WD201 Web Documentary

Course code: 
2 semesters
Credits (ECTS): 
Level of study: 
Specialization level (bachelor’s degree level)
Course name in Norwegian Nynorsk: 
Web Documentary
Teaching semester: 
2023 Autumn
2024 Spring
Course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Web Documentary
Assessment semester: 
2023 Autumn
2024 Spring
Language of instruction: 
Required prerequisite knowledge

Minimum 30 credits of the courses MPRO110, MPRO111, MPRO112, JOU111, JOU112, SAJ101, INF131 or MEV121, or equivalent. For students accepted in the animation bachelor at Volda University College: ANI161 and ANI162.

Course content

The Web Documentary course provides a practical and theoretical introduction to fact-based or fact-claiming narratives on the web. The course provides vocational and hands-on experience in the production of a documentary project for the web. 

Web documentary involves video production, animation, journalism, web design and PR strategies. The genre has its roots in the long tradition of film and TV documentary's "creative treatment" of current and historical affairs, and of personal, local, regional, and global stories. As in traditional documentary, having a critical and independent voice, and being deeply engaged with an issue are essential requirements for the successful production of a web documentary project. Web documentary also provides a space through which to explore non-linear narratives, and through which documentarists can expand the outreach of their projects, for example through mobile locative storytelling or social media. This involves understanding how to use multiple media channels and platforms, and understanding the uses of cutting-edge technologies to deliver a fact-based history.

The exam is a collaborative team project. Students will work in small interdisciplinary teams where they can use their individual skills in the development of a practical web documentary project. The practical project expertise is complemented by the delivery of a short academic essay. This essay gives students the opportunity to engage with current literature to discuss selected examples of web documentary productions from around the world.

Learning outcome

In accordance with the National Qualifications Framework the student will have following learning outcome after completing the course:

Learning outcome knowledge

The sudent will

  • understand design and production issues for web documentary production
  • understand narrative issues for non-linear fact-based storytelling
  • understand ethical and legal issues around the use of publicly available data (e.g. personal or institutional data) for web documentary
  • demonstrate knowledge of technical and aesthetic opportunities of the use of digital media for documentary production
  • understand the global web documentary production environment.
Learning outcome skills

The student 

  • is able to develop a script and project proposal for a non-linear fact-based storytelling project
  • is able to use efficient production processes for interdisciplinary media production teams
  • is able to use data visualisation and creative techniques and tools
Learning outcome qualification

The student

  • is able to work in a team to produce a polished, non-linear, fact-based narrative project (webdoc)
  • is able to make provisions to comply with the legal, ethical, and economic context of web documentary practice
  • is able to communicate and exchange ideas for the further theoretical development of the genre
  • is able to make use of the novel aesthetic and narrative opportunities that creating a multi-platform media product provides
Working and learning activities

The course relies on problem-based and active forms for learning, individually and in teams. 

Working individually or in teams, students will produce an interactive media product for online distribution. Participation in learning activities online and in presential or virtual team work and meetings is required, and fullfillment of practical project work is essential.

Teachers will provide guidance, and a schedule for team or supervisory meetings will be available in the semester plan. An overview of the organisation and delivery of coursework requirements is provided in the semester plan.

Refer also to Regulations governing studies and examinations at Volda University College, §7.3 on attendance/participation in teaching.

Assessment requirements
  1. Project proposal 
  2. Documentary exercises
  3. Fill out the evaluation form of the course (done anonymously)

All requirements are evaluated as pass/fail and are compulsory for exam enrolment.

Minimum number of students: 
Maximum number of students: 
Person in charge: 
Ivar John Erdal
Used in other programs
  • Journalism - bachelor
1 Semester
A-F, A is the best grade and E is the lowest passing grade
Final examination consists of a portfolio that includes the team product in the form of a finished proposal or fully functional and live web documentary, an evaluation of collaboration and a method report. Further details on technical requirements are to be provided during the course.
The scope of the method report must be in the range of 1800-2500 words.
Approval signature: 
Kate Kartveit