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This site is currently under construction. We are, however, pleased to say that the SMU 102 Digital Copywriting Unit is now open. We've also added Marketing Principles and an Intro to Public Relations. Our Content Marketing Unit is currently in development.

Now that we have covered branding, copywriting - and introduced you to the fundamentals of Marketing and Content Marketing - let's take a closer look at the craft of creating compelling digital stories. 

Effective digital storytelling touches upon the core aspects of all the previous study units we've covered to-date.

We have found a brilliant, short, intensive free online course that covers the basics of what you need to know about digital storytelling. It's the Digital Storytelling Mary Washington's (UMW).

Course Description

Wikipedia defines Digital Storytelling rather succinctly as "using digital tools so that ordinary people can tell their own real-life stories." It then goes on to elaborate:

Digital Storytelling is an emerging term, one that arises from a grassroots movement that uses new digital tools to help ordinary people tell their own ‘true stories’ in a compelling and emotionally engaging form. These stories usually take the form of a relatively short story (less than 8 minutes) and can involve interactivity.

In other words, this course focuses more on short-form digital storytelling content.

The term can also be a broader journalistic reference to the variety of emergent new forms of digital narratives (web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertexts, fan art/fiction, and narrative computer games).

There are a number of ideas and assumptions here that are covered and  interrogated over this course, namely the idea of "ordinary people", "true stories", and the debate around the meaning of this term. The Wikipedia article cited above is rather vague about the details surrounding this emerging genre of narrative, and it is our responsibility to examine the term digital storytelling within the cultural context of our moment.

This means each of you will be experimenting with your own digital platform for storytelling, as well as placing yourself within a larger narrative of networked conversation on the internet at large.

UMW's digital storytelling course experience will require you to both design and build an online identity and narrate your process throughout the ten week semester. Given this, you will be expected to openly frame this process and interact with one another throughout the course as well as engage and interact with the world beyond.

In many ways this course will be part storytelling workshop, part technology training and, most importantly, critical interrogation of the digital landscape all around us that is increasingly defining the the way we communicate with one another.

Course Objectives

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the concept of storytelling and the power of narrative;
  • Critically examine the digital landscape of communication technologies as emergent narrative forms and genres and increase appreciation of technology use in storytelling
  • Develop skill in using technology as a tool in communication of stories
  • Improve communication skills
  • Participate in an ongoing and meaningful conversation with your classmates about the ideas, theories, and technologies discussed in this class; and
  • Publish online your own exploration of digital storytelling techniques and approaches.

A few caveats, if you please.

  1. SMU is in no way affiliated with UMW
  2. UMW's learning environment, while excellent, is very different from SMU's learning environment
  3. UMW has a different way of presenting its learning materials. Which is good. We don't want you getting bored.

You'll find the link to this course below.

screenshot of the the DS106 course website

Start learning the principles of marketing now with the University of Mary Washington's (UMW) free online digital course:

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