Pre-Service Language Teachers' Experiences in the Digital Storytelling Process

Pre-Service Language Teachers' Experiences in the Digital Storytelling Process

Melih Derya Gürer
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1029-2.ch005
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This study investigated pre-service language teachers' experiences and capabilities in digital storytelling (DST) about creating digital stories and their views on the use of DST in language teaching. A case study design was adopted. Eighty-three pre-service teachers participated in the study, and they created 25 digital stories. Data of this study came from the evaluation of digital stories and open-ended questionnaire. Pre-service teachers' digital stories were analyzed using rubrics and subjected to descriptive statistics. Moreover, the data from an open-ended questionnaire on pre-service teachers' perceptions regarding the DST in language teaching were analyzed using content analysis. The results revealed that despite being novice DST-developers, pre-service teachers were capable of creating digital stories. They reported that DST had the potential to enhance students' learning outcomes. In addition, they were eager to adopt DST in their future teaching. However, they complained that DST required too much time and effort with information and communication and pedagogical skills.
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Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication and has widely been used by teachers at all levels of education, from preschool to adult education (Kocaman-Karoglu, 2014). It has also been reported as an effective instructional method to facilitate learning outcomes in language, science, math, and technical education (Sharda, 2007). Matthews-DeNatale (2008, p.2) states that “storytelling and learning are inextricably intertwined because the process of composing a story is also a process of meaning-making”. Hence, the integration of new technologies into classrooms has changed the way how educators utilize instructional strategies, methods and techniques to help students construct their own knowledge more effectively. With the advances in technology in general and specifically in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), today a variety of educational tools such as Web 2.0 or mobile applications are available. Such improvements have also affected the way teachers design, develop, and use stories for teaching purposes and promoted the emergence of concepts such as digital storytelling (DST). While storytelling has long been employed in educational contexts, DST is relatively a newer idea in education compared to the conventional storytelling (Sadik, 2008).

Digital storytelling has been used for teaching and learning for nearly two decades. Teachers and researchers have been searching for the effects of DST on different areas at different levels. Previous research has indicated that although DST has been seen as a complex, comprehensive, and difficult process by teachers and students (Sadik, 2008; Sancar-Tokmak & Yanpar-Yelken, 2015), it has had positive influences on students’ learning, motivation and engagement, attitudes towards lesson, and thinking skills (Hung, Hwang, & Huang, 2012; Robin, 2016; Schmoelz, 2018). Furthermore, research provided evidence on the positive effects of DST process on in- and pre-service teachers’ and students’ information and communication technology (ICT) skills (Kocaman-Karoglu, 2014).

Morra (2013) offered eight steps in DST process with scriptwriting as the third step. The script of a digital story is the most important component that students will create. If the script of a digital story is poorly written, it will not be possible to improve it with fascinating transitions and animations. Well designed and written script is a requirement for a good and quality digital story. Digital story writers should be taught on the components of a story, how these components are formed, and how they interact with each other throughout the process.

Researchers have shown that a proper understanding of how to integrate technology into teaching, professional development on technology integration into classroom, the attitudes of teachers, and their perception on the usefulness and ease of use of technology are key factors in the uptake of technology by teachers into teaching (Cuhadar, 2018; Graziano, 2018; Singer & Maher, 2007). The teacher has a significant role in the integration of instructional technology such as DST into the teaching process. Teachers’ professional development in using technology and technology integration into teaching positively influences their perception in the easy use of the technological tool and integration of the tool into teaching practice (Teo, 2009). If pre-service teachers experience DST process at undergraduate level, it is more likely they will improve their skills and comfort levels with DST, and integrate it into their teaching in their future classroom.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Schema: A general knowledge structure that provides a framework for organizing clusters of knowledge.

Digital Storytelling: A new form of storytelling art combining narratives, digital images, audio, and videos.

Story Mapping: A visual tool showing the facts, thoughts, and relations among the concepts in a story.

Learning Design Process: A pedagogical framework for learners to create digital stories. It includes pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution phases.

Instructional Digital Stories: Digital stories specifically aimed to be used for teaching course contents.

Story Grammar: A framework including the basic elements of a story and the rules that explain the relationship between these elements.

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