DTC 354: Digital Storytelling

Spring 2023

Class: T 5:45pm-8:30pm
Location: VMMC 111
Instructor: Will Luers
Phone: 503-975-3254
Office Hours: T 4:30pm – 5:30pm in The Digs or on Zoom after 12pm most days

NOTE: All matters associated with this course are subject to change. Any changes will be communicated to students.

Course Description

DTC 354 / Digital Storytelling will immerse students in the  theory and practice of creating and delivering stories in a digital and computational environment. We will look at narrative traditions that precede the digital to understand the foundations of storytelling as an evolved and evolving form of meaning-making and then proceed through different digital storytelling modalities – textual, diagrammatic/typographic, visual/auditory, cinematic and hypermedial – to arrive at an integrated approach to networked, multilinear and multimedia storytelling.

Lectures, blogging, in-depth readings and in-class discussion will offer students multiple modes for understanding the theories and expressive possibilities behind “digital storytelling.”  Concepts  explored will be the spring boards for students to develop their own practice-based research. Through short creative assignments and collaborative group projects, students will have the opportunity to work with text, digital imaging, sound, video, and other media to create new forms of the digital stories.

Learning Goals

Course Activities University 
Learning Goals University 
Learning Objectives CMDC 
Goals & Objectives
1.Typographic, Visual & Cinematic Critical and Creative Thinking (ULG1)Communication (ULG4) Combine and synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways.Express concepts propositions, and beliefs in coherent, concise, and technically correct form. Goal 1 Demonstrate competency with computers for designing, distributing, retrieving, and preserving digital works in various mediums for humane and effective human-computer interactionsGoal 2 Synthesize media forms for multimedia contextsGoal 3 Employ the principles of visual form for sophisticated image manipulation
2. Hypermedia Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (ULG2) Understand and apply quantitative, symbolic and computational principles and methods in the solution of problems Goal 7 Recognize various forms of language processing and their implications for media authoring
3.Korsakow Critical and Creative Thinking (ULG1)Information Literacy (ULG2)Communication Combine and synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways.Determine the extent and type of information needed.Express concepts propositions, and beliefs in coherent, concise, and technically correct form.By applying the concepts of the general and specialized studies to personal, academic, service learning, professional, and/or community activities. Goal 5 Know the basics of information architecture and knowledge management along with ways digital information can be structured for retrieval and archival purposes for different audiences
4. Final Project Critical and Creative Thinking (ULG1)Information Literacy (ULG2)Communication (ULG4)Depth, Breadth, and Integration of Learning (ULG7) Combine and synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways.Determine the extent and type of information needed.Express concepts propositions, and beliefs in coherent, concise, and technically correct form.By applying the concepts of the general and specialized studies to personal, academic, service learning, professional, and/or community activities. Goal 5 Know the basics of information architecture and knowledge management along with ways digital information can be structured for retrieval and archival purposes for different audiences

The assignments and activities for this course reflect these objectives and serve to assist students with reaching program goals.

Course Structure

  • Focus on the manual creation of web-based objects and other digital interfaces
  • Readings, discussion of concepts, and application of theory
  • Multiple assignments and projects
  • Conceptual and creative work with ideas explored in this course

Required Course Texts and other resources

  • The Poetics, by Aristotle (Bookie)
  • Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud (Bookie)
  • Movie Rentals: Occurrence and Owl Creek Bridge $1.99
  • Selected online readings
  • Access to smartphone and/or digital camera (option to check-out equipment)

Course Point-Earning Opportunities

  • 5 story summaries 5%
  • One-on-one Zoom meeting 5%
  • Blogging: 20%
  • Diagrammatic Narrative 10%
  • Visual Narrative: 10%
  • Video/Audio Story 10%
  • Hypermedia Narrative: 10%
  • Final Project: 30%

General Project Guidelines

  • Multimedia projects should address narrative and design issues raised in this course
  • Design and content must be your own work, unless otherwise stated.
  • You may use AI image and text generation, as long as you state that in your sources
  • All images not your own or significantly altered by you must be clearly labeled with ownership and copyright information
  • Multimedia projects should be checked thoroughly for errors. There is no excuse for sloppy writing and such mistakes will count against you.

Assessment and Final Grades

Both attendance and participation will be monitored and deficiencies in either/both will result in lower final grades. Participation means being attentive in class, joining in discussions, engaging in informal critiques and completing all in-class and outside assignments.

You are allowed 2 class absences. Each class absence after that will result in a 5-point deduction from the final cumulative points. It is your responsibility to make sure I check your attendance if you arrive after the start of class. Frequent late arrivals, leaving early, or other forms of lack of attendance will also deduct points from the cumulative total. Absent students remain responsible for all course matters during their absence(s). Opportunities to make up missed work may not be available.

