Storytelling with Study Abroad

Again this spring we worked with students at ACU’s campus in Leipzig, Germany, as well as with on-site faculty Derek and Rachel Brown to take digital storytelling overseas. Students spent two days in workshops developing scripts, recording audio, and editing stories on iPads or laptops.

This group of students as well as the Oxford group were also incredibly generous in showing us around their host cities as we collected footage for a Study Abroad film we’ll release this summer.

Here are just a couple of their stories.


Honors Short Film projects

Last fall we had a chance to work with a number of students from the Honors College taking HON 401: Short Film Production. Wanted to make sure we took the opportunity to share the remarkable work, produced in teams within a short 5-week semester. They tackled technical challenges using LS checkout equipment, many of them for the first time. At the same time they kept their eye on the the shape of compelling stories. Really proud of their work.





Storytelling in Leipzig

This spring the Learning Studio worked with Dr. Houston Heflin as part of our first digital storytelling project overseas. We worked with Houston and his students before they left the States to begin thinking about media projects they would complete mid-way through the semester and then at the end, reflecting on their own experiences in East Germany.

It was also our first storytelling workshop entirely on the iPad. Students had access to a couple Blue Snowball USB microphones (that perplexed TSA officials going and coming) and all the photos and video they had taken while traveling. We had strong scripts in an intensive three-day timespan for their first project in April. Then each student reflected on their overall experience abroad in a final project in May. Here are a few examples of their work.

Storytelling in Creative Writing program

Al Haley, writer-in-residence and professor of English, was an alum of our very first digital storytelling workshop in 2011 and has been helping us lead faculty workshops on campus for the last year. His work with the scholarly storytelling group last December helped many of the participants see the potential of mixed media writing and storytelling in their teaching and research. Here are a couple of Al’s past stories.




A Bed in San Francisco

Down on the Farm


This semester Al asked students in his Creative Nonfiction Workshop and a new class on Micro-Narratives to produce their own digital stories as an extension of their other writing in both courses. Here are a few examples of their work.



Before June

Before June

Before June – Daniel Merritt

Blank Spots Fill Holes – Julia Curtis

Missing Home – Brittney Starkey

Ode on Napping – Luke Ramsey

Small World – Adrian Patenaude

Creative Nonfiction

Drama Ministry – Emmy Sparks

Mother Knows Best – Elena Kua


Literacy video projects from Advanced Comp

Thanks to Dr. Cole Bennett and his ENGL 325: Advanced Comp class for sharing their Literacies projects again this year. .

The course introduces students to “theories of literacy from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, paying particular attention to readings that emphasize social and political issues related to reading and writing.” then concluded with student-produced videos introducing a cultural literacy of their own:

“Rhetorically, this video should attempt to convince the viewer that 1) the activity under consideration qualifies as an expanded form of literacy; and 2) society would benefit as a whole if such argument were accepted. How does the subject fall under a definition of literacy? Which definition? Why does it matter? How are our lives enriched if we agree with you? How might your opponents disagree with you, and how would you address such concerns?”

Here are a few examples of their work.