By Kristin E. Norris, M.S., Instructional Technology Specialist, Center for Service & Learning, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Do you wish your student’s reflections contained more evidence of their learning? Or, do you see amazing evidence of learning but want to help them capture the learning as evidence of their civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions to demonstrate to others? As a faculty member, are you interested in finding more effective ways of documenting the impact of your work on the community? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions and are interested in learning more, you need to attend the pre-conference sessions hosted by Bob Bringle and Kristin Norris at the Service Engagement Summit 2.0 March 29th.
Bob, Kristin, and the IUPUI Center for Service and Learning staff have been spending some time thinking about how to assist students in making meaning of their experiences through reflection. To that end, we began using eportfolios and have recently incorporated Digital Storytelling as well.
The process of creating an eportfolio is a reflection strategy in and of itself. It is our hope that our students stand out to future employers or on graduate school applications and feel that eportfolios might be part of the solution. ePortfolios help illustrate who they are and what they value most. Their passion for civic engagement should be recognized and at IUPUI, we are integrating eportfolios into our programs to help students document their rich experiences and the learning as a result of their engagement.
Digital Stories serve as authentic evidence of learning embedded in the student’s eportfolio. Digital Stories are “short videos that employ images (still and/or motion) and sounds (spoken words and music) in a multilayered, economical narrative the goal of which is to capture the essence of an experience. Digital Storytelling can do many things for students, but the basic function is synthesis or integration of knowledge. The act of creating a digital story necessarily involves the selection and aggregation from media, from non digital materials (scanning, capture, etc), but especially the mental process of arranging a story (Alexander, 2011). The simple act of creating a Digital Story involves reflection, compels integration of knowledge, cutting, paraphrasing, revising, and synthesizing.
For more information on the use of eportfolios and Digital Storytelling as well as strategies for implementation on your campus, register for the Service Engagement Summit pre-conference sessions. You will hear testimony from students who have created eportfolios and digital stories, faculty who integrated them into their course, lessons learned from both, and most importantly, see for yourself the power technology can have not only on improving reflection, but providing authentic evidence of impact both on students and the community.
Reilly, D. What is digital storytelling? Retrieved November 7, 2011, from http://digitalstorytellingworkinggroup.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/what-is-digital-storytelling/
Alexander, B. (2001). The new digital storytelling: Creating narratives with new media. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.