Assessment Through a Digital Lens Using narrative and monomyth in the online classroom

“Stories create community, enable us to see through the eyes of other people, and open us to the claims of others.” ―Peter Forbes

Power of Narrative

  • Encourages imagination
  • Prompts questions
  • Helps us come to conclusions
  • Engine of empathy
  • Brings us together within a community
“Stories are our primary tools of learning and teaching, the repositories of our lore and legends.” ―Edward Miller

Framing Online Courses Around Narrative

  • A stakeholder is established as the epic hero
  • Work towards goal becomes steps on a journey
  • Stakeholder is the protagonist of the journey
  • Design, teaching and learning events serve as thematic elements in course “narrative”
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” ―Joan Didion

About the Monomyth

  • Identified in 1949 by mythologist Joseph Campbell
  • Marked a series of seventeen events in a journey of three acts - the departure, initiation and return
  • Mapped to modern film and literature by Christopher Vogler in 1992
“It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” ―Patrick Rothfuss

Roles in the Monomyth

  1. Hero: The "doer" in the narrative
  2. Wise Elder: Mentor, provides some necessary info or gift to help the hero succeed
  3. Heralder: Catalyst setting adventure in motion
  4. Ally: Accompany the hero on the journey
  5. Trickster: Challenger of the status quo
  6. Guardian: Blocks the path of the hero
  7. Shadow: Villain in the story
“Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.” ―Robin Moore

Student as Epic Hero

  1. Student moves from known to unknown
  2. Instructor provides student with assignment to complete
  3. Student shares questions related to the assignment
  4. Instructor provides resources, guidance and encouragement
  5. Student commits to complete assigned challenge
  6. Student researches, collaborates and collects information
  7. Student prepares to answer the challenge
  8. Student takes part in academically rigorous tasks
  9. Student rewarded with new knowledge
  10. Student prepares to present newfound knowledge
  11. Student becomes aware of importance of new knowledge
  12. Student shares knowledge as a means of improving situation of peers
“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” ―Erin Morgenstern

Faculty as Epic Hero

  1. Faculty commits to building a new online course
  2. ID walks faculty through the process
  3. Faculty gives input on outcomes and shares questions related to the process
  4. ID provides examples, effectives practices, resources, guidance and encouragement
  5. Faculty commits to timeline and plan for building the course
  6. Faculty researches, collaborates and collects information on course design
  7. Faculty prepares a module for review
  8. Faculty receives feedback, makes edits and repeats
  9. Faculty rewarded with new knowledge of how to build a course
  10. Faculty prepares to share newfound knowledge with colleagues
  11. Faculty becomes aware of importance of new knowledge on the course design process
  12. Faculty shares knowledge as a means of improving situation of peers
“Narrative imagining — story — is the fundamental instrument of thought. Rational capacities depend upon it. It is our chief means of looking into the future, or predicting, of planning, and of explaining.” ―Mark Turner

Synergistic Pedagogy

  1. Digital Storytelling
  2. Microcredentialing
  3. Gameful Learning
  4. Differentiated and Adaptive Learning
“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” ―Brandon Sanderson

Tips and Tricks

  1. Create holistic, personalized support for your epic hero (meetings, resources, guidance)
  2. Share technology tools that support narrative and diverse expressions of creative literacy (Adobe Spark, Playposit, FlipGrid, VoiceThread)
  3. Don't be afraid to not be prescriptive of method or tools
  4. Mix roles with resources to help paint your unique path to success
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.” ―Robert McKee


“Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.”―Dr. Howard Gardner


You can find this presentation at https://spark.adobe.com/page/6MsYUcypjJYrH/

This work is being completed by Angela Gunder, Cathy Russell and Jessica L. Knott. Learn more on their website for Monomyth Online

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