MOOC review - Powerful tools for teaching and learning: Digital Storytelling

University of Houston via Coursera

I had an idea that digital storytelling could be a way of briefing simulation participants on the patient’s journey or history, or to create context for a simulation. The course also appealed to me through the storytelling aspect as without knowing much about digital storytelling, it seemed like it might also provide me with some learning that I could use in scenario development.

The first impression from the course wasn’t a great one. The video lectures are not very appealing and can drag on a bit. Once I got to the lecture with the resources I was happier. I use the Coursera app on my phone to download the videos in advance and then watch them at a convenient time.

Once I had the link to the University of Houston digital storytelling resources I was able to have the video playing on my phone while I navigated around the website on my PC. I used this strategy when navigating around all of the online resources mentioned in the course and found that it worked well for me.

Most of the content in the videos is demonstrating the technical aspect of creating a digital story. There isn’t much on story writing itself, but there was enough to get you started. The peer assessment deadlines are tight – you only have three days after submission to assess your peers. This is necessary though because you need the feedback to be able to produce the next part of your digital story.

The first three weeks only took me a couple of hours each but week 4 is putting the digital story together and publishing it which took me several hours. Most of that time was spent looking for images to use so if I had produced my own it might have been quicker. For those of you who are artistically gifted or handy with a camera it might take less time.

The resources are certainly the best bit of this course. I learnt how to use search tools in Google to find content that has a creative commons licence for sharing and/or modification, and how to filter image sizes in Google searches. I have also been introduced to some websites, software and online tools that will be useful to me in my work.

I did learn a bit about storytelling that I will be able to apply to scenario development, and I can certainly see the potential for digital stories as an introduction to a scenario. I got what I wanted from the course, plus the bonus resources and Google tips so overall I am happy with the outcome. I just wish the videos had a bit more energy and enthusiasm to them.

If you would like to see the digital story I created it can be viewed here:

Kirrian Steer

La Trobe University