Student Experience Documentary Project | Duke Kunshan University

Student Experience Documentary Project


The goal of the DKU Student Experience Documentary Project is to document, analyze and evaluate the experiences of the initial cohort of DKU students beginning with their journey from their hometowns to DKU. The reasons for doing so are fourfold:

  • Archive: to contribute to the historical record of the founding of the DKU undergraduate program
  • Advertisement: to tell the story of the DKU undergraduate program to a wider audience
  • Analysis: to understand the experiences of students as they go through the program
  • Assessment: to contribute to the assessment of the DKU mission as identified by its animating principles (rooted globalism, collaborative problem-solving, research & practice, lucid communication, independence & creativity, wise leadership, and a purposeful life.


The main method of the project will be that of the video log (vlog). Students will use their own smartphones to keep a vlog of their journey to DKU and their first experience of being a student on the DKU campus.  Students will be given weekly prompts for their vlogs, but will be free to take this in whatever direction they want.

Students will be supported through regular face-to-face meetings to discuss their content with others, and will be encouraged to enroll in video training classes to learn basic scripting, filming, and editing skills. Some participants will be selected as student fellows and receive training to turn their vlogs into documentaries.

To test this method, the DKU Institutional Review Board has authorized a pilot project focussing on the DKU animating principle of rooted globalism. The pilot project is led by Kaley Clements, James Miller and Miguel Rojas.

Students may sign up to participate in this project here.