Digna Rabia: Constructing a Digital Journal in Latinx Oral History

In this assignment, students compiled oral histories from U.S. immigrants, including interviews, transcriptions, and augmented reality-enhanced images, culminating in a collective digital journal.

Author: Pablo GonzalezLecturer in Chicanx and Latinx Studies 
Course Number & Title: CHS 159: Mexican Migration
Grant Type: Distinguished Teaching Award

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0(link is external)(link is external)

Assignment Title Digna Rabia: Constructing a Digital Journal in Latinx Oral History
Delivery Format In-person

High Impact Practices (HIPs) Categories

(Review definitions for each category(link is external)(link is external))

  • Community-Based Learning
  • Capstone Courses and Projects
  • ePortfolios & Multimedia Storytelling
  • Undergraduate Research
Learning Objectives 
  • Students will amplify the stories of migrants through storytelling

  • Students will learn the value of oral history collecting

  • Students will learn how to produce a questionnaire and conduct an oral history interview

  • Students will learn how to produce a visual/audio accompaniment to the oral history using augmented reality technology

Brief Summary of Assignment The digital journal assignment is structured on the recovery of oral histories from individuals who are im/migrants to the United States. Students learn about oral history collecting through the case study of Bracero guest workers. They create a questionnaire, conduct the oral history, transcribe/write the oral history, and provide images that accompany the oral history. Each image also includes an augmented reality effect that layers the oral history through embedded images and sounds. Once completed the projects are included in the formation of a digital journal.
Innovative Teaching Reflection Conducting oral histories are about story telling and bringing to light the stories of those often forgotten in history. By conducting oral histories and publishing them, students and those interviewed have a written published record of their story and the impact migrating to this country has had in their lives and the lives of their families and communities.
Assignment Length The assignment is a semester long project that includes post-semester formatting and publishing of the digital journal.
Impact & Feedback I am intentional when I state at the beginning of the project that oral histories hold a power more than just an assignment for a class. For many of my students, they interview and document the stories of their parents, grandparents, family members, or community. I share with them that these stories are something that they will hold farther than the course. Collecting the audio recording of the interview, writing and transcribing the interview, and holding it in a digital journal are all ways of centering the voices of those who shared their stories.
Assignment Details  Projects over the years: Digna Rabia 2020, Digna Rabia 2022Digna Rabia 2023 (Available to UC Berkeley only)