Digital Narratives

Event: Digital Narratives: (re)storying learning experiences for a digital age
Date: Friday 8th January 2016
Location: Nottingham Trent University, NG1 4BU
Organiser: MELSIG (@melsiguk) and NTU
HASHTAG for the event: #melsigntu

Description: During this event, we explored the role of digital narratives aimed at creating flexible and diverse learning experiences, and how digital and social media are challenging dominant narratives and beginning to shape our understandings of new learning spaces.

The focus of this event related to the range of ongoing MELSIG interests and provided an excellent networking opportunity.

In the lead up to the event we began to crowdsource Digital Narratives recipes #MELSIGrecipes You are encouraged to add your ideas and experience to this digital recipe book. View what we have achieved and add your examples into this Google Slides recipe file here.

Our Programme

Welcome to Nottingham Trent University, Elaine Swift, Head of the Digital Practice Team, Nottingham Trent University
Introduction to MELSIG

Digital Narratives Welcome from Andrew Middleton – About MELSIG, how we will spend the day. Introducing the ‘Telling Different Stories’ – the Storify Challenge’ for the day with Rebecca Sellars (@becksell2001), Neil Withnell (@neilwithnell) and Graham McElearney (@GrahamMacca).

Innovation at NTU

Dawn of the Unread – a cross-disciplinary approach at creating multi-layered digital stories offering readers/viewers opportunities to construct their own narrative paths through the content – James Walker, Lecturer, Nottingham Business School

Digital storytelling to support reflective practices – this is an assessed piece of work final year students on a Health and Social Care module are asked to complete – Jane Challinor, ( Principal Lecturer, Social Work and Health.

Innovation in the region

Using Immersive Technologies to Demonstrate Theories of Self in the Landscape, Rob Higson (Learning Technology Advisor, Learning Enhancement, University of Derby) & Jo Bishton (Lecturer in American Studies, University of Derby)
The Collector: desire, research and digital curation, Jill Lebihan, Principal Lecturer, English, Sheffield Hallam University


Short presentation: #Phonarchem  – making a lab session an event and sharing it with the world, Professor Simon Lancaster, (@S_J_Lancaster), University of East Anglia. Simon shared his use of Storify ( and a tool for collating his own engagement in a range of activities including teaching Chemistry:

Workshop: Bits, bobs and digital sticky tape: using what you have to create digital stories – Charlie Davis, NTU

This workshop provided participants with a hands-on opportunity to consider how they use the resources, digital and non-digital, that they have available to them to create short digital stories. Participants discussed how such approaches could be used in a range of learning, teaching and assessment practices.

Workshop: The Social Life of a Note – Andrew Middleton(@andrewmid), and Helen Kay, Sheffield Hallam University

Note making is the lifeblood of learning. In this workshop we explored the ways in which the learner uses social media to record, reduce, recite and then revise from their notes with the help of peers and social media. The notes co-produced by workshop participants will appear here soon.

Workshop:  Setting your stories free – Chris Thomson (@cbthomson), Jisc.

How to overcome challenges of making the outputs of a digital storytelling project available openly considering intellectual property, accessibility and the organisational context. Lessons learned from Sheffield Hallam Universities TELIC Stories project (

Workshop: Making and telling a good story with Storify, Sue Beckingham (@Suebecks), Sheffield Hallam University

The workshop looked at Storify and how is has been used to support learning. It considered the range of media that can be incorporated and how this can be used to construct rich narratives. See the ‘handout’ here:

#DS106 Learning as a digital story, Viv Rolfe (@VivienRolfe), University opf the West of England

Viv introduced her experience of open education and engagement with the well known #DS106  open learning community. In #DS106 you develop your digital voice in words, pictures and sound, whatever your preference. You are set a daily challenge – ‘The Daily Create’, and you are encouraged to blog your experiences and challenges faced to share back with the community. In this workshop we will explore our digital spaces, do a ‘Daily Create’, and hopefully develop a workshop format together for CPD practices in our own universities.

Telling Different Stories: Storify Activity

led by Andrew Middleton. Rebecca Sellars (Leeds Beckett University), Neil Withnell (University of Salford) and Graham McElearney (University of Sheffield) reported back on the digital narrative experiment using Storify and reflected on what opportunities Storify reports offer the higher education learner. The three participants compared their different approaches (Neil Withnell’s report via Google Hangouts was interrupted on the day but we will include this soon). Further detail will follow here to summarise the experience and links to the final Storifiy reports will be provided. An audio interview has been made and will be embedded here soon too.

Short workshop: Social media portfolios – building the digital toolbox using social media led by Sue Beckingham – this session introduced the ongoing work at Sheffield Hallam University to develop a social media enhanced PDP approach in which students consider how social media can be used to gather, reflect on and present evidence of their learning using a ‘digital toolbox’.

10 Days of Storytelling – We are revising this session – but we will be co-constructing part of this focusing on Social Media e-Portfolios to be led by Sue Beckingham. We want a group to develop the 10DoST too using Chris Rowell’s model (@chri5rowell). We will work together to design a ’10 Days of Storytelling’ course as an open course for social storytelling. See Chris’ other ’10 Days of…’ courses here. Chris can’t be here in person on the day.

15:45 – 16:00 – Plenary

A roundup from you on what you will take away from the day – it’s good to reflect on the highlights of others. We will also reflect on progress to do with the Storify Challenge – the activity we embarked on at the beginning of the day.

16:00 Finish and Depart