8 Steps to Great Digital Storytelling

Samantha Borra shares 8 specific steps in her article to lead to great digital storytelling. I found the cycle image itself to be supportive of my journey to becoming an effective storyteller. I’m a fan of visual supports, but it was also great to see that the components resonate with much of what I’ve already learned through this course as well as mirror what we do with our response pieces. This will be helpful when we engage in our own storytelling.

The one piece that was new and surprising was an introductory bullet focused on collaboration. In my experience thus far it has felt someone isolated and personal, rather than collaborative. I have shared out my stories and received feedback from other students, but this type of peer learning seems almost an afterthought. I wish that the article would have offered more information as to where collaboration shows up in the stages. I’m curious as to where there’s a larger impact – planning, drafting, revision, etc.

One addition I might make to this cycle is to embed the feedback step throughout. We’ve learned that especially for students, frequent and EARLY feedback is critical. I was reminded of Austin’s Butterfly. If his teacher had allowed him to go further than a quick sketch before engaging in peer feedback, would he have been so ready to accept critique? I believe we need to place a greater sense of urgency around timely feedback instead of waiting until the end.



3 thoughts on “8 Steps to Great Digital Storytelling

  1. I agree that feedback is very important especially in the early stages of a project. As a visual learner, I found the cycle image very helpful in remembering all the stages. Another very helpful aspect of the article is that it presents a number of resources right after each step, which makes it easier for the reader to explore them further after reading each step. The author mentions that the first stage of developing a digital story is to “begin with an idea”, and for me this seems to be one of the most difficult steps. I think collaboration at this first stage would be extremely helpful. I envision this step as a collaborative brainstorming session where a group of peers share possible digital stories topics/themes, something similar to the DS106 Assignment Bank, and then we would choose a topic and develop a digital story. The second step could be something the students work independently but for the third step, the script could be written in a Google document which would be shared with a number of peers who would provide early feedback.


    1. Hi Kelly! I loved taking a refreshing look at the steps to digital storytelling. I reviewed this article a few weeks ago in my search for a scholarly article, and I passed it over to reflect on in favor of another. In reading your review, I began to also think about how the collaboration piece comes into play in this process. You site “Austin’s Butterfly,” which is a phenomenal video for showcasing the feedback and revision loop, and I believe that this is one of those ways collaboration comes into play in the digital storytelling creation process. Early and timely feedback infused into this process after completing a few steps at a time can engage students in meaningful conversations and get them thinking about how to make their stories and the stories of their peers awesome. In terms of our class, I feel that the purpose of our blogs has been more of a chance to explore different types of storytelling and to be able to experiment with different story types in a non-judemental way. I also think of it as less of an afterthought and more of a way to get us comfortable critiquing digital stories of others before we start to pick apart the digital stories of our peers (which can be more personal). This can feel isolated, but I think the peer commenting and conversations like these help to bring back that collaborative effect. (Posted on 10/2/16 at 10:02 PM)


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