Digital Storytelling Train-the-Trainer Workshop

Attend a Free Training Workshop at DePaul University


Digital stories are short, autobiographical digital videos created by an organization’s staff or clients. Organizations can use digital stories in advocacy campaigns and peer-to-peer education efforts, as well as to document program impact and recruit program participants and volunteers. In April-June of 2014, Dr. Lisa Dush of DePaul University and the students in WRD 377: Digital Storytelling in the Community will offer a free train-the-trainer workshop on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus for staff of local organizations that would like to learn how to produce and use digital stories.

Admission is competitive; attendees will be selected based on the information they provide in the application form. We expect to accept 3-4 organizations. Accepted organizations may send one or two staff members to the workshop.

What is a digital story?

A digital story is a personal experience narrative that is told in a 2-4-minute video. Digital stories are typically written and spoken by the person who experienced the story, and illustrated with photographs chosen by this storyteller. In most cases, the storyteller also video edits the story, with as-needed technical assistance from a trainer. High-quality digital stories can be made with a minimal investment in hardware and software: in this workshop, we’ll do our video editing with WeVideo, a very affordable online video editing tool.

The following are examples of digital stories produced in prior partnerships with Dr. Dush and her classes:

What will participants learn and do in the workshop?

The goal of a train-the-trainer workshop is to learn the writing, technology, and facilitation skills necessary to deploy digital storytelling at your organization in an ethical and professional way. To learn these skills, each workshop participant will make his or her own digital story. Often, participants make a ‘why I do the work I do’ story, although some participants choose to make a story with no connection to their work.

Participants will receive training in the following areas:

  • How to work with staff and clients to write short, powerful, and ethically sensitive autobiographical stories to be used for organizational purposes.
  • Recording and editing audio
  • Basic photo editing and copyright-sensitive photo and music sourcing
  • Video editing

What Is the time/resource commitment for participating organizations?

Participating staff members should plan to devote 1-3 hours per week to the project, from mid-April—early June 2014. We also ask that participants 1) host a small group of students and Dr. Dush at their organization in mid-April, when Dr. Dush will present about the history and possibilities of digital storytelling and answer questions from interested staff members, and 2) offer 3-5 students at least ten hours of volunteer service opportunities between April and June, so that  students can better understand your organization’s mission, its people, and the context in which digital storytelling may be practiced after the training.

The total time commitment for participants is as follows:

  • F March 28, 6:00 pm: Application due
  • M April 14 – M April 21: Host Dr. Dush and a small student team at your organization for a 1 hr. meeting
  • between M April 7 – F May 23: provide 3-4 students with at least ten hours per student of volunteer opportunities at your organization
  • between M April 21 – Tu May 6: Draft your digital story script
  • Tu May 6: Come to DePaul from 2:40-4:10 to participate in a story draft workshop
  • between Tu May 6 – Th May 15: Revise your digital story script
  • Th May 15: Come to DePaul from 2:40-4:10 to learn audio recording, storyboarding, and video editing
  • Th May 22: Come to DePaul from 2:40-4:10 for video editing session
  • Th May 29: Come to DePaul from 2:40-4:10 for story showing and discussion of future use of the practice at your organization

How do we apply?

Please submit an application form by 6:00 pm on F March 28. Acceptance decisions will be communicated within one week of the deadline. If you have any questions about the project, contact Professor Lisa Dush at ldush [at] depaul [dot] edu. Additional details about the Stories at Work project are available online at