e/merge Africa

Learn to tell your research story!

Learn to tell your research story!

Rashad Muhammad, Michigan State University, US, Daniela Gachago and Jolanda Morkel, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
15 June – 3 July 2015

This course convened by Rashad Mohammad officially opened for it’s first ‘pre-course’ week. During this week our main activity will take place in the e/merge Africa Digital Storytelling Facebook Group. This group was originally created in March 2014 for the first Digital Storytelling workshop, convened for e/merge Africa by Jolanda Morkel and Daniela Gachago. This Facebook group will be used throughout the course. The resources from last year’s workshop still remain available in this group and in the menu on the right. This will be useful to browse through for those unfamiliar with Digital Storytelling as a method.

From Monday 22 June we officially started the course with the first online event an introductory session giving first home work. On Friday 26 June we were hosting our second webinar that focused on story boarding. The recordings of these two webinars are available in the menu on the right. On Friday 3 July we will be ending this mini-course with our last webinar. This will take place Friday 3 July at 2:30 pm (GMT+2).
Straight from the horse’s mouth may sound like the best way to get information, but not if you don’t understand the whinnies and neighs. Likewise, scientists and researchers may have the best understanding of their own work but struggle to explain it to people who are not experts of their field. Science communication is becoming more and more important in increasing research uptake, i.e. the dissemination of your research output beyond conferences and academic publications.

This 2-weeks online course will introduce you to ideas around science communication, focusing on one particular way of communicating your research journey: in the form of digital research stories.

This online course targets researchers, but could benefit anyone interested in engaging the public, decision makers and others members of the community with information that is technical or otherwise unfamiliar to the audience.

The first week focuses on writing and constructing an understandable narrative. It teaches you to kill jargon, focus topics, decide what not to write, use active voice, report what’s interesting rather than merely important, use word and graphic images and omit needless words. The second week will introduce you to the idea of storyboarding, helping you to find the right images for your story. Furthermore we will discuss tools you could use to create your digital story. Follow-up workshops can be organised for people needing more practical support in developing their stories.

Digital research stories have many functions: it’s the kind of thing that you can use for a Linked-In profile, an item for your CV, a way to demonstrate your communication skills to employers. It is an asset that can bolster grant applications, improve your teaching, make your research more discoverable and applicable.

It’s easy, fun and free.  Come join us by signing up and start thinking about your story already today. Please notice this event has previously been advertised as Digital Stories and MOOCLets – Contents remains the same and now with extended dates!

Rashad Muhammad is an Instructional Technologist at Michigan State University, United States. He is a learning professional with over 12 years of experience in developing, delivering instructor-led content, and managing learning systems. He speiciliases in Instructor-Led Training, Instructional Development & Design, Expertise in Courseware Development.
Daniela Gachago is a lecturer in the Educational Technology Unit at the Center for Higher Education Development at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Her research interests lie in the use of emerging technologies to improve teaching and learning in higher education, with a particular focus on social media and digital storytelling for social change. She is currently enrolled in the PHD programme at the School of Education at the University of Cape Town studying the role of emotions in facilitating engagement across difference among students.
Jolanda Morkel is a qualified architect and senior lecturer in the Department of Architectural Technology in the Faculty of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The focus of her research and current doctoral studies in Design is the virtual learning environment for mastering conceptual design. She is investigating how emerging technologies may support the collaborative studio learning experience online.

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This site is for the activities of the e/merge Africa online network. e/merge Africa is intended to promote sharing of good practices, informal and semi-formal professional development and the growth of research capacity among educational technology practitioners and researchers in African higher education. e/merge Africa is funded by the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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