Prospective English Teachers' Digital Storytelling Experiences Through a Flipped Classroom Approach

Prospective English Teachers' Digital Storytelling Experiences Through a Flipped Classroom Approach

Hatice Sancar Tokmak (Mersin University, Mersin, Turkey), Ilker Yakin (Mersin University, Mersin, Turkey) and Berrin Dogusoy (Mersin University, Mersin, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/IJDET.2019010106
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The purpose of this case study was to explore prospective English education teachers' (PEET) experiences of digital storytelling (DST) through a flipped classroom approach. 36 prospective teachers who enrolled in a computer literacy course participated in the study. The data was collected through a demographic questionnaire, three open-ended questionnaires, and a semi-structured interview form. Four videos were prepared to give theoretical input in line with the DST phases described by Robin and presented asynchronously via Edmodo system. The results showed that PEETs described the DST process through a flipped classroom approach. described as entertaining, challenging, and instructive. Moreover, according to the results, PEETs learnt specific strategies about DST, were inspired, and had the opportunity to check their product quality, thanks to the flipped classroom approach. These results revealed insights about the design of a flipped classroom approach and the DST process.
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Digital storytelling (DST), as a combination of the art of storytelling and of digital tools such as images, audio and video, has been used for language learning (Thang, Lin, Mahmud, Ismail, & Zabidi, 2014). Robin (2008) emphasizes that although DST is not a new idea, the DST movement starting in the late 1980s with Joe Lambert’s and Dana Atchley’s efforts in Berkeley, California, the educational uses of DST are more popular because of affordable technologies. Moreover, according to Robin (2008), giving learners tasks to create their own stories individually or in a group may be the greatest use of digital stories in education, since DST has the potential to promote learners’ 21st century skills: digital literacy, global literacy, visual literacy, technology literacy, and information literacy. Most scholars, such as Green (2013), Kent (2015), Yang and Wu (2012), Kim (2014), Liu, Wu, Chen, Tsai, and Lin, (2014), support using the DST process for language learning and state that learners use both writing and speaking skills during digital stories creation.

Yang and Wu (2012) summarize the theory behind the DST process: “DST provides a clear procedure that helps instructors design instructional activities easily, based on the “learning by doing” immersion method of constructivism.” (p.340). For educational purposes, the DST process provides a climate in which learners construct their own learning while creating their own digital stories on a topic. Language learners can write their own stories in the foreign language they are trying to learn, find/ create images representing important points of the stories, and use software to combine their story images with their stories. This indicates that the DST process requires language learners to use both writing and speaking skills, in addition to technology use skills.

However, the DST process has some challenges. Kent (2015) states that these challenges may be related to creators’ low multimedia literacy, or to their limited access to hardware/software for creating digital stories. Moreover, Robin (2006) points out other challenges: students’ difficulty formulating storytelling for educational purposes, and copyright / intellectual property problems involving the creation and dissemination of digital content. English Education pre-service teachers had difficulty creating digital stories, especially during the writing stories step, according to the research study findings of Sancar-Tokmak and Yanpar-Yelken (2015) . As noted by Lo and Hew (2017) “…flipped classroom approach enables teachers to spend more in-class time on student-centered instructions such as group discussion and teachers’ individual assistance…” (p. 1). All these challenges may be tackled by giving more space for the DST process itself, rather than its theoretical aspects, as formulated in this study through flipped classroom teaching.

Thus, the benefits of the DST process depend on how much the storytellers could concentrate on the process rather than its challenges. For that reason, this study aimed to contribute to the literature on present storytellers’ (the PEETs in this case) experiences with the DST process through a flipped classroom approach, by focusing on steps they followed, their feelings /thoughts about a flipped classroom approach’s effects on the process, the challenges they met, and their solutions. Moreover, there are limited studies investigating the DST process through a flipped classroom approach among the reviewed literature. This study may also contribute to the literature by being an example for the use of a flipped classroom approach through the DST process.

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