The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to discover how a single, relational intervention in a digital space focused on civil, respectful conversation across difference might influence digital media literacy (DML) among college students, with the goal of increasing college students’ sense of belonging and level of curiosity. The researcher used a phenomenological approach, exploring and describing the lived experiences of students who participated in a micro-engagement with an other through interviews (Creswell, 2014). This study investigated the main question: (a) How does a semi-structured, relational micro-intervention focused on civil, respectful conversation across difference influence college students’ sense of belonging and level of curiosity? This research was guided by the Framework for Individual Diversity Development (Chavez, Guido-DiBrito, & Mallory, 2003), which provided a theoretical model for the process of moving from lack of awareness and othering to awareness and acceptance. Findings that emerged involved students’ recognition that a semi-structured micro-intervention with an other in a digital space enlightened them to the value of story sharing to navigate differences, find commonality, and establish small-scale relationships. These key findings indicate that the time and structure involved in a relational micro-interventions across difference in a digital space can influence DML, sense of belonging, and level of curiosity.
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"Story Sharing in a Digital Space to Counter Othering and Foster Belonging and Curiosity among College Students,"
Journal of Media Literacy Education,
11(2), 56 -78.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/jmle/vol11/iss2/4