Digital Storytelling for Student Leaders


Setup Assignment –  I run a scholarship program at the University of Central Florida, where the student in the program receives a 5-star mentoring experience. One of these mentors is a peer mentor, a student who has previously been a part of the program and currently in upper-level courses.

Even though coursework is a part of the LEARN student experience, I wanted to stretch a little further to create an assignment to integrate into the peer mentor training while the students are not on campus over the summer. My hope is that the peer mentors will create a digital story for their mentees full of their advice and a personal transition story.

Assignment Introduction

The Sway presentation below will be an introduction to digital storytelling and show the peer mentors first-hand what a project could look like. Pictures, video, sound and interactive media are all welcome in a digital transition story.

Reflection Exercise – I plan to scaffold their assignment by asking the peer mentors to reflect on their transition to UCF from their state college or high school. Engaging in a metacognitive activity will help students remember what it was like to come to a new university, socialize, and understand the academic rigors demanded of them in a STEM discipline at UCF.

Storyboarding – Next, I will ask the peer mentors to take their reflection and translate it to a story board with the tool from

Tech Tools – After the storyboard makes sense and the peer mentors are able to give reviews of each others’ story boards, I will introduce the different technologies that could make a digital transition story possible. Below are link farms of different tools that could help a student create a digital transition story.

Rubric for Assignment – If I were grading this assignment, I would then modify Schrock’s K12 Digital Storytelling Rubric for higher education students:

The Why – I would then let the students send out their digital transition stories to their mentees before the fall semester begins as an introduction and virtual meet-n-greet for the students to feel as though the peer mentors a approachable.


  1. Neshea Griffin EME5050

    Hello Colleen,
    As usual your post does not disappoint, and provides a detailed map of your plan for digital storytelling. I think that your resources will provide a great foundation for your students to share their story with the mentors, and vice versa. I too have a great appreciation for Kathy Schrock’s resources, especially the vast amount she has for digital storytelling. The meet and greet through digital storytelling is a great way to inspire quality work for a great first impression while integrating all of the components of technology and personal inspirational stories.


  2. Colleen,
    Your post this week is wonderful! The bolded sections made it easy for me the reader to follow the steps of your plan. The Sway introduces the project well. What a great idea to have your mentors use this digital format for their program. The graphic organizer helped explain the program for which you were suggesting to use your storyboarding project. I enjoyed reading the article from the site that you included in your post as I thought that digital storytelling was still writing about curricula one has recently learned. The article said this and then listed the steps to the writing process. “Digital storytelling is still writing. Whether it is a multi-day project or a storyboard created in one day.”

  3. Pingback: One Step at a Time – My digital story example | The Blog of Colleen Marquart

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