WRD 372: Digital Storytelling (Fall 2019)

Course Description

WRD 372 is an introduction to digital storytelling, a community arts method for creating first-person video narratives. You will learn about this method and its core elements—personal storytelling, participatory process, and low-cost/high-quality media production—by reading about digital storytelling, creating your own digital story, and exploring and analyzing a wide range of stories and storytelling projects. Additionally, as a course that satisfies DePaul’s Experiential Learning (EL) requirement, a key part of your work will be learning how to help others make digital stories; to this end, our class will partner with Marillac St. Vincent Family Services, and you will guide one of their program participants through the digital storytelling process. Overall, WRD 372 will expand your ability to both craft compelling stories with digital media and to initiate storytelling projects in personal, community, and organizational settings.  

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Create a polished digital story that demonstrates intermediate-level knowledge about the following processes: narrative script writing and revision; story circle participation; digital audio recording and editing; image sourcing—including shooting photos and gathering them from personal, historical, and public-domain archives; and video editing.
  • Articulate the core values and best practices of digital storytelling, and situate the genre’s methods and formal characteristics among a range of other digital media storytelling practices.
  • Use strategies for listening, feedback, and collaborative creative work to help people with backgrounds and histories unlike your own to make digital stories.

Additionally, you should meet the following DePaul experiential learning (EL) learning outcomes:

  • Apply particular concepts from readings, lectures, etc. to an analysis of lived experiences in the settings provided by the course.
  • Use the experiences provided by the course to construct and articulate the impact of your experience on your understanding of course content.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethics appropriate to your experiential settings.
  • Synthesize the ideas and experiences provided by the course to inform your personal, academic and/or professional pursuits.


Adichie, C.N. (2009). The danger of a single story. TED talk video.

Brushwood Rose, C. (2009). The (im) possibilities of self representation: Exploring the limits of storytelling in the digital stories of women and girls. Changing English, 16(2), 211-220.

Lambert, J. (2018). Digital storytelling: Capturing lives, creating community. 5th ed. NY: Routledge.

Foronda, C., Baptiste, D. L., Reinholdt, M. M., & Ousman, K. (2016). Cultural humility: A concept analysis. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 27(3), 210-217.

Vivienne, S., & Burgess, J. (2013). The remediation of the personal photograph and the politics of self-representation in digital storytelling. Journal of Material Culture, 18(3), 279-298.


  1. Your Digital Story: Using the digital storytelling method devised by StoryCenter, you will craft your own 2-4-minute digital story on a personally meaningful topic of your choice.
  2. Writing Task—Key Claims About Digital Storytelling: After completing your digital story, you will be asked, through an approximately 1500-word writing task, to identify key claims about digital storytelling from our early course readings and to use these claims to reflect on your own digital storytelling experience, as well as on your priorities for your upcoming work with our community partners.
  3. Community Service Activities and Reflections: While participation is a requirement of WRD 372 as an EL course, you will receive a grade reflecting the intention, initiative, and dependability that you demonstrate in these activities. Components of this grade include the following: your participation in service activities; four short reflections written during the quarter, based on prompts distributed in class; the quality of the process by which your team helps your partner to create their story; and a team-written introduction to your partner’s story.
  4. Final Project: A final reflective project, which synthesizes and reflects on your learning through community service, is due during finals week.