I’ve observed that working on stories in a group usually helps individuals to improve their story and I love watching how stories are improved, thanks to the group dynamics. That’s one of the reasons digital storytelling works so well as a group workshop activity.
One University of Tokyo project, called Unknown Shonan, is the first I’ve heard of that compares narratives arrived at individually with those arrived at by working in a group.
Shonan is Japan’s Brighton. It’s a bohemian seaside city about an hour by train from Tokyo. Universtiy of Tokyo researchers worked with participants, mixing historic photos with participant-taken ones where individuals are asked to make five-photo captioned narratives first individually and then in groups. They’ve already reached Phase II of the project and they’re comparing outputs at the moment. It’ll be interesting to hear the outcome and perhaps to start understanding what really improves stories when we share and discuss our stories collaboratively.