DTC 354 Digital Storytelling examines the combination of computational technologies, traditional storytelling arts, and creative practice to produce stories that are creative, engaging, and often, interactive. The use of different digital media is integral to how, why, and to whom the story is told. Students develop iteracy regarding different approaches to digital storytelling, fluency by making examples, and skills with individual or collaborative approaches. Throughout the course, students engage in thoughtful critique. Exploring questions and practice associated with this approach to digital storytelling can develop narrative techniques and skills with different media and learn how they might apply to critical thinking, communication, digital literacy, and civic engagement. Previously taught: 2015, 2014, and 2013. 2014 and 2013 course projects.
Digital storytelling, broadly defined, combines digital media features and affordances with storytelling techniques to create and share stories. Specifically, digital storytelling may use animation, audio, graphics, multiplayer games, music, narration, social media, video, Web publishing, writing, and more to help tell stories. Digital stories may be documentaries, essays, historical / eye witness accounts, memoirs, narratives, research findings / presentations, and more, each speaking to aspects of human culture and creative endeavor.
Combining computational technologies with storytelling techniques may extend the ability to share stories more easily and to a much broader audience. But, the affordances and features provided by digital media are not the story. Rather, they are a tool for helping provide an engaging storytelling experience. With digital storytelling, the essential ingredients of a good narrative remain relevant, as does interest in telling and listening to good stories. This course explores the opportunities.
The course framework considers literacy, fluency, and approach.
Literacy focuses on
What is possible? What can be done with digital storytelling?
What forms/genres exist?
What are the prompts for experimentation/remix, creative practice?
What tools to use
What skills to acquire
How to put your these resources, and your knowledge and skill into practice
Approach can be either individual or collaborative (perhaps required for more complex/ambitious projects.
Course activities include lectures, discussions, collaborative workshops, individual and collaborative course projects, and presentations. We will read and discuss theoretical approaches associated with digital storytelling. We will put that theory into practice by making our own digital narratives. The goal is to provide you a teaching / learning environment where you can work through challenges, complete projects, and document your program learning.
Questions to consider include . . .
How might the use of specific digital media enrich the storytelling experience?
Can digital storytelling serve as a form of tinkering apparati for collaborative thinking/creating, as a mode of knowledge production?
How do we make the form of digital storytelling communicate its content effectively?
How do we build interactivity into a narrative?
How might we apply storytelling elements to the production and experience of narrative delivered on different digital media platforms?
How might digital storytelling facilitate the creation and consumption of knowledge that will engage, enlighten, and involve diverse readers/interactors/participants?
Addressing these questions, we can develop narrative techniques and skills with different media and learn how they might apply to critical thinking, communication, digital literacy, and civic engagement.
There are two starting points for this course structure. The first is an observation by Marcel Duchamp, "Art is what happens when you take an object out of context and give it a new thought." (Marcel Duchamp, in Calvin Tomkins, Duchamp. London 1997)
The second is a project proposed by Leigh Landy, who calls the form of recycling suggested by Duchamp "1% tilt" (142). Landy suggests the following project: use current radio broadcasts as found sound, take something known and change it ever so slightly (1% tilt) so that it becomes something new, and then present it as a work of art (144). (Leigh Landy. "Re-composing Words." Playing with Words: The Spoken Word in Artistic Practice. Cathy Lane, ed. London: CRISAP, 2008. 140-144.)
Course schedule Fall 2017
NOTE: Subject to change.
Fall 2017 schedule information to be added . . .
I maintain a dedicated archival webpage for student projects from DTC 354 Digital Storytelling and other classes. Learn more and listen.