Scholarly digital storytelling brings together my passion for telling scholarly stories in new ways and to new audiences with my goal of promoting authentic, inquiry-based teaching and learning in higher education.

“There’s a life after this class,” wrote a graduate student at the end of my 2016 scholarly digital storytelling course. “We are creating content that is useable, valuable, shareable.” Another student wrote that creating a scholarly digital story allowed her “to look at research in a different way.” A doctoral student commented, “At some point I’ll write a dissertation and no one will read it. Digital storytelling can create an entry point . . . into the more in-depth research and content.”

I first taught digital storytelling in 2010. It was a rewarding teaching experience for me, but more importantly, a meaningful, authentic learning experience for an interdisciplinary group of graduate students who left the class with digital skills and with the ability to communicate their academic research beyond the class and the institution. I experienced the power of scholarly digital storytelling to open minds, shape conversations, and engage broad audiences in concepts grounded in academic research. Students, for example, shared their stories with other students and faculty, within and across colleges, and with their colleagues, families, and communities. They published their digital storytelling work, presented it at conferences, and used it in professional settings.


Kelly Schrum is a professor in the Higher Education Program (HEP) at George Mason University. She is affiliated faculty with the departments of History and Art History, Women and Gender Studies, and Cultural Studies.

A historian by training, Schrum’s work focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), digital humanities, and teaching and learning in the digital age, including online learning. Schrum has directed more than 50 digital projects with funding from federal agencies and foundations as well as through partnerships with national and local organizations.

She has published widely, including recent articles on teaching and learning the history of higher education, historical thinking in hybrid and asynchronous courses, and scholarly digital storytelling, and presents both nationally and internationally. Schrum received her B.A. in history and anthropology from U.C. Berkeley and her Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University.