Leveraging Digital and Cinematic Storytelling to Enhance Integration of Multilayered Neuroscientific Concepts for Undergrad Students.

Project TitleLeveraging digital and cinematic storytelling to enhance integration of multilayered neuroscientific concepts for undergrad students.
Principal InvestigatorSteven Barnes & Hagar Goldberg
Funding Year2021/22
Project SummaryNeuroscience is a multidisciplinary field of study, exploring the fundamental properties of the nervous system and its facilitation of mind and behaviour. This extremely diverse field comprises a large number of branches (e.g., molecular, cellular, behavioural, cognitive), and involves diverse scientific disciplines (e.g., biology, chemistry, psychology, philosophy, medicine, computational sciences). At UBC, neuroscience is a focus of study for more than 110 faculty members within the Faculties of Medicine, Science, and Arts. In response to student demand, members of these three faculties are in the process of establishing a new BSc specialization in neuroscience. To support integration and effective delivery of interdisciplinary neuroscience we propose the development of the Brain Digital-Storytelling Library (BDSL). Using state-of-the-art digital and cinematic storytelling techniques, the BDSL will represent a multimodal, integrative, open, and interactive tool that will aid in teaching and learning of neuroscience in any of in-person, online, or blended courses. The literature clearly supports the effectiveness of interactive videos and storytelling for integrating complex concepts and producing meaningful learning. Illustrative videos are especially valuable in teaching abstract concepts (e.g., molecular mechanisms). Through collaboration with UBC neuroscientists and students across the three faculties, three topics of interest will be selected for in-depth exploration. Next, in collaboration with cinematographers and multi-media experts, these topics will be addressed in video-based interactive modules. Embracing an innovative hybrid design, we will weave together a cinematic narrative from a student point of view, interactive activities, and brief videos of explanations by UBC neuroscientists and neuroscience graduate students. For example, a video about neuroplasticity and learning would focus on a UBC student during an ordinary day at the university. The story would alternate between the students’ experiences (learning, interacting, etc.) and the inside of her brain (plasticity processes). Each movie scene will be followed by a learning/assessment activity related to that segment via the H5P interactive video widget. Finally, each scene will end with a brief commentary (in the form of an interview) with UBC scientists and/or students, explaining the (multilevel) science behind that scene. With the BDSL, we envision taking our students on an educational and experiential journey into their brain, in a way that is true to the science we teach, communicated the way students consume content, and aligns with the current transition to online and blended learning.
Grant type $25,000.00
Funded Amount OER Implementation

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