Student-Centered Immersive StoryMaps to Build Language and Cultural Proficiency

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research on using digital exhibits in the language classroom has focused almost exclusively on students using already-created exhibits to build linguistic and cultural proficiencies. However, little work has been done previously on the creation of digital exhibits by students to build these competencies. Our paper illustrates the creative use of StoryMaps to build cultural and linguistic competencies in the language classroom, and how we have modified the implementation of these projects based on student feedback over the past three years. We will discuss the procedures and training necessary for students to create inspiring, immersive projects by combining text and interactive maps. We will also provide best practices on how to implement StoryMaps as a tool for building cultural and linguistic proficiencies. Our goals for these projects were for students to examine a cultural topic from the perspective of a target culture, express themselves clearly in writing in Spanish, engage in scholarly research, and craft an interactive and multi-faceted tool to disseminate original research. In addition to the creation process, we closed the loop by using high-quality student-created exhibits as learning tools in introductory language classes, to both foster critical thinking skills by evaluating the effectiveness of the StoryMaps and to reinforce reading and culture proficiencies. Applying new technologies to pedagogy in the humanities is becoming increasingly necessary to connect with learners in the digital age. Our project seeks to establish a framework for best practices using StoryMaps as an engaging learning tool in the creation of digital exhibits by students as an experiential, engaged learning pedagogy.
Session presented at SOLPHE 2022,
StoryMaps, Linguistic competencies, Spanish language acquisition