Educational Materials

Digital Storytelling for Health Science Professionals

Introduction and Instructions to Creating Your Own Digital Story

What is digital storytelling?

Read the below link to a great, brief review of digital storytelling:

Also, watch this video from Dr. Robin 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 several 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
Here some videos to review the types of digital stories, the digital storytelling process and how to go about selecting 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 are some videos on writing the script/storyboard:

Step 5: Gather/Create Images, Audio and Video
See these links for videos on finding some good high quality images for use in your project:

Here are some instructional videos on recording your own audio narration and finding and using copyright-free music.

Step 6: Put it All Together
The instructional videos here describe using a free internet based service 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. We recommend that whatever resource you chose to create the digital story, that you publish the video on YouTube or other cloud based storage service to allow for ease of sharing and distribution. Here are some instructions on publishing using WeVideo:

Step 8: Feedback and Reflect

What are the specifics for creating a digital story for my best EM case?

We would like you to take part in sharing some of your best EM Cases, following the digital storytelling model.  The point is to not only produce a digital medical story that can be used to convey information and change behavior but to also learn while you are creating your own digital story. 

The basic format of your case should be as follows:

  • Should be no more than 5 min in length, total
  • Should begin with an attention grabbing, interesting and instructive medical case (leaving out all identifying and patient protected information, of course)
  • Highlight no more than 3 learning points that can be gained from the case and review these learning points in a rapid fire, high yield fashion
  • Review the case and the learning points

Here is an example, so that you can know the type of format that we are envisioning. This is an example only and we hope that you can really think outside of the box to create something unique, while following the basic structure above:

Here are some specific helpful hints and instructions on creating your digital story for your best EM case, following the steps highlighted above.

Step 1:  Come up with an idea and write it down
Think of a case that is not only interesting and grabs your attention but also one that highlights the learning points that you hope to address.  Start with a brainstorm and bounce your ideas out-loud to some helpful peers. Narrow down list to the most educationally impactful EM case you have encountered.

Step 2:  Research/Explore and Learn more about the topic
Do a literature search of the learning points that you hope to convey through your digital story to ensure that you are providing the most accurate and up to date information possible.

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.
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 teach you 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 using YouTube feel free to use the cloud based storage service of your choosing, 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 as the result of 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.