Digital Storytelling at QUT
Digital Storytelling is a powerful means for enabling communication and social participation. Ordinary people work with expert creative practitioners to create first person narratives for a wide and growing range of purposes, including community building, cultural engagement, brand identification and public communication. A digital story usually combines 15-30 still images and a recorded script of 100-250 words to create an original personal digital story in the form of a 2-3 minute digital video. This form of co-creative media takes advantage of newly accessible technologies but is based in the ancient and universal tradition of storytelling.
Digital storytelling is being adopted internationally in a variety of institutional contexts. It was introduced at QUT by Distinguished Professor John Hartley in 2004 when he brought well known UK based digital storytelling expert Daniel Meadows to the Creative Industries Faculty to trainer researchers and Faculty in the technique.
Since 2005 Creative Industries Faculty researchers have adapted digital storytelling for use in a variety of research contexts including heritage, youth welfare, health, and international development, in collaboration with a range of external partner organisations.
More than 300 digital stories have been produced by QUT researchers, staff and students. These have been presented on the World Wide Web, broadcast on community media, released on DVD and exhibited in various forms. In addition CIF researchers have produced numerous journal articles, conference papers and books reporting the outcomes of research projects utilising digital storytelling in research.
The Creative Industries Faculty is now a leading site for teaching, learning and research in digital storytelling and allied participatory media methods. Teaching and learning in this area is informed and extended by research undertaken in the QUT's Digital Media Research Centre and methods have been adapted and developed for use in undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum and service teaching, including short courses for external clients.
Dr Christina Spurgeon
Senior Lecturer, Media and Communication, Creative Industries Faculty, QUT, Chris has practised, taught and researched co-creative media, including Digital Storytelling, in a variety of community and commercial contexts. Her book, Advertising and New Media (Routledge 2008) considers the implications of end user agency for commercial media and culture. She has initiated and supervised creative industries mapping strategies in undergraduate coursework and postgraduate research programs and has managed cultural, media and communications policy and research projects.
Dr Jean Burgess
Jean Burgess is Director of the QUT Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC) and Professor of Digital Media in the Creative Industries Faculty. She is an expert in digital media, with a focus on the everyday uses and politics of social and mobile media platforms, as well as new digital methods for studying them. She was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellowship for the ARC Discovery Project ‘New Media and Public Communication‘ (2010-2013) and was a Chief Investigator on the ARC Linkage Projects ‘Digital Storytelling and Co-Creative Media’ (2011-2014) and ‘Social Media in Times of Crisis’ (2012-2015). Her books are YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture (Polity Press, 2009), Studying Mobile Media: Cultural Technologies, Mobile Communication, and the iPhone (Routledge, 2012), A Companion to New Media Dynamics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), and Twitter and Society (Peter Lang, 2014). Over the past decade Jean has worked with a large number of government, industry and community-based organisations, helping them address the practical opportunities and challenges of social and participatory media. She collaborates widely with international research partners in Germany, Brazil, Sweden, the UK, Canada, the USA, and Taiwan, and in 2013 she spent four months as a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research New England’s Social Media Collective.
Dr Helen Klaebe
Helen Klaebe is Assistant Dean, Research, Commercialisation and External Relations in QUT’s Creative Industries Faculty. From 2008-2011 Helen was the Head of Postgraduate Studies (Coursework) in QUT’s Creative Industries Faculty. Her PhD examined new approaches to participatory public history using multi-art form storytelling strategies, including oral history and digital storytelling. Her Master of Arts (research) project included producing an oral history collection for Outward Bound Australia (OBA) — recording its challenges and achievements over the past 50 years. Helen was also a Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council Linkage Project, Digital Storytelling and co creative media: the role of community arts and media in propagating and coordinating population-wide creative practice (LP110100127). This built on work examining new approaches to participatory public history using multi art form storytelling strategies to engage communities with their local histories, and her previous ARC Linkage, Remembering the Past, Imagining the Future: Embedding Narrative and New Media in Urban Planning (LP0882274) 2008-2010. Her public history work pioneered new development methods towards the application of using digital storytelling in community history projects, as part of a socially sustainable approach to urban development. Her other contributions to research are in the areas of creative writing, copyright and ethical considerations regarding public participation and multiple stakeholders and blending traditional and social history together, building on her reputation for implementing creative ways of writing popular historical non-fiction for organizations and collaborative partnerships between tertiary institutions and industry. Klaebe regularly consults as a public historian particularly focusing on engaging communities, and regularly designs and manages co-creative media workshops for a range of commercial and public sector organisations.