Widening the Lens: A Pathway to Advancing Management Education through Storyboards

Widening the Lens: A Pathway to Advancing Management Education through Storyboards

Janine M. Pierce (University of South Australia, Australia) and Donna M. Velliaris (Eynesbury Institute of Business and Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9691-4.ch002
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Abstract

To meet the challenge of bridging the digital divide among Net Generation students and Higher Education (HE) lecturers, a ‘Storyboard' methodology was piloted at the South Australian Institute of Business and Technology (SAIBT). Within an Associate Degree in Management program, a digital story-telling assessment task was introduced into a ‘Communication in Organisations' course to augment culturally diverse students' engagement with the discipline, as well as advance their English-language proficiency and academic achievement. Photos were gathered and shared over the trimester to capture students' reflections on what they were learning and how that felt at the time. Students then digitally collated the photos into a final original and introspective photo-story ‘film' that encapsulated the challenges, realisations and successes of the teaching and learning journey.
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Introduction

This chapter is focused on the reasoning behind, strategies for, and reflections of a Storyboard assessment task piloted at the South Australian Institute of Business and Technology (SAIBT) in a tertiary-level ‘Management’ course. Nowadays, students are ‘connected’ and ‘networked’ by way of blogging, chatting, downloading, e-learning, Facebooking, gaming, googling, messaging, navigating, posting, skyping, surfing, tagging and tweeting etcetera. Observations of students indicate a trend in the avoidance of traditional books and/or journals as reference materials. With this in mind, the Storyboard assessment adds to the portfolio of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) that contribute to visual and audio-based educational tasks that better reflect the learning preferences of today’s tech-savvy student cohorts.

Increasingly, Higher Education (HE) lecturers need to become ‘partners in learning’ with their students. That is, lecturers need to view students as contributors of knowledge and allow them to participate in the co-creation of content (Beldarrain, 2006, p. 149). It would seem advantageous, therefore, to improve understanding of how students today use and make sense of technologies to enable integration of more-advanced and technologically challenging tasks. Additionally, such an understanding may provide essential information for educators who employ social networks to communicate with them and/or those who are contemplating integrating such tool(s) in the future (Blattner & Lomicka, 2012).

This chapter is predominantly ‘descriptive’ and has been conceived as a ‘journey’ in applying a new method for engaging ‘Net Generation’ (Net Gen) students, particularly those from diverse backgrounds. As will be elucidated, a ‘Storyboard’ (digital story-telling) task was piloted at SAIBT through the Associate Degree in Management program in a course titled ‘Communication in Organisations’. The primary aim that underpinned the delivery of this assessment task was to captivate students’ senses and move with the times. This chapter first presents the why and then the how for implementing a new instructional methodology that (a) met the preferred learning style of ‘Net Gen’ students, while crucially (b) fulfilled the requirements of accredited programs and courses SAIBT offers as a pre-university pathway provider.

Throughout this work, the term ‘international students’ or ‘students’ is specific to individuals enrolled in SAIBT on temporary Australian student visas and who are predominantly Non-English Speaking Background (NESB). In defining ‘Storyboard’ or ‘Storyboarding’, Branham, Wahid and McCrickard (2007) published:

... a design mechanism borrowed from outside the realm of computing. Historically, they have been used primarily in the movie and advertising industry... Storyboarding has been adopted as a tool for illustrating key sequences of user-system interaction. Storyboarding is the process of describing a user’s interaction with the system over time through a series of graphical depictions and units of textual narrative. Key aspects of a Storyboard are the portrayal of time, the inclusion of people and emotions, the inclusion of text... (p. 2)

For the purpose of this chapter, there is scant literature on innovations pertaining to pre-university ‘pathway’ programs. This work contributes to bridging that gap. Pathway institutions offer valuable partnerships for the HE sector and it is, therefore, beneficial to conduct research into avenues for strengthening the overall ‘international student’ experience.

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