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Health Digital Storytelling ProjectsMandi Dupain PhD a & Loral L. Maguire ba Department of Wellness & Sport Sciences , Millersville University , Box 1002, 1 SouthGeorge Street, Millersville , PA , 17551-0302b Professional Training & Education , Millersville University , Box 1002, 1 South GeorgeStreet, Millersville , PA , 17551-0302Published online: 23 Jan 2013.
To cite this article: Mandi Dupain PhD & Loral L. Maguire (2007) Health Digital Storytelling Projects, American Journal ofHealth Education, 38:1, 41-43, DOI: 10.1080/19325037.2007.10598941
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19325037.2007.10598941
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American Journal of Health Education January/February 2007, Volume 38, No. 1 41
INTRODUCTIONEducators continually look for creative
ways to engage their students in the mate-rial they are teaching. With the advent ofnew media and various software programs,teachers have many more options at theirdisposal. One powerful way to motivate stu-dents to understand an academic conceptand to showcase their creativity is throughdigital storytelling. While there are manyways of describing what digital storytellingis, the majority of definitions incorporatethe use of multimedia tools, includinggraphics, audio, video, and animation to tella story. Mellon defines digital storytellingas the application of multimedia softwaretechniques to the telling of stories.1
Digital storytelling, which has recentlybecome popular in the business communityas a way of advertising, has its roots in edu-cation where teachers from all levels areemploying the strategy in areas such as his-tory, literature, writing, and science. Learn-ing becomes student-centered in that stu-
dents conduct research online, analyze, andsynthesize information, and artisticallycommunicate their findings in a digitalstory. The digital story not only reflects theirunderstanding of the subject, but also al-lows for peer-to-peer learning in a way thatencourages personality and creativity tocome alive. The purpose of this teachingidea is to provide health educators with ateaching technique to help their studentsunderstand a health concept.
DIGITAL STORYTELLING, LEARNING,AND RETENTION
Research suggests that students learnbest when they are actively involved in thelearning process.2,3,4,5 Regardless of the sub-ject matter, students working in smallgroups tend to learn more of what is taughtand retain it longer than when the samecontent is presented in other instructionalformats.6
Digital storytelling projects in the cur-ricula have the potential to increase a
Health Digital Storytelling Projects
Mandi Dupain and Loral L. Maguire
Mandi Dupain, PhD, is an assistant professorin the Department of Wellness & Sport Sciences,Millersville University, Box 1002, 1 SouthGeorge Street, Millersville, PA 17551-0302; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Loral L.Maguire is assistant director of professionaltraining & education, Millersville University,Box 1002, 1 South George Street, Millersville,PA 17551-0302.
students retention rate and comprehensionof course material due to active learning.Active learning involves activity-basedlearning experiences: input, process andoutput. According to Edgar Dales research,effectiveness of learning is due to the me-dia involved in the learning experiences.Developed in 1969, Dales Cone of Experi-ence is a model that reflects retention ratesin students based on different presentationmethods. Porta uses Dales model to positthe importance of visualizing andstorytelling, as well as the importance ofmedia.7 The digital storybook assignment
Mandi Dupain and Loral L. Maguire
42 American Journal of Health Education January/February 2007, Volume 38, No. 1
uses the teach others/immediate usemethod of learning. As illustrated in Fig-ure 1, this method achieves an average re-tention rate of 90%.8
OBJECTIVES AND ASSESSMENTTECHNIQUE
Objectives for the digital storybookproject are two-fold. Students will be ableto a) gather and process information relat-ing to a health concept; and b) develop adigital storytelling project that illustrates ahealth concept by using Windows MovieMaker 2.0.
MATERIALS AND RESOURCESIn designing the digital storytelling
project, students use Windows MovieMaker 2.0 and iMovie technology to createa narrative presentation that contains text,images, video, and sound illustrating ahealth concept. Windows Movie Maker 2.0is a free home video editing system thatships with Windows XP. It can be found inthe Windows Start menu under Accessories> Entertainment. If not found there, it canbe obtained online from www.microsoft.
com/downloads. iMovie is an alternativevideo editing system that comes free withthe Apple operating system and can be usedto complete the digital storybook.
TARGET POPULATIONThe digital storytelling project is best
suited for senior high school and collegestudents.
PROCEDUREThe project, which can be easily com-
pleted within three weeks, begins with stu-dents forming groups of four and selectinga topic related to a health concept. Projecttopics may include, but are not limited to,blood pressure testing, cardio-respiratoryassessment, flexibility assessment, bodycomposition assessment, weight manage-ment, stress, diabetes, depression, muscu-lar strength assessment, and muscular en-durance assessment. Each group thenprepares a storyboard for their digitalstorytelling project. A storyboard is a hand-drawn rough draft of how to organize thedigital storytelling project and a list of itscontents. This storyboard helps the student
figure out what media (i.e., video, still pho-tos, graphics, etc.) and text to use for eachpart of the project. The instructor shouldreview each storyboard to be sure that thecontent has been planned and is accurate.Examples of storyboards can be foundonline at www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/authoring/studio/guidbook/images/storyboard3.gif, www.sotherden.com/video101/storyboard.htm, and pblmm.k12.ca.us/TechHelp/Storyboarding. html.
After the storyboard has been reviewed,the group writes a script for the narrationof the digital storytelling project. They prac-tice reading it in order to prepare for thetaping of the narration. Finally, the groupproduces their digital storytelling projectusing Windows Movie Maker 2.0. A typicaldigital storytelling project will run for 1015 minutes.
ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUEGrading for digital storybook projects
employs a rubric. The main areas of assess-ment include the content, organization ofthe content, media resources, effectiveness,and presentation. All members of the groupreceive the same assessment score as deter-mined by criteria from the grading rubricpresented in Figure 2.
CONCLUSIONThe results of digital storytelling projects
are exciting and rewarding. Students havefound this exercise to be very informativeboth as constructors of the digital story-telling project and observers of their peers.There has also been an apparent improve-ment in the students skills and abilities withunderstanding health concepts. The digitalstorytelling project adds a practical experi-ence that supplements the lecture material.Digital storytelling projects are a powerfulway to motivate students to understand anacademic concept while building their nar-rative presentation. The method allows forpeer-to-peer learning and also fosters anincreased ownership in learning the coursematerial. The potential for increased reten-tion rates and comprehension of coursematerial is found in digital storytelling
Figure 1. Dales Learning Pyramid