Using digital tories to enhance course induction for HCI students

R BENEDYK, Dominic Furniss
in British HCI Education Workshop, Conference paper (text), Newcastle, UK


In this paper we describe a successful pedagogic case study: MSc HCI students were introduced to 'digital stories', in a three-day group-work activity that worked really well for bringing these multidisciplinary students together in their first week at UCL. A digital story at a basic level is a series of still photographs with narration over the top that tells a story with impact. It provides an original method of communication that is creative, fun, and engaging, with the potential for reaching a large and broad audience very quickly. However, the challenge of creating a good, coherent, engaging and meaningful digital story should not be underestimated.
In utilising digital story-making as a teaching tool, it is important to manage expectations, keep the costs and resources low, and identify attainable learning objectives such as key skills. Our use of the digital story technique in induction week taught students communication skills, team working skills, peer appraisal, and elements of public engagement, as well as helping cohere the class, and their views on HCI, at the start of the MSc HCI course.