Brad Hinson, Instructor (about me)

Frequent and regular communication is a key element of this course. We will communicate frequently across a variety of channels, some public, some private.

We will not use Canvas or email for this course. Slack is where we connect and communicate for all course matters.

  • Blogs are required for each student. Each student is required to have his/her own blog where s/he will post and share work. There is a guide to setting one up under ClassTools.
  • Slack is our primary communication channel. Get the app, keep it open, enable notifications, and consider adding Slack to your smartphone as well. You’ll thank me later. I will send you an invite to our class Slack.
  • is an annotation tool that attaches discussions to web pages and pdfs. Annotations are public by default, but we will use private groups for our class. requires an account and a browser add-on for the Chrome browser.
  • Zoom for dialogs and other video discussions.


Catalog Description

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.

This course embraces the structure and spirit of the DS106 community of practice. Students complete multiple mini-assignments each week with a variety of media. Students share their creations via their personal blogs and social network channels. Individual student blogs serve as a personal canvas for each student – a portfolio of sorts. You can learn more about DS106here and here.

This course does not have textbooks, exams, or formal essays. This course does require active participation and productivity on a weekly basis. Each week, we will read and annotate journal articles; watch relevant videos; explore and discuss digital stories; and produce/share our own digital stories. Read, watch, annotate, discuss, produce, share, and repeat 16 times (weeks).


  • Critically examine and critique multiple forms of digital storytelling and participatory learning experiences;
  • Frame a digital identity wherein you are both a practitioner-in and interrogator-of various media and social networks;
  • Iteratively and rapidly produce multiple digital stories by leveraging a variety of tools, methods, and design principles;
  • Develop a critical stance toward digital storytelling as a social learning platform and community of practice;


DS106 has historically been an open and public course with student work posted on student blogs and individual social media accounts. This is a defining and critical component of DS106, the social learning themes of INTE5340, and the portfolio development of ILT students. However, the internet being what it is; INTE5340 will function as a semi-public course. We will engage the public by sharing our work via individual blogs tagged with inte5340 and we will retain private communications via and Slack.

Working publicly does not mean we forsake privacy. If you have concerns about online privacy, safety, or anonymity; please talk to me and we’ll make accommodations.


A good computer with reliable internet access. You will need ongoing access to a computer that is capable of basic media editing and playback; and a webcam/microphone for video discussion and assignment production. You will need persistent Internet access. You will likely need to download and install software to complete assignments, so having appropriate system permissions is necessary.

Accounts/software. You need accounts on Slack and; you need your own blog; and you will use a variety of software (of your choosing) to create digital stories. It is important that you download and install the Slack App on your computer – add it to your smartphone or tablet as well. You’ll thank me later. See ClassTools for more details

Diverse Media. You will be working with diverse types of media and media tools. You will be creating multiple things each week. You have some choice-of-assignment and choice-of-media each week. By the end of the course, you must have used audio, video, graphics, and web in a substantive way, at least twice.

Substantive use of media means:

  • you created media from scratch, specifically for this course;
  • you edited or altered media, specifically for this course;
  • you leveraged new media tools or techniques, specifically for the assignment;
  • you didn’t use an auto-generative or auto-produce type of tool to do the work for you;
  • you invested demonstrable time, effort and creativity into the assignment.

Don’t overuse any single media, strategy or tool. Avoid slideshows, unless it done in a new and creative way. Slideshows are widely over-used, and this course is about stretching beyond the over-used. Embrace a diversity of tools, styles, media, and techniques. No slideshows.

Media Tools. You may use what tools work best for you. 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, and to share your findings with the class. To find tools – you may review the course StoryTools or simply ask Google.

Readings. You are not required to purchase a textbook or other course materials. Required course readings and media will be made available online at no cost. Required readings will be posted with each module.


Weekly work will be steady. Read, watch, annotate, discuss, produce, share, and repeat each week. None of our work is overly ambitious or difficult, but it is persistent and requires your continuous partial attention.

  • Watch/Read/Discuss. Articles and videos will be assigned each week. You are required to discuss these in discussion groups.
  • Weekly-Things are a small creative tasks that are easy, fun, and required – posted to the #mixtape channel each week.
  • Weekly-Makes are larger creative tasks – you generally do 1 of these per week.
    • Challenges are creative assignments using a mix of digital media. They will start easy and get slightly more challenging as the course progresses. (5 total).
    • Dialogs are recorded discussions between 2 to 3 classmates about a case-study topic (4 total).
    • Summary-Reflections are posts to your blog at the end of each module (4 total). On your blog, summarize your learning, productivity and participation for a module. Demonstrate evidence of your effort and creativity. Embed ALL Challenges, Dialogs, and Weekly-Things from the module. Tag your blog post with INTE5340 so I can find it. Answer all of the following questions:
      1. What was your favorite topic, article or video? Why?
      2. What was the best discussion? Why? Provide quotes.
      3. What was your favorite creation from a classmate? Who impressed you? Why?
      4. What did you make and what tools did you use? (challenges, dialogs, weekly-remix)
      5. How did you challenge yourself? What was your biggest stretch?

Final Challenge. A mixed-media story that leverages a combination of audio, video, web, and graphics to tell a story or teach a lesson. This is a fairly flexible assignment – – I will work with you to refine/define the details so that it challenges you individually and matches your individual interests.


You have the opportunity to earn 100 total points.

  • 5 module grades worth 15 points each (75 pts total)
  • 1 final challenge grade worth 15 pts
  • 1 effort & diversity grade worth 10 pts

I will review our Slack channels, discussions, and your module Summary & Reflection for evidence of your participation, engagement, creativity, and personal effort for each module.

Effort & Diversity grade. This is my assessment of your overall course work. I need to see that you have stretched yourself.

  • did you demonstrate personal effort & growth
  • did you use a diverse set of media
  • did you respond to my feedback & direction
  • did you complete all tasks

Overall Point structure:

  • Module 1: 15 points
  • Module 2: 15 points
  • Module 3: 15 points
  • Module 4: 15 points
  • Module 5: 15 points
  • Final Challenge: 15 points
  • Effort & Diversity: 10 points

That’s 100 possible points.

Final grades will be based on this scale:

A 95-100 pts

A- 90-94 pts

B 85-89 pts

B- 80-84 pts

C 75-79 pts

C- 70-74 pts

D 65-69 pts

D- 60-64 pts

F below 60 pts


Don’t worry about artistry. Grades are based on effort, participation, and engagement. Not artistic ability.

I am primarily interested in your personal growth. I want you to stretch. Experiment with ideas and tools.

  • Be active and engaged in Slack.
  • Be active and engaged in our discussions.
  • Stretch yourself when creating media.
  • Leave your comfort zone. Try new things.
  • Be active. Be genuine. Have fun.

Policies & Procedures

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 – 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.