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Digital Storytelling

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Digital Storytelling (DST) is a participatory visual method that uses basic technologies and storytelling to create and share information and experiences. As a digital social innovation, DST can be a tool for collaboration and social change. The method is fluid and impactful in multiple aspects of engaged scholarship - in community development, teaching and learning and engaged research.

The SI Hub’s digital storytelling workshops are designed to be used in different aspects of the engaged scholarship agenda. The digital storytelling process also creates spaces for community-based stakeholders in the discipline to get together and share knowledge and perspectives. 


  • In Community Development spaces, DST is used for stimulating community cohesion and catharsis, often among marginalised or vulnerable communities.
  • In Engaged Research, DST is used as a participatory data collection method and for communication of research.
  • In teaching and learning, DST integrates learning digital literacies into the education space, contributing to mitigating a digital divide experienced in local communities. 
  • In Service Learning, DST is used as a method for critical reflection and to document the learning experience.


This workshop frames digital storytelling as a tool to stimulate or support social innovation. Broadly, social innovation entails reflecting upon or challenging conventional social structures with the ultimate hope of replacing them with more effective, sustainable and collaborative solutions. our workshop hopes to encourage you to use digital storytelling as a way of reflecting upon the social systems that impact on your life experiences, your community or your profession or studies.

Digital storytelling is a form of storytelling that uses basic technologies (smartphones, cameras, video editing software) to create stories informed by the lived experiences of seemingly 'ordinary' people. These stories are emotive and subjective and reflect the personal feelings of the storyteller. The digital stories are short, have a small file size and are easy to share on the internet. Digital stories are varying combinations of photos, videos, audio and narration. 

The digital storytelling process is workshop based and collaborative. 


Upcoming workshops:

These workshops are run in person at the Rhodes University Hub or the Joza Youth Hub. There are four digital storytelling workshops in 2023.

  • 13 to 16 March (in-person)
  • 5 to 8 June (online)
  • 18 to 21 September (hybrid)
  • 6 to 10 November  (online)


Digital Storytelling for Social Innovation Short Course

Open workshops

The Digital Storytelling for Social Innovation short course offered by Rhodes University is a community-driven approach to digital storytelling designed to support and encourage social innovation in community development and education. It involves two key processes - firstly, building a story using feedback and reflection in a group setting (story circles) and secondly, learning practical storytelling and basic video production skills. 

Digital storytelling is a malleable and iterative process that aims to stimulate critical reflection and empathy. Practically, creating a digital story involves a process of group story-building, introspection and digital skills development.

In this workshop, participants are encouraged to reflect on their own experiences to create a meaningful story using video editing software. In this workshop, you will give/receive feedback from a workshop group, learn practical photo/video/audio recording skills, learn video editing skills, and develop storytelling skills. 

Anyone is encouraged to participate in these workshops.

If you would like the Social Innovation Hub to run a workshop with you and your organisation, read the information below about setting up a workshop.  

Aims and objectives:

By the end of this course, you should:

  • engaged with my story circle
  • be able to produce my own digital story
  • have created a digital story
  • be able to adapt the method to my own needs

On successful engagement with this course, you should be able to:

  1. identify and solve problems
  2. work in a team
  3. collect, analyse and evaluate information
  4. communicate effectively
  5. be culturally and aesthetically sensitive 



  • Hybrid and online courses require you to have a computer that will handle processing media, as well as a good internet connection. 
  • Our Digital Resource Library offers access to devices and the internet if required.


Additional Units 

TRAIN THE TRAINER - this workshop sets out to train you in digital storytelling. In other words, by engaging critically with this workshop, you will have created a digital story of your own and will be able to train others in similar workshop settings to make their own stories as well. 

DIGITAL STORYTELLING FOR ACADEMICS - this workshop trains academics to use digital storytelling in teaching and learning, as a data collection method and as a tool for communicating research.


Short course details

The course is accredited by Rhodes University and requires a minimum of 15 hours to complete.


In-person - this is a four-day workshop. Participants must attend the full duration (9:00 to 15:30 with a 12:30 lunch break). 

Online - this is a five-day workshop that takes place online with Zoom contact sessions for one hour every day. 

Hybrid - a mix of in-person and Zoom sessions. 


Setting up a workshop with the Social Innovation Hub

Organisations such as university departments, non-profit organisations, non-government organisations, government departments or enterprises can collaborate with us to train their communities in digital storytelling. 

These workshops are run at a negotiable reduced fee for education and non-profit institutions and can be arranged throughout the year. The cost depends on the format and size of the group.  

If a member of your organisation participates in the training, they can facilitate future workshops on their own. The SI Hub can assist in co-faciliatating or planning the process. 


Contact Thandiwe at t.matyobeni@ru.ac.za or 046 603 7227 fo more information, to sign up or to set up a workshop.

Last Modified: Mon, 16 Jan 2023 08:33:52 SAST