Exploring the Use of Interactive Digital Storytelling Video: Promoting Student Engagement and Learning in a University Hybrid Course

Catharyn C. Shelton, Anne Hale, Leanna Archambault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


This study explores interactive digital storytelling in a university hybrid course. Digital stories leverage imagery and narrative-based content to explore concepts, while appealing to millennials. When digital storytelling is used as the main source of course content, tensions arise regarding how to engage and support student learning while holding them accountable for watching the video. We explore interactive video as a way to mitigate and engage with these issues. The context is a hybrid sustainability course for preservice teachers that used digital stories in a conventional format in which students could start, stop, and pause the video at will, as well as an interactive format with all the same features, plus programmed pauses for required understanding checks. A survey of students (n = 223) indicated they believed interactive digital stories supported engagement, scaffolded learning, and increased learning gains, but did not increase accountability. Evaluation of quiz performance indicated they recalled significantly more with interactive videos, compared to conventional videos. Implications for practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-474
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016



  • Digital storytelling
  • Higher education
  • Hybrid
  • Interactive video
  • Student engagement
  • Sustainability education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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