Narrating Stability, Security, and Happiness: Narrative Didactics Workshop at the Graz International Summer School Seggau (GUSEGG) 2021Written by Dagmar Wallenstorfer
In the course of the Applied Research Lab sponsored by the Land Steiermark at GUSEGG 2021, Andreas Schuch and Dagmar Wallenstorfer conducted a Narrative Didactics Workshop with 23 students from the University of Graz, Austria on Thursday July 8, 2021. The workshop addressed the pedagogical value of Digital Storytelling in educational settings, as well as for addressing and teaching intersectionality and diversity in various settings. Introducing the basic steps involved in the process of creating and facilitating the creation of a Digital Story, all participants were invited to apply this technique by creating a Digital Story based on the topic of the GUSEGG 2021: Stability, Security, and Happiness. The outcome of this workshop where 17 Digital Stories, which were watched and discussed by the group.
Official GUSEGG Website: https://international.uni-graz.at/en/summerschools/graz-international-summer-school-seggau/
Due to the very positive experiences and feedback from students regarding the methodological integration of digital storytelling at the Department of Translation Studies courses (ITAT) in the winter semester 2020/21, this practice was continued for two further courses in summer semester 2021.
The courses in question were "Ungarisch: Translatorische Basiskompetenz II (HU-DE)" and "Ungarisch: Wirtschaft und Tourismus (HU-DE)", both supervised by Dr. Claus Michael Hutterer and supported by Mag. Andreas Schuch. Students could choose almost any topic in their digital stories as long as there was a connection to Hungary and the basic criteria of digital storytelling were met. The digital stories were produced in German. The majority of students also provided a declaration of consent so that their stories could be published online. A selection of these student stories are embedded in this article, more stories can be found on the official YouTube channel of the Narrative Didactics Research Group.
Student feedback to digital storytelling has been overwhelmingly positive. Students found the Digital Storytelling method to be creative and they enjoyed applying it. At the same time this pilot project promoted students' linguistic, digital, (inter)cultural and a wide variety of further competences and helped increase students' sense and experience of self-efficacy.
We are planning future expansions of this project and increasing the corpus of student-created digital stories. Perhaps particularly in the humanities, combining storytelling with digital technologies can help develop and expand adequate digitization strategies.
One crucial aim of Narrative Didactics is to engage students in exploring as well as entering the realm of stories and to familiarize them with topics. The workshop “When fairytales come true” – realized with children in the fifth grade of the “Modellklasse” at the sports middle school in Weiz – tried just that.
As part of a larger project – which integrates a gradually unfolding narrative into the teaching and learning of relevant parts of the curriculum (in the subject of German) – the kids stepped into this very story. On their journey, which included relevant fairytale elements, they were accompanied by the creator of the project and co-founder of Narrative Didactics, Christina Poeckl, who used the technique of “teacher in role” portraying a magical creature within the workshop.
The students were quickly fascinated by the whole scenario, immersed themselves in the narrative through the different performative methods. They experienced the fairytale and created their own contributions to it.
In the three-hour workshop, the children developed a natural understanding of fairytales and even reluctant writers wanted to continue the narrative in written form. An anonymous online feedback confirmed their enthusiasm for performative learning and teaching.
School website: http://nms1.weiz.at/aktuelles
Clariah-AT organized from April 14-16,2021 a Twitter Conference featuring almost 100 projects in the context of digital humanities and among them was the Narrative Didactics Research Group promoting their research of combining storytelling practices with digital techniques. CLARIAH-AT is the consortium of Austrian universities and research institutions that coordinates and drives Austrian activities in the European ESFRI research infrastructures CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure) and DARIAH (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities). Over the three days of the conference, over 210 tweets were sent and the links shared in the tweets were clicked over 900 times. The Twitter conference offered a broad variety of projects from various fields and actors.
The tweets to our project were the following:
CLARIAH-AT on Twitter: "Combating the digital divide and foster digital inclusion by using accessible and available tools in education influences the research of Narrative Didactics @DidacticsNadi. Developing new methods and approaches is in the heart of the project. #digitalDHaustria" / Twitter
CLARIAH-AT on Twitter: "Digital storytelling as one of the main tools of @DidacticsNadi is used in educational settings to not only foster digital competencies, but also to enable critical thinking and inclusion of diverse voices. #digitalDHaustria" / Twitter
CLARIAH-AT on Twitter: "Narrative Didactics @DidacticsNadi develops methods of using stories and narratives for teaching and learning concepts such as cultural diversity, multiculturality, feminist practices or literary studies in educational settings. #digitalDHaustria" / Twitter
Claus Michael Hutterer, PhD, teachers as the Department of Translation Studies at the University of Graz and has cooperated with Andreas Schuch and Narrative Didactics in the winter semester of 2020/21. He successfully conducted digital storytelling workshops with students in the courses "Ungarisch - Translatorische Basiskompetenz I" and "Ungarisch - Übersetzen für Wissenschaft und Technik (HU-DE)". Students used materials which were made available by the Narrative Didactics Research Group. Two of the many stories created by students can be watched in this article.
You can find more digital stories on the official Narrative Didactics YouTube channel:
In the winter term 2020/2021, Prof. Roberta Maierhofer taught together with Nicole Haring and Dagmar Wallenstorfer from the Narrative Didactics research group two seminars that combined US-American literary and cultural studies with digital storytelling. The seminars with the titles “Specialized Topics in Anglophone Literary Studies (Media and Messages: Digital and Other Storytelling” and “Topics in American Cultural Studies (Art and Artificiality: Mediated Realities)” discussed storytelling in context of digitalization and addressed how cultural representations reflect material realities. Special focus was on how lives and interpretations of these are narrated and the different forms storytelling can take. The courses offered an understanding of the concept of storytelling as cultural and aesthetics expressions of a certain time and place. The students engaged with theoretical as well as literary texts by Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, as well as with the film maker Agnés Varda. It was the aim of the courses to critically engage with the question of intersectionality, identity, and voice. Eventually, the students created Digital Stories, which were watched in an online watch party. Based on theses digital narratives, the students wrote seminar papers and thus not only created and watched Digital Stories, but also interpreted them in a scholarly manner.
You can find more digital stories on the Narrative Didactics YouTube channel: