Poetic reflection through digital storytelling – a methodology to foster professional health worker identity in students
Keywords:Digital storytelling, professional identity, reflection, narrative, multimodality, creativity, experience-based learning
In the field of digital storytelling research there is a focus on personal narratives, multimedia and the creative process in developing identity and voice. The project introduced in this paper has identified contexts in higher education where digital storytelling may be used as a promising tool to support students’ learning, assisting them to combine theory and practical experience in their field of study. Students in the health professions need to develop a professional identity based on both social and technical competencies. Technical competencies concord with what students expect to be taught in a university college. The development of social competence and professional identity, however, requires a different approach, involving students reflecting on their experiences from working in health institutions. We suggest that a particular mode of reflection, a poetic mode, exemplified by digital storytelling, may serve as a tool for students in this process of learning from practice. Three characteristics of digital storytelling are discussed: the narrative approach, multimodality and creativity, all in search of defining characteristics of a personal professional story. A model is described through a three cycle development project, illustrated by the terms pioneers and pathfinders for the first two cohorts of students and digital storytellers for the changes planned for the third cohort in the light of our experiences.
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