School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Joanne Gilbreath


Astronomy, Digital Storytelling, Digital Narratives, Elementary Science


Education | Elementary Education


For students to be successful in the Knowledge Age, they need a deep understanding of subject area content. When students develop misconceptions of science concepts, it limits their ability to progress in this area. Misconceptions are very resistant to change and interfere with student mastery of accepted science theory (Stamp & O'Brien, 2005; Wendt & Rockinson-Szapkiw, 2014). The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of student-produced digital stories in reducing the number of misconceptions held by students. This quasi-experimental study involved 118 fourth grade students in a small elementary school in the southeastern United States. The MOSART Astronomy and Space Science Concepts Inventory (ASSCI), a multiple choice test employing common student misconceptions as distractors, was used as both the pretest and posttest to measure changes in student understanding. The resulting data was analyzed using ANCOVA with the pretest scores from the ASSCI serving as the covariate. The analysis of the data found a statistically significant difference in the scores of students who produced digital stories when compared to students who produced digital informational writing, the type of writing traditionally used in science classrooms. The results of this study supported the used of digital storytelling in science classrooms to help reduce student misconceptions of science concepts. One recommendation for future studies would be to examine the effectiveness of digital storytelling on specific subgroups. Another recommendation would be to examine the effectiveness of digital storytelling after teachers had received additional professional development on the use of digital storytelling as a pedagogical tool that integrates technology and content acquisition.