Digital storytelling and students’ self-reports of intellectual engagement
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of Digital storytelling (DST) on the intellectual engagement of Grade 6/7 students in their language arts classes. The six-week study adopted a pre-test and post-test mixed methods design. Quantitative data was collected before and after measuring intellectual engagement using the same survey used by Willms, Friesen and Milton (2009) in their National study titled What Did You Do In School Today? Qualitative data was also collected to further allow Grade 6/7 students the opportunity to say more about whether they feel what they learn in language arts is relevant to their everyday lives, and whether or not they feel motivated to do well in language arts. The intellectual engagement mean scores were calculated for each of the ten quantitative questions before the DST project resulting in an average mean for the group that was below the cutoff for indicating intellectual engagement. The same survey was given again after the DST project resulting in all mean scores falling above the cut-off signifying that intellectual engagement increased. These findings highlight the important educational value of DST by engaging students intellectually by bridging the gap of what students are doing at home informally to what they could possibly be doing in the language arts classroom.