Storytelling in Leadership Development


I created a quick summer curriculum for our student leaders to meta-cognitively reflect on their experiences transitioning to the University of Central Florida. The above link to a WikiSpace is the Curriculum page I created. Below is the outline for the summer project:

Setup Assignment –  I run a scholarship program at the University of Central Florida, where the student in the program receives a 5-star mentoring experience. One of these mentors is a peer mentor, a student who has previously been a part of the program and currently in upper-level courses.

Even though coursework is a part of the LEARN student experience, I wanted to stretch a little further to create an assignment to integrate into the peer mentor training while the students are not on campus over the summer. My hope is that the peer mentors will create a digital story for their mentees full of their advice and a personal transition story.

Assignment Introduction – The Sway presentation here will be an introduction to digital storytelling and show the peer mentors first-hand what a project could look like. Pictures, video, sound and interactive media are all welcome in a digital transition story.

Reflection Exercise – I plan to scaffold their assignment by asking the peer mentors to reflect on their transition to UCF from their state college or high school. Engaging in a metacognitive activity will help students remember what it was like to come to a new university, socialize, and understand the academic rigors demanded of them in a STEM discipline at UCF.

Storyboarding – Next, I will ask the peer mentors to take their reflection and translate it to a story board with the tool from EducationWorld.com

Tech Tools – After the storyboard makes sense and the peer mentors are able to give reviews of each others’ story boards, I will introduce the different technologies that could make a digital transition story possible. Below are link farms of different tools that could help a student create a digital transition story.

Rubric for Assignment – If I were grading this assignment, I would then modify Schrock’s K12 Digital Storytelling Rubric for higher education students:

The Why – I would then let the students send out their digital transition stories to their mentees before the fall semester begins as an introduction and virtual meet-n-greet for the students to feel as though the peer mentors a approachable.

The outcome of the curriculum posted above is posted below. I was given permission to post the two examples below by each student.

Student Leader Created Example #1

Student Leader Created Example #2

Podcast Series in the Classroom



Podcast, Episode 1*
Computational Thinking in Undergraduate Research –  Previewing


This first podcast introduces the concept of computational thinking in undergraduate research. The podcast series was created for use in the second (spring) semester of a first-year learning community, L.E.A.R.N., created to help first-generation and underrepresented students in STEM get involved in undergraduate research. Through the podcast series, I am seeking to preview the concept of computational thinking before it is covered in the 1 credit Introduction to Research II course for the LEARN program.


Podcast, Episode 2*
Computational Thinking in Undergraduate Research – Selecting Literature for a Literature Review


This second podcast in the computational thinking in undergraduate research series covers computational thinking and its application to the logistical process of analyzing and organizing literature for a literature review. LEARN students write a short research proposal of their research topic area that has been decided upon with their graduate research mentor or faculty mentor in the research lab. This podcast aims to supplement the conversation in class and help students think through the process of organizing their literature to create a narrative for their literature review for their proposal.


Podcast, Episode 3*
Computational Thinking in Undergraduate Research – Transferring the Problem-Solving Process to Social Media


In the last podcast of this mini-series, I attempt to make the connection between analyzing and organizing reputable sources to create a literature review and analyzing and sharing viral posts on social media. When managing your online identity as a student, you want to pay attention to the brand you are promoting with the posts you comment on or share within your profile. Attempting to help students transfer computational thinking principles, to a wide variety of decisions will not only help them manage their brand as a paraprofessional, but will help student develop digital citizenship by applying computational thinking principles outside of the classroom.


*As a part of University of Central Florida’s Educational Technology/eLearning Graduate Certificate, I am taking EME 6053, Teaching and Learning with Emerging Technologies. For the assignment in the course, I was asked to add the podcasts to an online website. The music for this podcast was obtained through an Education license from Freeplay Music LLC.