School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 510: Storytelling
Course Outline

Fall 2018


Instructor: Gail de Vos
Phone: 1-780-977-8227 (cell)
Office:  online course
Office hours
: Upon request by phone, skype, etc.

Calendar Description:

To examine the past and present forms of storytelling: the oral tradition, the function of the storyteller, the selection of materials and the techniques of telling and listening to stories.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of the course, a student should [be able to] ….

  • Develop an appreciation of storytelling as a communication art and the role of traditional literature in popular culture.
  • Explore the place and function of storytelling in the library, the classroom and the community at large.
  • Develop knowledge of the literature suitable for storytelling and of the professional literature of the field.
  • Expand his or her experience in selection, preparation, and presentation of stories and storytelling programmes.
  • Learn to tell stories in an effective manner. In order to fulfil this objective, some class time will be used to practice the qualities of oral language arts in an informal and safe setting.
  • Consider the different aspects of folklore and its intersections with contemporary popular culture.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

  • After critical reading and reflection of examples of traditional folklore students will articulate their relevance to our contemporary western society.
  • After watching storytellers and telling oral stories themselves, students will articulate the complexities of creating a successful storytelling experience as well as discover the challenges in creating a successful storytelling event.
  • After examination of intellectual freedom in regards to folklore and storytelling events in libraries, in tandem with required course seminars, students will critically analyze trends, practices, challenges, threats, history, research and key resources for Canadian (and other) libraries.
  • After exposure to diverse media coverage on the various aspects of folklore within or without library collections, students will understand the complexity in objectivity, perception and awareness of folklore and storytelling in all types of libraries.


This course explores resources for the storyteller, the literature of storytelling, methods of selection and preparation of stories, traditional literature and storytelling practice.


Course notes, background readings, oral and written assignments, storytelling demonstrations, online class presentations, audio visual aids.

Course Relationships:

Assignments and Weighting:

Telling of a Fable                  
 II. Reflections on the Fable
 III. Virtual Seminar
 IV. Folktale Telling
 V. Participation 10%

All students need to be active participants in online class discussions and group activities as well as active listeners.

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade.

Academic Integrity:

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy.

Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff, and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services.

Recording of Lectures:

Recording of lectures is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.

Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.