“with doing the Digital Story I went deeper into the reflection than I think I ever have done, not just in the PGDE [teacher education programme], but in general.”
(Student feedback, 2011)
The research reported in this chapter was undertaken on a longitudinal basis, over a period of four years, involving 323 pre-service teachers. Designing digital storytelling (DS) with and for pre-service teachers enabled the authors to examine how it might be conceptualised and implemented to support and enhance learning from practice, especially in their formative and sensitive, early-stage transition into the professional career of teaching in post-primary schools. In this DS research, the authors worked with student teachers from across all subject areas of the Irish post-primary school curriculum, including mathematics, science, history, geography and languages.
From a methodological perspective, we employed design-based research (DBR). We chose DBR because it is itself a reflective approach, particularly well suited to the iterative, participatory and principled design of innovations with technology-enhanced learning (Barab and Squire, 2004; Reeves et al., 2005; Hofer and Owings Swan, 2006).
DBR, action research (AR) and other cognate, change and solution-oriented methodologies belong to the same family of practitioner-based, interventional research modalities in education. In terms of DS, exemplar practitioner-based research is Jamissen and Haug’s (2014) longitudinal, multi-cycle action research to design and develop digital storytelling to support practice learning within early childhood teacher education. Consistent with Jamissen & Haug’s (2014) impactful action research, our design-based research process involved three major cycles of design, implementation and evaluation: (1) initial pilot intervention; (2) mainstream/scaling-up of the design; and (3) a third, capstone intervention.