DSD Project History
Once Upon a Time in Durham
Though DS finds it roots traditionally in performance art (Lambert 2013), it has been most commonly used within health practice, community and social justice work. Its application in education and in particular higher education has tended to be aimed at areas which relate to the above applications and has not had a wide reach. However, recent research and case studies that have employed it are testimony to the enormous power and potential this practice can have in supporting knowledge and understanding of both subject and the individual working within it (Jamissen et al 2017).
The digital storytelling projects and workshops in Durham were initiated by Dr Teti Dragas in 2018 having seen the potential of this form within the HE context, and specifically at Durham where this had as yet not been employed.
Teti’s work with DS and the projects and collaborators she is working with in Durham have the primary aim of building on this research within the HE context. The work is important in two key ways:
- in its aim to explore the affordances DS may bring when geared specifically towards particular disciplines and academic cultures
- it is innovative in this focus and novel as a practice in Durham (and potentially beyond)
- the development of this work supports both pedagogic, educational and methodological concerns
The work in each context and working with various collaborators from different disciplines and contexts has led to various developments in the understanding and value of this intervention in higher education contexts, what it means for pedagogy and practice and in terms of furthering and refining the frameworks, materials and practices that support its use.
Durham Centre for Academic Development: DCAD COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION GRANT
Following the conception and development of the aims of the digital storytelling project, Teti secured a DCAD Collaborative Innovation Grant (5k) with collaborators from English Studies (Dr Alistair Brown) and Archaeology (Dr Emily Williams) to begin this work and bring digital storytelling to the university and to explore its potential in the Higher Education context. The project then grew to add in colleagues from the School of Education and a number of other contexts across the university and they became part of the larger project aims. The Project was ethically approved and data collected and insights from the different contexts have already been disseminated at various conferences and are in the process of being developed into academic papers and other outputs. More information on these and other contexts where DS has been employed as well as dissemination, resources and outputs can be found in the project menu tab.
The DS Course in English studies was an extra-curricula intervention and broadly aimed at supporting students to develop digital skills and competencies, investigate their disciplinary skills and learning in order to support future employability prospectus, particularly focusing on transferrable skills in the creative industries.
DS in MA Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects focuses on providing emerging conservators with a reflective space to explore their emerging identity, and tell stories linked to their own professional biography and/or to their object biorgraphies. Students gain skills and tools not only in relation to digital media and video editing, but also in creating narratives which are evermore useful in the context of museums where multimedia is taking more and more of a dominant position.
DS in Education appears in a first year undergraduate core module Historical and Philosophical Ideas in Education, which seeks ground students into educational social, philosophical theories and ideas. Digital storytelling is embedded into the module and forms part of the summative assessment, which serves to connect personal and academic knowledge providing students with a new entry point into the discipline.
DS in the IHRR focuses on enabling academic researchers and staff in the research institute to tell their research stories in a more story-based multimedia form. It provides them with skills and tools to develop this in the dissemination of their research.
DS in Liberal Arts appears in a new innovative module that supports undergraduate students into developing their skills and competencies to support their future careers and employment prospects. Digital storytelling enables students to reflect on their discipline-specific skills, competencies and knowledge and link these to their personal attributes, charactersitics and trajectories driving them to reflect meaningfully on what these mean in the context of ther future progression and careers.