INTE5340 Summer 2020


Brad Hinson / Assistant Dean & Senior Instructor /

Paul Zastrocky / Instructional Designer & Teaching Assistant /

This is low/no email course. Beyond our initial emails to get acclimated, we will communicate almost exclusively via other course channels.  If you need to communicate privately you may use Slack Direct Messages (DM) or we can schedule a Zoom call.  


This course reviews the uses of digital storytelling (DST) for learning. Develop and publish a short digital story that tells something important about you and your interests. Explore ways of creating or using digital stories that can aid learning and personal growth. ~ CU Catalog


  • Critically examine and critique multiple forms of digital storytelling and participatory learning experiences;
  • Iteratively and rapidly produce multiple digital stories by leveraging a variety of tools, methods, and design principles;
  • Stretch beyond your comfort-zone (Zone of Proximal Development) to discover emergent educational practices, ideas, and systems;
  • Develop a critical stance toward digital storytelling as a social learning platform and community of practice.


  1. INTE5340 is non-traditional course leveraging a story-structure where the learner is the protagonist.  In the lead role, you will face challenges in our journey, you will find sidekicks among your classmates, and I will serve as your guide on the side - the wise old mentor.   This course is a story and we are characters within it.  
  2. Each Sunday the old-mentor will post a fresh set of materials, resources, and activities for the week. These should be completed by the next Sunday.    
  3. Each Tuesday a fresh low-stakes activity called a StoryThing, will be posted. StoryThings are creative challenges where you make and share some thing.    
  4. This course is structured as a story might be, with 3 ACTs that will take us on a hero's journey.   For each ACT, you will produce a digital-story.  
  • ACT01 Project:  Explore project ideas
  • ACT02 Project: Publish a digital story about an area of personal interest.
  • ACT03 Project:  Co-create a digital story within a storyworld and/or team.


There are eight StoryThings and two projects to make.  We'll begin brainstorming and outlining these in the second week of class.  These are not focused on technical skill or artistry.  These are meant to engage your creative thinking and cognitive flow.  Don't overthink or worry, we will guide you - our aim here is hard-fun.

StoryThings - (each week) - a low-stakes creative challenge will be posted each Tuesday, asking you to make or do something by Sunday.  This is an 8 week class, there are 8 StoryThings to do.    

Individual Project - (June 15 - July 5) - a 3 week creative sprint, where you produce a digital story on a topic of your choosing, combining at least 2 different types of media (audio, video, web, graphics, etc.).

Class Project - (June 22 - July 26) - a 5 week creative sprint, where you co-create a transmedia story within a storyworld and/or with a team.


Success is based on effort, participation, and engagement, not creative ability. This is not a media-arts class.  We are primarily interested in seeing your effort, engagement, and understanding of storytelling, digital media, and co-creative learning.        

Individual assignments will not be graded, but will receive feedback.  My focus will be spent asking questions, making recommendations, offering feedback, and coaching creativity.  

Your grade for this course is an A if you satisfactorily participate each week and satisfactorily demonstrate effort as well as understanding.  At the end of each ACT, I will ask you specific questions about your work and ask you to respond with a reflection and self-assessment.   I'll ask you to pitch the grade you feel you have earned, and justify your proposal.   I'll either agree or disagree, and we'll talk it out.

  • ACT01: 100 possible points
  • ACT02: 100 possible points
  • ACT03: 100 possible points

Final grades will be based on this scale:

  • A  288 -300 pts
  • A- 270 - 285 pts
  • B  258 - 267 pts
  • B- 240 - 255 pts
  • C  228 - 237 pts
  • C- 210 - 225 pts
  • D  198 - 207 pts
  • D- 180 - 195 pts
  • F below 177 pts

Our Materials & Media

The Interwebs.  You need a good computer capable of media editing and playback as well as consistent internet access.  You will need  a webcam/microphone for video discussion and assignment production. You will need to download and install software to complete assignments.

Accounts/software. You need accounts with StoryLab,, Zoom, and Slack.

Diverse Media. You will be working with diverse types of media and tools.  You have some choice-of-assignment and choice-of-media, but you are required to demonstrate substantive and diverse use media for each assignment.  Do real work. Create a variety of things.

Diverse Tools. You may use what tools work best for you, but you must discover & try new things. I prefer you not use the same tool twice. There are numerous free and open source tools available for digital storytelling, and you are encouraged to seek out your own tool-set; to experiment with and critique those tools. To find tools – you may review the Product Hunt Collection, the   Schrock Guide to Everything, or simply ask Google.  A part of the coursework is researching and identifying the right tool for the job.

