Evaluating the Effectiveness of Creating Digital Stories in a College Classroom to Promote a Healthy Food System

By Andrea Brace, Bobbi N. Finkelstein and Diadrey-Anne Sealy.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 7, 2015 $US5.00

Advanced technology has improved learning within educational settings using digital storytelling. A digital story (DS) combines multiple technologies and learning techniques to construct a short video. Digital stories are an effective media format to raise awareness about many topics, including food studies. DS can be used to promote a healthy food system and educate about the need for change in food production techniques. College students (n = 47) enrolled in an Environmental Health class learned about the food system and other environmental health topics. Students enrolled in the class participated in a study that used a DS as a research project. Using principles of Project Based Learning, and providing ongoing instructional support in the DS development, students were expected to increase engagement within the research and DS creation. A paper survey was administered to gauge students’ perceptions on the process of creating a DS. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS v.21.0 and qualitative data were coded and grouped into themes. Results suggest that students had a positive experience creating a DS, and they were engaged in the research topic. The DS provided an innovative way to communicate health messages to a wider audience by allowing them to share their final product through various media outlets. This allowed for more persons to learn from the project. The DS process expanded student skills by exploring the use of advanced technology. Creating a DS can be used as an educational tool in a classroom setting if adequate instructional support is provided.

Keywords: Digital Story; College Students; Health Communication

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.15-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 7, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 434.550KB)).

Dr. Andrea Brace

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Science, Towson University, Towson, MD, USA

Bobbi N. Finkelstein

Research Assistant, Department of Health Science, Towson University, Towson, Maryland, USA

Dr. Diadrey-Anne Sealy

Assistant Professor, School Of Science and Technology, University of the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago