The Use of Digital Storytelling in Teacher Education

İslim, Ömer Faruk
Yüksel Arslan, Pelin
Yıldırım, İbrahim Soner
This study was conducted in one of the top Turkish Universities during the 2014-2015 academic year as a part of Principles and Methods of Instruction course offered to second year College of Education students. As a requirement of this course, students (pre-service teachers) were asked to design and develop three to five minutes long digital stories in order to teach a topic to their prospective of students. At the beginning of the semester, students were informed about digital storytelling, tools to be used for designing and how to develop digital stories. Then, some examples and non-examples were presented in order to clarify what is being expected from them. After that, students were asked to shape their groups consisted of four people, decide their topic, and inform the instructor within a week. Groups and the topics approved by the instructor were allowed to start to design and develop their digital stories. Students designed and developed their digital stories within a two-month period that they got support about software and feedback about their digital stories. After the time was over, each group presented their digital stories to their classmates. A peer-review process was utilized during the evaluation of digital stories. Each digital story was evaluated by other students by using a digital story evaluation rubric and graded by the average. The actual data of the current study were collected via focus group interviews conducted with each group. There were 13 groups, and total of 52 students. Average duration of each interview was around 15-minutes. During the interviews, students were asked about their topic, the reasons of choosing that topic, design process of digital storytelling, the software they used, the reasons of selecting that software, advantages of this assignment, and further advices for using this assignment in forthcoming years. When students were asked about the reasons of choosing their topic, the most common answer given by five groups was being interested or being interesting. Five groups mentioned that either the topic was interesting or they were interested with the topic. The second most common reason given by four groups was being easy to tell. Four groups mentioned that they chose the topic due to well-defined steps that they could tell the others easily. Other than these two most common reasons, being knowledgeable about the topic was mentioned by two groups, having trouble about the topic and necessity were mentioned by one group each. When students were asked about their design process it was revealed that eight out of thirteen groups prepared storyboards, while five of them did not. All the groups prepared storyboard mentioned that preparing a storyboard prior to development process helped them to accelerate development process, and helped them to use time more efficient. Furthermore, when students asked about the software they used and the reasons of choosing that software, it was seen that each group used more than one software based on their needs. Based on the students’ responses the most used software was “MS Moviemaker” by seven groups. Besides “Adobe Photoshop”, “GoAnimate”, and “Sony Vegas Pro” were used by two groups; “iMovie”, “Active Presenter”, “Blender”, “Videoscribes”, “iTunes”, “Natural reader”, “Vivedo”, “Zimmer twins”, and “Pawtoon” was used by one group for similar purposes. The most common reason of selecting these programs was having prior knowledge about that program was mentioned by all the groups. Furthermore, being simple and easy to use, having all the features they 235 need, and being effective were the other reasons mentioned by two different groups. Moreover, being free was mentioned by one group as a reason of choosing that software. After the questions of design and development phases, researchers asked to students to evaluate the overall process of digital storytelling. All groups stated that the processes of digital storytelling were useful as an instructional pattern. When the students were questioned about the advantages in detail, most common advantage mentioned by ten groups was “having deep information and learning about the related subject”. The second most common advantage stated by four groups was “having opportunity to implement the learned subject”. Furthermore, the other advantages could be listed as “encouraging to investigate” and “providing to learn the process of design and developmental phase” by three groups each, “learning new software” and “making the lesson more joyful” by two groups each, and “developing critical thinking”, “supporting teamwork”, “providing learning the subjects which are more complex during the lessons”, “developing a new product”, and “supporting knowledge share” by one groups each. Lastly, students were asked to keep using this assignment in forthcoming years and their suggestions to improve it. All groups suggested to keep using this assignment in a similar way, but they offered to discuss the digital story ideas prior to start design and development of digital stories, to be introduced more detailed about the process and the software, and to be given longer duration due to other projects they are responsible for.
Citation Formats
Ö. F. İslim, P. Yüksel Arslan, and İ. S. Yıldırım, “The Use of Digital Storytelling in Teacher Education,” presented at the AECT, (17 - 21 Ekim 2016), Las Vegas, 2016, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: