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CPSC 106: Digital Storytelling

Basic Course Information

Course Description

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 The Wikipedia articles on Digital Storytelling defines it rather succinctly as “using digital tools so that ordinary people can tell their own real-life stories.” It then goes on to elaborate as follows:

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Digital Storytelling is an emerging term, one that arises from a grassroots movement that uses new digital tools to help ordinary people tell their own ‘true stories’ in a compelling and emotionally engaging form. These stories usually take the form of a relatively short story (less than 8 minutes) and can involve interactivity.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 The term can also be a broader journalistic reference to the variety of emergent new forms of digital narratives (web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertexts, fan art/fiction, and narrative computer games).

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 As an emerging area of creative work, the definition of digital storytelling is still the subject of much debate.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 There are a number of ideas and assumptions here that we will be interrogating over the course of this semester, namely the idea of “ordinary people,” “true stories,” and the debate around the meaning of this term. The above article is rather vague about the details surrounding this emerging genre of narrative, and it is our responsibility to interrogate the term digital storytelling within the cultural context of our moment. This means each of you will be experimenting with our own digital platform for storytelling, as well as placing yourself within a larger narrative of networked conversation on the internet at large.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 This course will require you to both design and build an online identity (or extend an existing one) and narrate your process throughout the fifteen week semester. Given this, you will be expected to openly frame this process and interact with one another throughout that course as well as engage and interact with the world beyond as a necessary part of such a development.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 In many ways this course will be part storytelling workshop, part technology training and, most importantly, critical interrogation of the digital landscape all around us that is ever increasingly defining the the way we communicate with one another.

Learning Objectives

  1. 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0
  2. Develop a deeper sense of why we create and value stories and how nascent communication technologies are affecting ideas of narrative.
  3. Develop an online identity that you will use to narrate your process as a creative practitioner and network with a community of peers to support your growth.
  4. Explore a variety of digital technologies for the explicit purpose of employing them to create various narrative forms.

Online Learning Environment Description

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 The CPSC 106: Digital Storytelling course, also affectionately known as ds106, will be designed around the principle of making students sysadmins of their learning.  Each student will be asked at the beginning of the semester to get their own webhosting account as well as their own domain and set them up.  After that they will be installing a WordPress blog (or some other application) and regularly doing the course work on their own space. Their work will be feeding into a centeral course space that is located at http://ds106.us This site will act as the aggregated nerve center of the course, this is where the students assignments, reflections, and miscellaneous work will be re-published.  What’s more, this will also include various work from people around the internet who are not taking this course for credit, but actually taking the course for fun. ds106.us will be the hub for discovery, reading, and commenting on one another’s work. There will be a unique tag for all the students who are part of the UMW online course so that anyone can filter for just their posts easily.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 Another element of the online learning environment will be a centralized assignment repository designed by Martha Burtis, you can find it here, that students can submit assignments to. What’s more, everyone will be tasked with doing X number of assignments from each category over the course of the semester. They will also be tasked with sharing how they did the assignments as well as creating tutorials.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 Finally, there will be several other spaces where students will communicate and interact online. Twitter has traditionally been an integral part of this course and all students participating for credit will be expected to have a twitter account and use it throughout the semester. The course hashtag is #ds106, and that is yet another way to keep in immediate contact with both me and fellow classmates. Additionally, students will be asked to get a Flickr account to publish the images they take/create over the course of the semester. They will also be expected to get a Youtube account (or Vimeo, Blip.tv, etc.) from where they will publish the videos. Needless to say, both Flickr and YouTube are social media network in their own right, and additional conversations, interactions, and connections will happen there.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 In many ways the online learning environment for ds106 is the web, which is very much in keeping with the learning objectives for the course. This course is about tracking the means through which the web is changing some of the traditional notions we have about narrative, not to mention community, interaction, and physical presence. ds106 is dedicated to interrogating the web as a narrative platform as well as a space through and by which we shape our identities in radically new ways—the online e-learning environment needs to reflect that directly—and giving students control over their work and how and where they share, interact, and relfect upon is the basis for just about everything that follows.

Syllabus

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 Download the file

Value One: Community

Ideas for Building Community

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 Community will be fostered through interaction on blog comments, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Interaction is something that many students are initially hesitant to enagage in, particularly online, so as an instructor it is my job to a) model what I expect from them by commenting thoughtfully and regularly and b) create an environment wherein feedback and encouragement is part of the experience. In many ways, the opening up of ds106 to the wider web makes the ideas of community and interaction that much more powerful because students will soon realize that they are not working within a bubble, but rather learning out in the open on the web.

