Digital Nonfiction Workshop

Erin Anderson“A big thank you to Meg Koleck and the Center for Teaching and Learning Open Lab for working with me on this project. When I first got the idea that I might want to experiment with 360 video in my teaching, I saw it as a long-term proposition that I might aim to develop over the next couple of years. Working with Meg, I was able to get the support I needed develop a project for my class over a single semester. Meg provided me with support at every stage of the process, helping to research the technology, to secure equipment, to develop skills in shooting and editing, and to provide teaching guides and demonstrations to my class. It was a really productive collaboration where both of us learned from each other in exploring this new medium.

Students in my MFA Digital Nonfiction Workshop worked together in pairs to produce short 360 video micro-documentaries in the style of the New York Times’ Daily 360 series. While several students had basic video experience coming into the class, for others, this was their first experience shooting and editing video, and this project provided a wonderful “way in” for students across the board. The conceptual challenge of storytelling in an interactive environment pushed students to think about their relationship to audience in new ways, anticipating the user’s movement through the piece and coming to terms with the balance between control and exploration within the storyscape. The project lent itself particularly well to place-based storytelling, and several of my students are already coming up with new ideas to continue using the technology in future projects. 

 I learned a lot from this experience, and it was a delight to work with Meg. I hope to do more work with 360 degree video moving forward. Thank you again.”

Erin Anderson
Assistant Professor
The Writing Program
Department of English
University of Pittsburgh

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