Date of Completion


Embargo Period



writing self-efficacy, writing motivation, technology self-efficacy, writing performance, high school, secondary school, iPads

Major Advisor

Scott W. Brown, PhD

Associate Advisor

Alexandra Bell, PhD

Associate Advisor

Robert Hannafin, PhD

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


This study explores the use of digital storytelling as a prewriting activity to help 9th grade students plan narrative essays in English writing lessons. Students (N = 62) in three course sections taught by the same teacher completed a 10-week intervention. Each section was assigned to one of three groups according to their learning environment: a normal educational practice (NEP) group, a bulletin board system (BBS) group, and an asynchronous audio/video (AAV) group. The BBS and AAV groups created digital stories to plan their narratives while the NEP group developed written outlines.

Students’ writing self-efficacy, writing motivation, writing performance, and technology self-efficacy were measured at three times during the study. The results indicated that writing performance and writing motivation were not statistically different among the three groups over time. The BBS group experienced a significant increase in writing self-efficacy over the 10-week period. Digital story scores were found to be a significant predictor of essay scores at the end of the study. However, the sample size for this particular analysis did not have adequate statistical power. Lastly, levels of students’ technology self-efficacy were found to significantly predict students’ writing self-efficacy at the end of the study. While no immediate writing performance gains were found in this study, as writing self-efficacy can predict writing performance, it is possible that students may have experienced performance gains over a longer intervention period.