Final grades are determined from the cumulative points earned, plus or minus any deductions or additions for attendance or participation. No curving, averaging, or other manipulations are utilized. No other assessment or extra credit opportunities are planned. Incompletes are not available. Final grades are based on the following scale:

B+ 87-89
B 83-86
B- 80-82
C+ 77-79
C 73-76
C- 70-72
D no Ds in the DTC program
F 0-69

Submission of Late Work

All work must be submitted as and when required. If you are sick or have an emergency, you must make contact with me (best to use Slack) and arrange a time to submit work. 

University Syllabus

Students are responsible for reading and understanding all university-wide policies and resources pertaining to all courses (for instance: accommodations, crisis resources, policies on discrimination or harassment), which can be found in the university syllabus:




Student Wellness Center 

If you are concerned about a student’s wellness center is available to help students with self-determination, self-advocacy and self-care. To contact or schedule with staff in Counseling Services or Health Services, please leave a detailed voicemail message at 360-546-9238 or email us at or The Access Center has some changes in location and phone number. The Access Center office is now in VCLS 110, however, the Access Center Testing Classroom is still in VCLS 160A, adjacent to the Student Wellness Center Lobby. 


Early Academic Referrals Program (EARS)

The first 3 weeks of the semester are a critical window for student persistence at the university. Students who miss class, fail to turn in work, or fail assignments are at academic risk. Research has shown that a “nudge” or “early intervention” can help students succeed in the course and persist in the university.

At WSU Vancouver we use two methods to request assistance for students.

  • The Student Care Network (former AWARE Network) should be used if you see a student who is in severe distress and you are concerned may cause harm to self or others.
  • The Academic Alert System should be used if you see a student who is struggling academically and would benefit from additional support. Please read the descriptions of the two systems and then select the one you think is more appropriate.
    Instructors can support students in distress in the moment using skills and strategies from the Student Care Network’s Guide to Helping Students in Distress.
  • Instructors may hear of financial hardships, food security needs, home security needs, or other fundamental need from students. Students in need of support to meet their fundamental needs can be referred for assistance through the Student Care Network.

Reasonable Accommodations Policy

Reasonable accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities or chronic medical or psychological conditions. If you have such a condition and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the campus’ Access Center/Services website to follow published procedures to request accommodations. Students may also contact their campus offices to schedule an appointment with a Access Advisor. All disability related accommodations are to be approved through the Access Center/Services on your campus. It is a university expectation that students connect with instructors (via email, Zoom, or in person) to discuss logistics within two weeks after they have officially requested their accommodations.

Vancouver Access Center
Website (


Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity is the cornerstone of higher education. As such, all members of the university community share responsibility for maintaining and promoting the principles of integrity in all activities, including academic integrity and honest scholarship. Academic integrity will be strongly enforced in this course. Students who violate WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy (identified in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 504-26-010(4) will receive a failing grade in this class, will not have the option to withdraw from the course pending an appeal, and will be reported to the Center for Community Standards.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26-010(3). Read and understand all of the definitions of cheating. If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed, ask your course instructor.

If you wish to appeal a instructor’s decision relating to academic integrity, please use the “Appeal An Academic Integrity Decision” form available here. Make sure you submit your appeal within 21 calendar days of the instructor’s decision.


Accommodation for Religious Observances or Activities

Washington State University reasonably accommodates absences allowing for students to take holidays for reasons of faith or conscience or organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. Reasonable accommodation requires the student to coordinate with the instructor on scheduling examinations or other activities necessary for course completion. Students requesting accommodation must provide written notification within the first two weeks of the beginning of the course and include specific dates for absences. Approved accommodations for absences will not adversely impact student grades. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who feel they have been treated unfairly in terms of this accommodation may refer to Academic Regulation 104 – Academic Complaint Procedures.


Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy

Discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct (including stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence) is prohibited at WSU (See WSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment (Executive Policy 15) and WSU Standards of Conduct for Students). If you feel you have experienced or have witnessed discriminatory conduct, you can contact the WSU Compliance & Civil Rights (CCR) and/or the WSU Title IX Coordinator to discuss resources, including confidential resources, and reporting options. (Visit for more information). Most WSU employees, including faculty, who have information regarding sexual harassment or sexual misconduct are required to report the information to CCR or a designated Title IX Coordinator or Liaison. (Visit for more info).

CCR Contact
Phone: 509-335-8288,
Report online (anonymous reports accepted)


University Support and Response for Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination, discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct (including stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence) are prohibited at Washington State University (see Executive Policy 15 WSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment, the WSU Standards of Conduct for Students, and relevant employee manuals). WSU has instituted procedures to respond to violations of these laws and standards, programs aimed at the prevention of such conduct, and intervention on behalf of victims.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

If you are experiencing sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, discrimination or harassment, you have support and options. If you share information with WSU faculty and/or state, please know that they may be required to reach out to the Title IX Coordinator in WSU Compliance and Civil Rights (CCR), and CCR will reach out to you with information about on and off campus reporting options and resources. CCR is a system-wide resource (all campuses) which is available for intake consultations for you to learn more about available support.

