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The DiStoMusInq framework: Digital storytelling for students’ inquiry-based museum learning

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posted on 2019-12-06, 09:27 authored by Zoi Tsiviltidou
Digital storytelling gains momentum in museum practice, being increasingly applied to enrich the programs for schools. In this thesis I probe into how the digital storytelling process could frame students’ explorations of museum content in the context of inquiry-based school museum trips. The DiStoMusInq framework was developed to articulate the three-staged mapping between the inquiry-based learning process and the process of crafting a digital story. The methodology was exploratory, having a series of three trials designed with previsit, on-visit and post-visit activities that involved 70 middle school and high school students of an international school in Thessaloniki, Greece. The objective was to examine three different ways in which digital stories could be the objective and outcome of student group museum inquiries. Students conducted museum investigations structured around personally set questions using their own smartphones, tablets and laptops, and produced a digital story to present their findings. The research revealed that there is a synergy between the two processes, and increased self-reported confidence in student research skills, but the interplay is not linear; it is dialectic, with each stage feeding into the others and with inquiry and digital storytelling driving each other. The findings fed into a refined version of the DiStoMusInq framework and the identification of benefits of its integration with school museum trip planning. This study furthers our understanding of inquiry-based museum learning embedded in school curricula because it shows us how and why to use digital stories as outputs of self-initiated and self-directed inquiries. The thesis concludes with proposing directions for further research to broaden the scope of this inquiry beyond school trips towards web-based museum visits. The research reported here thus paves the way for newly envisioned applications of digital stories in the twenty-first century museum.



Giasemi Vavoula; Ross Parry

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School of Museum Studies

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

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