Rationale for research on digital storytelling
Studies have shown that students who use technology for writing are empowered to become originators of text, and will share their learning experiences and interests in ways in which they interact with their community (Kervin, 2016). Other researchers (Niemi, 2015) have concluded that students are engaged in the digital storytelling process and learn numerous 21st century skills.
Based on the research conducted, it is evident that there is a need to improve literacy skills of students at the national and state level. I pursued the study on digital storytelling and how it affects student's engagement with writing skills because of the evident need to motivate students, transcend their literacy skills, and provide them a platform for 21st century learning.
This study investigated how digital storytelling effects engagement with student's writing skills. The results of this study indicated that students were more engaged in the writing process when converting their written work to digital stories. The results showed an improvement in their writing when writing to create digital stories.
There was a questionnaire that each student responded to that provided qualitative data. The data showed that the students really enjoyed creating digital stories and watching the work that they created.
Reading and writing is the basis for accessing all content, including math, history, and science. It is important to inspire students to read and write. It is our goal as educators to foster environments where students become self motivated to read new stories and information and excited to express their thoughts and ideas through writing.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2015), 65% of male and 48% of female U.S. 12th graders disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement "writing is one of my favorite activities." In 2011, 73% of U.S. students were at a basic or below basic writing level.
NAEP reports that more than half of all fourth and eight graders in the U.S. are performing at a basic or below proficiency reading level. California is not only below the national average in reading and writing, but also math and science.
It is evident that not U.S. students are performing poorly on literacy exams and they are not inspired to write. The purpose of this research was to investigate whether digital storytelling could transcend and inspire student literacy. I created a document that lists all the research literature that helped me complete my investigation on how digital storytelling affect's literacy skills. Click Joe Hall's Literature Review Table, to view the different authors and articles that influenced my Action Research and Capstone Project.
Additional Research Resources
Additional Resources to check out: Joe Hall's IRB proposal
Reflection on Research
One of the main focuses of the study was 'how digital storytelling affects student's engagement with writing skills', and the research showed positive gains from pretest to posttest. On average, students improved their accuracy of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling and provided more detailed content to their story.
The research showed that many students in the study used words and phrases that enhanced the meaning of the stories and indicated a thoughtfulness behind text selection. In addition, the research showed that many students showed a connectedness to the stories that they created by selecting appropriate music, photos, and alternating background that correlated to text.
One student memorized the background song to his digital story because of a genuine interest in the song and how it connected to his story.
The student questionnaire revealed that students enjoyed the digital storytelling process, which always began with writing a story using pencil and paper. According to the questionnaire, the students enjoyed watching their stories more than they did creating them.
Below is my research poster that was created as part of the Capstone Project. Click on it to enlarge the poster.