85466 - Web Writing and Digital Storytelling (1)(LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will learn how to write for the Web, understanding the principles related to target audience, clear phrasing and keeping short. These principles will dialogue with the relationships between text and other media. In this context the use of digital media for telling stories will be analyzed. The students will be able to use different techniques for exploiting digital narrative methods.

Course contents

TThe course aim is to provide the necessary skills and methodological approaches to understand how both textual content and on a more general level storytelling are evolving in a networked and digital environment, characterized by the use of the computational medium as the main publishing platform.

Starting from an understanding of the traditional definitions of story structure, from Field's Three Acts to Vogler's Hero's Journey, the focus of the course will move to a critical analysis of the different forms that digital storytelling can assume, both in form and content, including therefore ebook, blog, wiki, social media, augmented and virtual reality, alternate reality games, electronic literature, videogames, and so on, and how networked cultures and societies are interacting with the traditional forms of storytelling, creating new narrative and knowledge structures.

The course topics will be the following:

  • What is a story and what are its underlying structures and mechanisms.
  • The evolution of digital storytelling from short personal narrations to connected and collective ones.
  • How electronic publishing and knowledge culture have changed the notion of storytelling.

Readings/Bibliography

  • John Yorke, Into The Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them, London: Penguin, 2014.
  • Bryan Alexander, The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media, Santa Barbara (CA): Praeger, 2017.
  • Frank Rose, The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012.
  • Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, Northampton (MA): Kitchen Sink, 1993.

Some specific readings will be given to students during the course.

Teaching methods

The course teaching includes traditional lessons, interactive lessons with the use of online and open educational resources, workshops and discussions.

Experts in the field will be involved.

Assessment methods

The students evaluation will be based both on a traditional oral exam and on an evaluation of a project previously discussed with the teacher about the course's contents and carried out by the student.

All the details related to the project will be discussed during the lessons.

Teaching tools

Online and free tools for creating digital storytelling contents will be used.

Office hours

See the website of Francesca Tomasi