Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Report on Marian Clark & Maureen Smojkis's workshop

Digital Stories - Creating reusable learning objects to link theory and practice in health and social care education

Marian and Maureen, from the University of Birmingham’s Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Mental Health, shared with us their enthusiasm for digital stories; their medium of choice to create reusable learning objects.

Digital stories are short multimedia presentations. They use Photo Story 3, a quick and easy to learn free package (download from Microsoft), which facilitates the combining of images, text, music and voice. The resulting product is viewed as a Windows Media File.

Their Psychological Mindedness project asks the questions; what is knowledge? And whose knowledge is more important or valid?

The stigma of mental health often means that what service users say about their experiences can be discounted, dismissed or denied, so their aim was to capture the experiential knowledge of service users, which they value as a training resource. This user produced knowledge in the form of human testimony can benefit academic literacy with “the unmediated voices of mental health service users and sometimes carers”.

Maureen completed the session by facilitating a group collaboration to create a digital story. Please play Global Warming and also see the inspirational digital stories at

Global warming digital story

CEIMH provides interdisciplinary resources for mental health teaching and learning, including many digital stories available to all.

Louise Merlin
e-Learning Development
Middlesex University

Maureen Smojkis

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