This past academic year, about a dozen University of Richmond faculty re-conceptualized their courses to integrate digital storytelling as a learning activity to encourage students to become more engaged with course content. An emphasis on reflection, revised narrative, and presenting through new media sought to make the curricula more personally relevant to the student, while challenging their abilities to analyze and critique. Additionally, there was a need to introduce students to a variety of technology tools used to produce new media and increase their ITFluency. The conceptual and technological framework of digital storytelling afforded that.
As of May 2010, almost 300 students had produced digital stories in courses throughout the humanities, social sciences and sciences, many of which existed on Youtube. However, collecting and aggregating these exemplars of student learning and sustaining it in a community of practice had proved to be a challenge due to technological constraints and lack of infrastructure. Thus, The Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology at Richmond explored the possibilities of using Omeka to collect and organize these artifacts from students’ personal learning environments, ultimately creating an e-portfolio of exemplary digital stories to be used as both an archive and as a teaching tool.
I am interested in sharing our experiences with this project – from publishing with (and repurposing) Omeka to the issues that concern our faculty who incorporate new media production in their curricula. Moreover, I would welcome any constructive feedback that could be offered to help strengthen our platforms usability, and would look forward to discussing best practices that encourage Humanities faculty to engage with narrative and new media.
The development version is located here: urctlt.org/nmn