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Aims

Effective Digital and Social Media Storytelling

This is a funded MPhil action research study into the most effective ways of conveying digital and social media storytelling as a generic life skill to undergraduates, post graduates and staff, enabling them to effectively communicate ideas and information by integrating the use of a variety of digital media.

If the project is successful, it is hoped that digital and social media storytelling and communication will become a core skill offered by the University of Bolton.

The post will be placed in and supervised by the Institute for Educational Cybernetics, but will work in close collaboration both with the staff running Media programmes in the Faculty of Arts Media and Technology, who are developing the Bolton StoryWorld, on the one hand, and with the Students Union, who are setting up a YouTube channel, on the other.

The initial task will be to be to develop and run a series of open, non-certified, face-to-face workshops covering the creation and handling of digital media, together with the basics of digital and social media storytelling. This will be done using an evaluation loop with participants used to refine the effectiveness of the workshops. Then, based on this experience, transfer the content of the workshops to digital media, again using an evaluation feedback loop.

The evaluation will cover the reactions of learners to the face-to-face and online offerings, what they learned from them, and the extent to which they subsequently effectively applied the learning in their own projects and activities. It will make use of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.

The MPhil assessment will itself be through patchwork media, presenting the products, evaluation and consequent enhancements, as a digital media production of the process.

The research aspect will investigate the uptake and effective use of Digital and Social Media Storytelling, the study factors influencing this, and will propose, implement and evaluate different approaches. The factors to be considered may include institutional, organisational, pedagogic, cultural, competences, multimedia authoring and runtime web applications and software and their usability. Evaluation of the workshops and resources provided will cover the reactions of learners to the face-to-face and online offerings, what they learned from them, and the extent to which they subsequently effectively applied the learning in their own projects and activities. In the light of this analysis, one or more alternative approaches will be identified.

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