Digital Narrative and the Humanities: An Evaluation of the Use of Digital Storytelling in an Australian Undergraduate Literary Studies Program

  •  Robert Garth Hipkins Clarke    
  •  Sharon Thomas    


A growing number of university teachers advocate the benefits of multimedia and digital technologies in their classrooms. Such technologies are promoted: as a means to ensure the relevance of subject disciplines; and, as tools of engagement to assist students to meet their learning outcomes. Digital storytelling or narration is one example of how educators can utilise technology to introduce innovative teaching methods. In its broadest sense, digital narration involves using digital resources in learning environments for the production by students of multimedia narratives. This paper reports on the results, over a two-year period, of an evaluation of the use of digital narratives in an advanced undergraduate unit on contemporary Australian literature in one Australian university. The evaluation explored students’ and the teacher’s experiences of digital storytelling. In particular, it examined participants’ satisfaction with and anxieties about the use of digital narratives. It also considered the issues that the use of digital narratives raises vis-à-vis the constructive alignment with the themes, aims, and objectives of the unit, as well as the kinds and levels of technical training and assistance required to support students and staff. The results of this evaluation will be of interest to academics considering the use of multimedia technologies in their undergraduate classes.

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