Community and the Course Learning Objectives

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 The community around ds106—and there already is a rather large and dedicated community for this course—is part and parcel of the learning objectives for the course. This course is about tracking the means through which the web is changing some of the traditional notions we have about narrative, not to mention community, interaction, and physical presence. ds106 is dedicated to interrogaing the web as a narrative platform as well as a space through and by which we shape our identities in radically new ways online. The community of ds106 is of and on the web and thus provides an ideal environment for the objectives that undergird this course. What’s more, by giving students control over their work and the various fragmented online spaces and services from which they do the work for this class they will be expected to share, interact, and relfect upon the web as a space where community defines one’s learning experience.

Value Two: Interactivity

Ideas for Building Interactivity

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 I think I answered this in the question about Community, but lest I fail this process, let me reiterate that community will be built through a sense of modeling and demonstration of commenting and feedback. I think it is through this commenting, feedback, and presence online that community is built. So, in short, I see the relationship between interactivty and community for the purposes of my class so tightly linked that it becomes hard for me to separate them.

Interactivity and the Course Learning Objectives

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 If community is built through interaction and regular feedback, then it follows that interaction is a core value for showing the members of this course how discourse on the web is something they need to own, take responsibility for and interrogate.  All key elements of ds106′s learning objectives.

Value Three: Active Learning

Ideas for Building Active Learning

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 I think ds106 is in many ways predicated on active learning in that students in this course are regularly charged with making things. Whether that being taking digital photos, recording and editing audio, shooting and editing video, or remixing all of the above. So, for example, in each section of the course (visual, design, audio, video, mashup, etc.) student swill be given a series assignments that they can choose from. If these assignments don’t meet their fancy then they have the option to create their own. This idea of active learning which makes the student more than a consumer of knowledge—but in many ways an architect of the class, if not a teacher of the subject matter—is key in my mind for re-visioning the role of active learning in the classroom.

Interactive Learning and the Course Learning Objectives

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 Again, I think ds106 was has evolved over the last two years very much with the principle of active learning as core to the process of creating work for the class, but also to the very ethos of the course. I think the learning objective that most closely informs this is the idea of encouraging students to “explore a variety of digital technologies for the explicit purpose of employing them to create various narrative forms.” DS106 is about pushing students to explore a variety of possibilite and then realize them. That in many ways is at the heart of this course, the exploration that is followed up by the doing, which might mean the making, the sharing, or the relfection.

Value Four: Reflection

Ideas for Building Reflection

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 On a regular basis every student is not only charged with creating a series of assignments, but also sharing how they created it and reflecting on the process. Reflection, in an ideal world, would be baked into just about everything they write over the course of the smester. However, it is with the ds106 final project, which is basically something they dream up and execute, that I am hoping they will take the process of relfection to a new level by writing about and sharing around something they think and care about deeply.

Reflection and the Course Learning Objectives

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 I think all three of the basic course objectives for ds106 demands relfection upon how and why you did something in a certain way. It seems to me that the advent of the age of blogging was at its best a coming out of reflection from those secret diaries to the world of the web. A necessary emergence for us to connect and learn from each on a scale that was heretofore impossible. Reflection is the gray matter of the oepn web, and ds106 students need to feed that global brain.

Value Five: Self-Directed Learning

Ideas for Self-Directed Learning

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 I love these topics because they all play into ds106 beautifully ;)

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 Once again, the idea of self-directed learning will be built into ds106. Every week the students will be tasked with reading, reflecting, and creating a partcilar series of assignments that they choose. It is the introduction of choice in ds106 that really allows each student to not only frame their own path, but make their path potentilly unique. Additionally, students will choose their own final project that they must write a rationale for and defend. What’s more, this final project must be something they are intensely passionate about and want to spend 6 or 7 weeks of the class regularly writing about and sharing with the world wide web.

Self-Directed Learning and the Course Learning Objectives

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 I think self directed learning is at the heart of giving students their own web space, encouraging them to become sysadmins of their own learning, and pushing them to openly write, reflect upon, and share those things that they are passionate about and deeply invested in. What’s more, it forces them to come to terms with what things they want to share and what things they would like to remain private. Part of defining one’s learning path necessarily forces students to interrogate what they are comfortable and uncomfortable with sharing—I would hope this is part of an internalized interrogation of what the possibilities and potential pitfalls the open web poses for all of us.

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Source: http://oliproposals.umwblogs.org/2011/12/01/cpsc-106-digital-storytelling/?replytopara=8