Educational Materials

Digital Storytelling for Health Science Professionals


What is Digital Storytelling?

Here is a brief review of Digital Storytelling:

Also, watch this video for an introduction to Digital Storytelling:

Why Digital Storytelling in Medical Education?
Here is brief over-view of the uses of Digital Storytelling in education.

Here are some examples of Digital Stories produced for medical education.

How do I Create My Own Digital Story?

This is a multi-step process that takes some time to do right. You may decide that you need more help with one of these steps more than others, but each is an essential component of creating and learning from the Digital Storytelling process.  Here is a review of the steps with video instructions for each step that dive into much more detail. These are general instructions for creating any Digital Story.  More specific instruction for creating a best EM case Digital Story will follow:

Step 1:  Come up with an idea and write it down
This video explores the types of Digital Stories, the Digital Storytelling process and how to select a topic.

Step 2: Research/Explore and Learn more about the topic

Step 3: Write a script for your Digital Story

Step 4: Storyboard/Plan your Digital Story

Don’t be tempted to just wing it. In order to maximize the educational value of both creating and disseminating your Digital Story, you need to maximize the use of each word in your brief presentation. 

Here are some written instructions on creating a script for your Digital Story.

Here is a video on writing the script/storyboard:

Step 5: Gather/Create Images, Audio and Video

Here are some videos on how to find high quality images for use in your project:

These videos describe how to record your own audio narration and how to find and use copyright-free music.

Step 6: Put it All Together

These instructional videos describe using a free web-based program called WeVideo to compile your short Digital Story.  There are many different software options for creating the same product and you are welcome to use any that you would like. We chose WeVideo because it is inexpensive, contains many features and options and is fairly easy to learn.

Step 7: Share

Your final task is to share your Digital Story. Regardless of the software program you chose to create the Digital Story, we recommend that you publish the video on YouTube or other another cloud-based storage service to allow for ease of sharing and distribution. Here are some instructions on publishing your Digital Story using WeVideo:

Step 8: Feedback and Reflect

The best product will only come about as a result of repetitive revision of your digital story. Don’t be afraid to go back and make changes to your video if there is anything that you don’t like about it. Also, you may benefit greatly by sharing your video with others, getting their feedback and making revisions before you submit the final version.

What are the Specifics for Creating a Digital Story for the Patient Physician Society Course?

In lieu of creating the standard written reflective writing piece, we invite you to create a digital story based on a patient interact that you have had that has impacted you in some way.  The point is to create a project that allows you to reflect in a meaningful way on a patient interaction that you have had.  We hope that you can create a habit of reflecting on the patient interactions you will have throughout your career.  In addition to creating mindfulness, we hope that this project will also help you to learn how to present information in a novel format using various modes of digital media.

The basic format of your case should be as follows:

  • Should be no more than 5 min in length, total
  • Should begin with an interesting and instructive patient interaction (leaving out all identifying and patient protected information, of course)
  • Reflect on your experience: Highlight no more than 3 learning points that you gained from the interaction
  • Summarize the case and the learning points

Here is an example of a digital story reflecting on medical knowledge gained from a case.  While it focuses on the medical knowledge gained from the interaction, it doesn’t demonstrate all that can be learned from careful reflection of meaningful patient interactions.  We encourage you to reflect on everything that you gained from the encounter, not just the medical knowledge learning points.  This case dose demonstrate the general structure of the project:

Here are some specific helpful hints and instructions on creating your digital story for your PPS reflective project, following the steps given above.

First: Complete this Survey
We want to know what you know and feel about digital storytelling before you start this project.  Please fill out this very brief survey before you do anything else:

Step 1:  Come up with an Idea and Write it Down
Think of an interaction that was meaningful to you that you would like to share.  Start with a brainstorm and bounce your ideas out-loud to some helpful peers.  Narrow down the list to the case you find most interesting and most impactful.

Step 2:  Research/Explore and Learn more about your Topic
Take some time to think about what you learned from the interaction.  How will this interaction change the way you think?  How will this interaction change future behaviors?  How will this interaction impact your feelings towards similar patients in the future?  What did you gain from the interaction that may benefit other physicians?  Is there any published material available on what you would like to discuss?  Does this published material add additional insight into your interaction?

Step 3:  Write a Script for your Digital Story
Should be identical to the process described above.

Step 4: Storyboard/Plan your Digital Story
Also, no change in the process here from the one described above.

Step 5: Gather/Create Images, Audio and Video
Unless you have properly consented the patient to distribute their pictures in a wide-spread/global format, it is best to avoid patient specific photos. The included example, for instance, included pictures of the emergency room but not of the actual patient.  Similarly, you could include pictures of equipment, buildings, scenes similar to those you found yourself in, or free and shareable photos of similar people/patients that you have found elsewhere.  
Please record the audio narration yourself.  There is power in using your own voice!

Feel free to use any video segments that you feel would contribute to the case, but this is not necessary.

Step 6: Put it All Together
Again, we describe how to use WeVideo but feel free to use any product you think would help you to produce your very best digital story. 

Step 7: Share
We prefer that you upload to YouTube because of universal access and ease of use and sharing. If you are concerned about others viewing or using your video, restrict the privacy settings of your YouTube video so that only those with the link can view it. If you prefer not to use YouTube, feel free to use the cloud based storage service of your choice, just be sure that we can access it easily and that the file format is universally easy to replay.

Step 8: Feedback and Reflect
The best product will only come after repetitive revision of your digital story.  Don’t be afraid to go back and change your video if there is anything that you don’t like about it.  Also, share your videos with others before you submit it and get their feedback.    

Last thing: Please Fill Out One More Survey
We want to know what you thought about this experience and what you learned from it.  Please take just a minute to complete this very brief survey:

You may also be asked to participate in a focus group so that we can further discuss your thoughts on this version of the reflective writing project.