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Collaborative Digital Storytelling

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

Digital storytelling permeates contemporary media, from glossy branded websites to innovative interactive fiction. This course introduces you to its opportunities and realities, working with new techniques and learning new skills through exploration rather than formal instruction. The tight timescale will enable you to focus and make compromises, to negotiate with and trust the other participants on your team.

Over an intensive three-day workshop, you will conceive, structure, write and publish a finished work as a group. You'll be exposed to new creative tools, build confidence in collaboration and digital storytelling, and work in a supportive environment with a structured process and constructive feedback. No experience in this area is required besides a little confidence in your writing, and basic computer skills. Bring a laptop and/or smart device if you can.

Please note, this course includes an outdoor exercise (students will be expected to take short walks during this course).

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

Participants should be prepared to work collaboratively, sharing ideas, listening to others and making compromises. 


Special Information

No equipment is essential. A personal laptop and/or smart device will improve the student’s experience.

Content of Course

The course begins with a short overview of existing digital fiction in various forms, and the everyday tools available to create multimedia content. A theme is set by the tutor, and students have some time to explore it, looking for inspiration out in the urban area and through online research.

The ethics of representation, consent, anonymity and safety are critical in the process of creating a digital story. Prior to the outdoor activity, ethical guidelines will be provided.

Back in class participants share and examine the creative raw material they have gathered in a team discussion. Through brainstorming and refining their ideas, they decide what can be achieved in the time available, and how to organise themselves to assemble and publish their work in time. The first session ends with the group production of some draft text.

There will be an opportunity for collective reflection on the decisions made and a rethink of, or recommitment to, those decisions. This session is a free-form creative one structured by the students. At the halfway point the tutor will interrupt for an overview of progress and to present some options for publication.

Production and issues arising:  students will have to remain flexible and compromise. To succeed, they will fulfil their chosen roles, improvising against the clock to pull everything together.

Teaching method(s)

Create and publish a new piece of digital fiction over three days. Work with other writers to plan and construct a story, drawing in elements from Edinburgh's history and present-day streets. Combine text, photography, maps and audio in your digital narrative.

The course is an intensive, creative workshop driven by the students. It provides a safe, supportive environment, which simulates the experience of working professionally in a creative team or entering a “game jam”.

The group will need to collaborate – organising roles, balancing inspiration and practicality to complete a readable work by the end of the course. Expect to be challenged and to make compromises, but also to be surprised at what you achieve in the very limited time available.

Digital storytelling tools will be introduced, but emphasis will be put on “learning whilst doing” rather than formal instruction. During practical sessions and after a formal demonstration, the tutor will be available as a technical consultant.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the opportunities and challenges offered by digital storytelling;

  • Scope a project based on the resources available;

  • Plan and structure a work of digital narrative;

  • Create multimedia content for web delivery;

  • Communicate effectively to produce collaborative work.


Core Readings

No essential reading.

Web Sources

Examples of how digital storytelling can be used in different contexts is available online:


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.