CCR Contact
Phone: 509-335-8288
Report online (anonymous reports accepted)

You can also speak to a victim advocate, a medical provider, or counselor confidentially about your concerns. Advocates help survivors of crime determine their own needs in regards to their physical and emotional health, reporting options, and academic concerns. At no cost, advocates connect survivors to campus and community services, and provide accompaniment to important appointments (court, hospital, and police) and support throughout the process. For a list of confidential victim advocates and medical providers, please visit CCR Resources.

WSU Police Department (WSU PD) officers and campus security will treat victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, hate crimes, and other crimes with respect and dignity. WSU PD, campus security departments, CCR, and victim advocates can also help you with safety planning.


Safety and Emergency

Classroom and campus safety are of paramount importance at Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population. WSU urges students to follow the “Alert, Assess, Act,” protocol for all types of emergencies and the “Run, Hide, Fight” response for an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able).

Hostile Intruder

Please sign up for emergency alerts on your account at MyWSU. For more information on this subject, campus safety, and related topics, please view the FBI’s Run, Hide, Fight video and visit the WSU safety portal.

More information available in the WSU Provost’s Classroom Safety document.

WSU Vancouver Police: (360) 546-9001


Emergency Notification Network

WSU Vancouver has made an emergency notification system available for faculty, students, and staff. Please register at MyWSU with emergency contact information (cell, email, text, etc.). You may have been prompted to complete emergency contact information when registering for classes at RONet. In the event of a building evacuation, refer to the map at each classroom entrance, which shows the evacuation point for each building. Finally, in case of class cancellation campus-wide, please check local media, the WSU Vancouver website and/or the FlashAlert Newswire. Individual class cancellations may be made at the discretion of the instructor. Each individual is expected to make the best decision for their personal circumstances, taking safety into account. For additional safety plan information, please click here.


Inclement Weather Policy

In the event that an adverse weather event (e.g., snow or ice) or natural hazard that poses a safety risk occurs, you should take personal safety into account when deciding whether you can travel safely to and from campus, taking local conditions into account. If campus remains open and your instructor decides to cancel the face-to-face meeting and substitute an alternative learning activity, you will be notified by your instructor via email or through the course Slack channel within a reasonable time after the decision to open or close campus has been made. Instructions regarding any alternative learning options or assignments will be communicated in a timely manner. If travel to campus is not possible due to adverse regional conditions, allowances to course attendance policy and scheduled assignments, including exams and quizzes, will be made. Students who attempt to gain advantage through abuse of this policy (e.g., by providing an instructor with false information) may be referred to the Center for Community Standards for disciplinary action. If a student encounters an issue with an instructor, the student should first talk with the instructor. If the issue cannot be resolved, the student should follow the reporting violations of policies outlined on the student affairs website.


WSU Vancouver Campus Emergency Links

WSU Vancouver VanCoug ALERTS

Weather Closure Media Web Sites

C-TRAN Bus Service

During adverse weather conditions when C-Tran is operating on snow routes, the WSU Vancouver campus will not be served as the snow route ends at 20th Ave. More information on bus routes and C-Tran scheduling at their website.

WSU Vancouver Home Page
Announcements and Alerts

WSU Vancouver Police

Police and Campus Safety Plan

Emergency Procedures


Service/Emotional Support Animal Guidelines

University policies on service animal and emotional support animals are available at: Pets are not allowed on campus. Emotional support animals are not allowed in public buildings or in classrooms. Trained service animals are allowed in classrooms. If you have questions about animals on campus, please contact the university ADA Coordinator ( and refer to Executive Policy 39 Service and Support Animal Police found at:


Academic Complaint Procedures

Following Academic Regulation 104, students having complaints about instruction or grading should attempt to resolve those issues directly with the instructor. If that fails, the student should send an email to the instructor using his or her official WSU email account no later than 20 business days following the end of the semester. This email should briefly outline the complaint and be copied to the chairperson of the academic department.

If the complaint is not resolved with the instructor within 20 business days of sending the email, then the student may work directly with the chairperson of the academic department in which the course is offered. The chair’s decision shall be rendered within 20 additional business days.

After the chair’s decision, the student or the instructor may appeal to the academic college Dean’s Office. Complaints must be presented in writing to the college dean within 20 business days of the chair’s decision. The written statement should describe the complaint, indicate how it affects the individual or unit, and include the remedy sought from the college dean. The decision of the college dean is the final step and shall be made within 20 business days.

At the campuses other than Pullman, the procedure is identical except that the program leader shall substitute for the department chair, and the campus chancellor or his or her designee shall substitute for the college dean, if the department chair and/or the college dean is not located on that campus.

The University Ombudsman is available at any stage for advice or assistance in resolving academic complaints.

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