This year, honors students had the unique opportunity to take the Honors College with them over the summer via a new Ecampus colloquium course. Regardless of whether they stayed in Corvallis or went back home, honors students were able to engage with one another and share deeply personal experiences – just as if they had been together on campus. The course was entitled “The Art (and Science) of Storytelling” and was taught by Professor Inara Scott from the College of Business.
In one activity, students were asked to tell their own story using an image of themselves. They did this by distilling an important story in their life into a word or phrase before writing that word or phrase either on themselves or on a piece of paper. The students took photos of their writing and shared it with the group.
“By sharing a picture, students cross a barrier that can often exist in online classes, which is the barrier of sight,” Professor Scott says. “I think connecting visually is a really important part of building a community, and that’s one of the reasons I love this activity.”
The class used social media stories, videos and other creative elements, all designed to build cohesion among students who couldn’t learn together face-to-face. Even though the class never met in person, the students were still able to learn a great deal about each other – and themselves. By telling stories, regardless of medium, students were able to discover effective presentation, what stories most impact their daily lives and how it feels when they share integral parts of their story with others.
“Like all students, honors students are surrounded by stories,” Professor Scott says. “Learning to tell their own stories can help them grow in life and help them connect to other students across a variety of backgrounds and cultures.”