Sparking Reflection through digital storytelling

Denise Maduli-Williams

English and ELAC Professor, Miramar College


“The telling and hearing of stories is a bonding ritual that breaks through illusions of separateness and activates a deep sense of our collective interdependence.” ~ Annette Simmons, The Story Factor

My Story Assignment

This writing assignment is very short. Basically, you are going to narrow down the story of your life until this point to explain how you ended up where you are now: taking classes here at Miramar College.

To do this, please follow the specific format below:

  • Every day . . .
  • Until one day . . .
  • Because of that . .
  • Because of that . . .
  • Because of that . . .
  • Until finally . . .
  • And ever since then. . .

*If you want to add in a few more "because of that" sentences you can, but the idea is to keep it short.

Be as creative as you like as you tell your story!

Student Examples on Discussion Board

Reflection Video for Digital Portfolio

Reflect on your experiences, progress, strengths and growth in ELAC 45. Consider all the types of work we have done with reading, grammar, vocabulary, and writing. Which of the writing pieces did you enjoy best, which did you struggle with, which are you most proud of? What lessons did you learn? What can you apply to other classes and/or your future goals?

To best organize it:

  • Write 1-15 sentences maximum.
  • Be short, clear, and concise in your reflection.
  • Mention some of the writing that will be in your portfolio.
  • Add photos or images to match your sentences.
  • Record yourself reading it.
  • Add music.


  • This semester was my first semester at Miramar college. I was late for signing up, and I had to add to the waitlist. Luckily, I was able to add this class.
  • I always had problems with writing essays even in my own language. Starting an essay and figuring the outlines were very hard for me.
  • One of the best things that I picked up from this class is that “Good writing is rewriting.” I learned that no matter how many errors and mistakes I may have in my first draft, I can always rewrite it and make it better.
  • The proudest pieces in my portfolio is my essay titled “Language Is a Road Map of a Culture.” This essay was very interesting for me personally because I had to apply the results in my life. I tried to use better vocabularies, various quotes and paraphrasing.
  • I also included my timed essay about success in college. Timed essays are overwhelming, and time management makes it hard to do all the things right, but I tried my best.
  • Every day we did journals, which I didn’t like at first, but they became easier. The good thing about them is you don’t need to worry about mistakes and grades. I included one about "My Name" and another about how Success is an Iceberg.
  • Lastly, I have a discussion board post from Funny in Farsi. Posting a thread in a forum is a cool Idea for ESOL students. It was hard for me to write in forums before this semester, but now I am know how to do it.
  • I think my writing skills have improved, and I’ve more confidence to write in English now. more importantly, I’m not afraid of writing in English anymore.

Next, you will create a short video slideshow to share your reflections.

Student in online English 49

Student in ELAC 33

Denise's Story



Created with images by Jez Timms - "untitled image"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.