplementary hypothesis, therefore, is that digital storytelling also represents a highly authentic form of assessment (Herrington et al. 2003), in that the digital storytelling format improves presentation skills which are highly sought in the business world today. Much of the work on digital storytelling in the education sphere has concentrated on the primary and secondary sectors. With some notable exceptions (e.g. Paull 2002), the literature on digital storytelling in the tertiary/adult education sector is quite sparse. Research on the use of digital storytelling in business schools, meanwhile, appears non-existent, hence the motivation for this study.
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