In document My Story. Digital Storytelling across Europe for Social Cohesion (Page 155-157)

Elisabeth Arnesen




Many students have used the opportunity to leave comments to the open questions. This is a new experience that I find significant. Usually students don’t take long to fill out evaluation forms, but by 2015 for instance students spent up to one hour filling out the forms. I see this as a sign that they mark this as something special. This fact also supports and elaborates the answers in the quantitative part of the evaluation forms. In my analyses of the free text responses I found the following themes that the students emphasize: learning together, reflection and sharing stories like these examples illustrate: “ to take part in other students1 experiences and feelings”, “to see how my fellow students shared strong feelings through pictures and sound”, “ got more self-reflection about myself and my work” and “to be able to visualize my thoughts and feelings”.


The next source of studying the students’ learning process is the learning situation as such. In this section, I draw on my experiences as teacher of this course. Students receive information at the start of the course about the workshop that they will attend after the placement period. At the practice preparatory seminar, an introduction was given including showing some earlier student stories. In the first year, several students had resistance and prejudice against sharing their stories. “What can I learn from other people’s experiences?” was a common comment. Through the years we have experienced that the preparation help counter such objections.


The films are also a source of documenting the students’ own learning process. It is produced approx. 50 movies per years, but not all are released for further treatment. Students are asked to complete a confidentiality statement and publishing permission where they are give directions for further use of the films. Should they ask for the film to be deleted, it will be done immediately and the confidentiality statements and publishing permissions will be archived to keep track of further use of the movies.

I have first reviewed all the films to see what topics the students have touched in their movies. To that end I have continued a form developed by Grete Jamissen and Ester

Buchmann https: // gjamissen.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/analyseark mal.esther.pdf (table 2). My problem in the Master’s thesis, however, required more than just categorizing students’ films in themes. In my research, I would like to look at the film’s potential to contribute to reflection. I have therefore provided the form with a column for reflection.

Dramatic architecture

Telling voice Pictures and text Music- and soundtrac and

other effects


Table 2. Analysis model

Haug and Jamissen present in particular three topics that they consider relevant for the evaluation of the film as the product. 1. Contents: composition and dramaturgy 2. Expression: technical quality and aesthetic and artistic qualities 3. Interaction and whole: Create layers in a composite text (Haug and Jamissen 2015, 63) When it comes to films, it’s a multimodal product of both text, images and sound. However, it appears that, regardless of such systematic assessment criteria, researchers in the field find that what is perceived as a good digital storytelling is largely about what we are unable to put into words - the so-called “stomach feeling” (Jamissen 2013; Haug and Jamissen 2015, 62). Some of our students are technically skilled and have a lot of knowledge about making movies, but they do not always make the films that get the most attention. Some of the movies have this undefined that only hits us and which is difficult to put words on. That is why I want to focus less on assessment criteria for the product, but rather emphasize how the product / film can open for further reflection and use. Then I have needed the observations of the students’ work process and, not least, the views, reactions and discussion of the films on the film show.

Through these films, the students have shown how digital storytelling has helped them bring something new and different from what they have described in their practice assignments. They have been told more stories from their own workplace, both through content and methods they use. They show through the films that they have applied both syllabus and new theory in practice and manage the way to integrate theory in their practice period. They put the spotlight on something that occupies them and rebel them, and through movies they convey the emotions associated with this. Through the use of the multimodal, they can use new and creative methods. The films show examples that the different modes of expression such as pictures, drawings, sound and personal voice help to enhance each other in the movies. As for my analysis of reflection, the findings indicate that students’ reflections are often on a personal level, wondering how they can work in this profession. But they also reflect on practices, methods, cooperation, routines and relationships; At all, much reflection is made of the complexity that must be understood and handled to perform good practice. They reflect on the theories and methods they should use in their work as child welfare workers.They wonder what lies in the potential and challenges in using these theories and methods. We also see in the movies that they reflect on how they can manage to handle their own feelings in their work as a child welfare worker.

In document My Story. Digital Storytelling across Europe for Social Cohesion (Page 155-157)