Story Lab

Next: Spring 2020

Digital Storytelling Lab (ETK 604) explores how to make educational audio. This includes simple podcasts as well as richly layered radio stories. You'll learn to plan & script audio, create high quality audio, edit your recording (i.e. get the unwanted stuff out), repair the audio (sometimes mistakes happen), mix and add effects (especially important with radio-type audio), and share with your students or audience.

I am significantly tweaking this course from the version offered in 2018. Much of the content will remain the same, but the overall focus will be on creating audio presentations for classrooms (live, hybrid, or online).In the past the focus was more on creating "stories" that were akin to radio shows like RadioLab. These took a lot more time to create as they implemented multiple voices and multiple sounds (music, ambient sounds) into one integrated product.

Students will still be able to choose to create a radio-like story. But the focus will be on creating single voice (or two voice conversations) that are more straightforward to create, edit, and share. In the end this will help educators to effectively and efficiently create audio (and audio for videos or screencasts) to enhance the learning experience of their students.



The course is offered over 9 teaching weekends. These weekends are typically two weeks apart (although there are 1 or 2 times where they are back-to-back). The modules listed below reflect the currently intended order of learning materials for the Spring 2020 version of the course. As such, the modules are somewhat different from those listed in the Spring 2018 syllabus. Of course the focus/order of the modules may still be tweaked before Spring 2020.

  1. Interviews
  2. Scripts
  3. Equipment
  4. Record
  5. Edit
  6. Repair
  7. Mix
  8. Effects
  9. Publish


In this course there are 3 key products created by students.

  • Reflections. Students write a series of reflections: one for each topic. These reflections describe how students grappled with the module learning materials, connections they made to their own practice, and provide a way for students to dig deeper into the topic.
  • Mind Maps. Students create a series of mind maps: one for each module topic.
  • Audio Presentations. Students will create a series of audio presentations for their learners. These 6+ presentations will total 30 minutes (or more) of learning material.
  • Radio Story. This is an optional assignment. Students can create a radio story instead of a series of short audio presentations. Details about this option will be provided in class.

Course Materials

The total cost of materials for this course is $25. They include:

  • PDFs: various articles and handouts
  • iThoughts: mind mapping software for Macs and Windows. $25. Note: Many students will have already purchased iThoughts in another course.
  • Audacity: free audio editing software for Mac and Windows

In addition there are several optional materials used in this course. I will introduce you to various recording products plus software products that we will use in their trial version. My guess is several students will want to purchase one or more of the products they are introduced to: but there is no requirement to do so. These optional materials all run on Mac and Windows. They include:

  • Hindenburg Journalist
  • iZotope RX7
  • ... and probably some other things!


Use the button below to download the most recent course syllabus. Please keep in mind that the syllabus will give you a general idea of the course, but I always tweak topics, student products, and other details when creating a new version of the course. Nonetheless the syllabus can be useful as a general guide to the course.


Click on the website link and you will be taken to a course login page. Only registered students for the course will be able to access the full content. I provide this link mainly for students who took the last version of the course and forget the relevant link! If you have not registered for the course then I won't provide login-protected access.

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