Pre-College Programs
Pre-College Online Courses

« Return to Course Catalog

Storytelling in the Digital Age: Narrative Analysis, Story Craft, and Media Production

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

View related courses »

Course Description

Stories have an enduring, compelling power. What makes them work? What influence do technologies for crafting and sharing them have on narrative creativity and imagination? In this course, we learn old and new forms of storytelling and interpretation, and how to put them to use in the new media context. Students dissect films, texts, and interactive platforms, and refashion the most meaningful elements of these for their own creative purposes, in both digital and non-digital media. Students learn the craft of storytelling, the techniques of producing multimedia works for the web and beyond, and the methods of critical analysis of these forms.

Through short written and multimedia assignments, continuous group discussions, and individual and group web conferences with the instructor, students develop their voices and learn the logistics and aesthetics of digital media production. This individual group and reading work guides students to the planning and production of a portfolio-ready media project, which they submit as their final assignment. Past projects have included podcasts, experimental and narrative films, and interactive games. Students meet in a video conference on the last day of class, to present and comment on one anothers' final projects.

This course provides a good introduction to the arts of storytelling and critical reading, with a specific awareness of the digital media context. The skills learned will give students an advantage in any introductory-level humanities college course, from English to Media Studies. In addition, the final projects produced by students can be a useful addition to any college admissions portfolio as examples of creative ability. The course website serves as a showcase for all final projects.

"This course was academically enriching, and above all, it was fun. It was never tedious working on the project or for the course, due to the nature of the course as well as the instructor's approachability and friendliness. I would definitely recommend this to all of my friends."
Storytelling in the Digital Age student, Summer 2014

Learn more about your instructor for this course.

Course Requirements:

Time commitment: The first week of your online course serves as the course orientation, during which you will get to know Canvas (Brown's learning management system), review course expectations and strategies for your success, learn about your instructor, and help us to learn a bit about you. These activities should take you just a few hours to complete.

The following week you will begin working with your instructor and classmates on the course itself. To be successful in this course, you must have reliable internet access, and will be expected to participate multiple times each week. Plan to spend approximately 10 hours per week on coursework.


  • Computer with reliable, high-speed internet connection
  • Up-to-date Internet browser supported by Canvas, Brown's learning management system
  • Headphones, earbuds or speakers
  • Webcam and microphone
  • Adobe Flash Player browser plugin (Course elements may require Flash and will not work on an iPad.)
  • Word Processing application to save and open Microsoft Office formats (.doc,.docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx)
  • Courses can also be accessed on tablets and mobile devices. These devices can be used as supplemental access points in order to complete most coursework.

Special tech/project requirements: Camera or smartphone for still or video images

Supplementary materials: none

youtube instagram