Policies & Procedures (EULA)

Late work. Assignments are to be turned in on or before their due dates. Late assignments are penalized 10% per day.

Participation. You are expected to be fully engaged and participate actively in the course activities each week of class – especially interactions with other students.

Academic integrity. You should feel free to help one another and collaborate in the learning process. However, you are responsible for completing your own work. Any form of academic dishonesty or its facilitation will be subject to disciplinary action. Institutional policy specifics are published in the UCD Catalog – you are responsible for knowing them. A creative and enjoyable environment is a better learning environment. If, for some reason, you are not enjoying this class, bring it to my attention. Use of others’ work without providing proper acknowledgment is not acceptable and will lead to failing the course.

Special needs. If you have a disability, including a learning disability, please contact your instructor via phone or email to discuss any necessary accommodations.

Technology use. Using UCD email and networks require adherence to usage policies – e.g., avoiding commercial profit-making enterprises or inappropriate personal or political uses. You are responsible for knowing the standards and rules governing computer use. For more info see the IT Services policies page.

Accommodations. The University of Colorado Denver is committed to providing reasonable accommodation and access to programs and services to persons with disabilities; see the University of Colorado Denver Accommodations website for specifics. Students with disabilities who want academic accommodations must register with Disability Resources and Services (DRS), North Classroom 2514, Campus Box 118, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364, 303-556-3450, TTY 303-556-4766, FAX 303-556-4771, email I am happy to provide approved accommodations, once you provide me with a copy of DRS’s letter.

Incomplete Grade Policy. Incomplete grades (I) are not given to replace low grades. To be eligible for an incomplete grade, students must (1) successfully completed at least 75% of the course requirements, (2) have special circumstances (verification required) that preclude the student from attending classes and/or completing graded assignments, and (3) make arrangements to complete missing assignments with the original instructor before more than one year has elapsed since the end of the semester in which the course was taken.

Incomplete Grade Process. Students must be in close communication with the instructor PRIOR to the end of the semester regarding special circumstances precluding them from successfully completing the remainder of the course. Faculty may assign students an incomplete grade of “I” to signify that special circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented the student from completing a small portion of the course (no more than 25%) and that a final grade cannot yet be assigned.

IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO COLLABORATE WITH THE INSTRUCTOR TO COMPLETE AN INCOMPLETE AGREEMENT FORM prior to the end of the semester for which the incomplete is given. A copy of the form, signed by both the student and the instructor should be submitted to the SEHD Student Services Center (LSC 701). Both the student and instructor should also keep a copy. The instructor sets the conditions under which the course work can be completed and the time limit for completion. The student is expected to complete the requirements within the established deadline. If the missing assignments are not completed within the allotted time, the “I” converts to an F on the student’s transcript. Students making up an incomplete should not re-register for the course.

Upon completion of the missing course work, a Change of Record Form is completed by the original instructor to change the “I” to a letter grade. Faculty should work with the Faculty Services Center to complete the Change of Record Form.

Students with Disabilities. The University of Colorado at Denver is committed to providing reasonable accommodation and access to programs and services to students with disabilities. UCD strives to comply with the portions of the Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) dealing with students. The Disability Resources and Services Office (DRSO) serve the needs of the diverse community of students with disabilities attending UCD. For information, please visit this site.

CU Denver Honor Code. As members of the CU Denver community, students are expected to uphold University standards, which include abiding by state, civil, and criminal laws and all University policies and standards of conduct. These standards assist in promoting a safe and welcoming community. The full UCD Student Code of Conduct can be found here.

SEHD Honor Code. The School’s honor code is currently under review by faculty in the Student Committee.

Ombuds Office. The CU-Denver Ombuds Office offers free, voluntary, and confidential consultation and information. It’s a safe place to discuss any conflicts, questions or concerns you may have about University expectations, policies or procedures. It’s located in the CU-Denver Building, Suite 100. For further information, call them at (303)-315-0046 or visit their website.

Support from the Writing Center. The UCD Writing Center offers individual and small group consultations for students seeking to strengthen their writing. Students meet with a consultant live for a 50-minute appointment, just like they would face-to-face. More information is available at their website. An informational video, appointment video, and pdf brochure are available at their website as well. See also their APA style guide.

What about post-term access?

The course is open during the teaching term, but not indefinitely after that. Remember that you will present projects in your portfolio from different classes – always back up your data and collect all needed files from all courses as you complete the work. You will be responsible for having access to these files as you prepare your portfolio.

Change Clause

This syllabus is subject to change, and it very likely will.

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