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The Effects of Digital Storytelling on Student Learning and Engagement in the Secondary World Language Classroom

Hedderman, Lee (2019) The Effects of Digital Storytelling on Student Learning and Engagement in the Secondary World Language Classroom. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This action research study involved the development and enactment of a unit in a secondary French world language classroom using digital storytelling. The main purpose of this study was to examine the effects of digital storytelling on student engagement and language acquisition through the design and employment of a unit using digital storytelling software. Digital storytelling was chosen for its modern influence of narrative customization using digital features such as voice recordings, video clips, images, and music. In addition, other components were identified including multiple drafts, peer-collaboration, and student-choice. The secondary purpose of this study was to address the importance of teacher expertise and self-efficacy in using technology to effectively employ digital storytelling within a unit through researcher self-refection.
This action-research study provided notable findings that supported the need of incorporating digital storytelling in the classroom. Although there were a variety of student responses to the project, the results indicate that students were highly-engaged throughout the unit as they demonstrated proficiency in language acquisition. Critical components of the unit consisted of multiple modes of communication, mini-lessons, and student work.

Digital storytelling works in tandem with the school’s goal of innovation in the classroom through modern pedagogical choices. To that end, digital storytelling addresses the disconnect between the necessary student engagement in language acquisition and the traditional, decontextualized instructional methods still used in many world language classes. The principal language learning goals of this project include the correct usage of the passé composé of reflexive verbs with contextual vocabulary to communicate about one’s daily routine.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hedderman, Leelph15@pitt.edulph150000-0001-8648-2861
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCho,
Committee MemberKucan,
Committee MemberSerenka,
Date: 25 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 30 July 2019
Approval Date: 25 September 2019
Submission Date: 3 September 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 110
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: digital storytelling, foreign language learning, world language learning, student motivation, student engagement, student peer-collaboration, teacher expertise, self-efficacy
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 14:42
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 14:42


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