Step-by-step guide

The objective of Making History is to create and upload a short digital history of up to 3 minutes.

We provide resources to help you plan, research and make your digital history, including access to experts via video conferences and in our forums, and give you editing tools to create and upload your project.

It's easy to get started...

1. Get an overview

Watch the resource overview video and browse the Making History website to discover the range of resources available, especially under Themes and Resources and tools. Check out some of the other digital histories in the Student Showcase to get some ideas and inspiration.


2. Watch the introduction to oral history videos

Oral historian Professor Alistair Thomson describes what oral history is and its importance in historical inquiry. He also shares his experience and tips on finding people to interview, recording them, getting their permission, and other considerations when conducting an oral history interview.


3. Choose a theme

Making History is structured around four themes that relate to historical inquiry.Your digital history will need to be about one of them:

  • Living with Natural Disasters – has your local community experienced a natural disaster? What happened and how has it been remembered?
  • World Events, Local Impacts – what world events are part of your community’s past? How have these events been remembered?
  • Cultural Identity – Our heritage as individuals and as a nation has an impact on our cultural identity. Where do you come from? What connections to place and people, stories of cultural identity and/or migration can you find in your community?
  • Family and Community Life – do you know your family or community's story? Who can you talk to? What objects can you look at?

4. Research

Your research could take many forms and could include, but is not limited to, conducting oral history interviews and collecting images, audio and footage. It’s up to you what you want to include and how you want it to look.

We suggest you start at the Plan and research page under Resources and tools, which will guide you through the planning, researching and interviewing stages and help you with gathering material and filming your interviews.

You'll find lots of helpful advice from experts and historians by watching the expert videos and participating in web conferences.

You can also go to the Themes page and look at resources specific to your chosen theme.

5. Get permission and reference your sources

Be as creative as you like while also being careful about collecting and referencing your sources.

All interviewees must give their consent to appear in your digital history. You must also have permission to use the material in your digital history, and you must reference your material at the end. These things are essential and your digital history will not be uploaded to the Making History site without them.

See Using and sourcing material for more detailed guidelines.

6. Find the story

Once you’ve done your interview(s), it’s time to review your material and think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. There are lots of possibilities, and if you’ve gathered a lot of material, particularly lengthy interviews, you might be overwhelmed about what to focus on. We’ve put together some strategies to help you find the story.

7. Create a storyboard

A storyboard is an outline of your digital history from beginning to end that shows what will be included and in what order. It’s a great way to plan your digital history and will make things a lot easier when it comes time to put everything together. Learn more at the storyboard page.

8. Create your digital history

Edit together your digital history using software you have access to at your school or home, such as Movie Maker or iMovie. Whichever software you choose, this step is about layering images, footage, music and sound effects to mirror the storyboard you created in the previous step.

Remember that your digital history should not be longer than 3 minutes and must have certain details included. See Edit and upload your digital history for more information.

9. Share your work

Once completed, you are now ready to share your digital history with your community or even the world, so long as you have the permission of anyone you have interviewed or sources you have used. You could organise a screening or post your digital history video on a website and share the link.

Related Resources

MV Resources