The Effect of the Artistic Pedagogical Technology Called Photovoice on Interaction in the Online Post-secondary Classroom: TheTeachers’ Perspective

By Beth Perry, Cynthia Menzies, Katherine J. Janzen and Margaret Edwards.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of the artistic pedagogical technology (APT) called photovoice on interaction in the online post-secondary classroom. This paper focuses on the teachers’ perspective. Artistic pedagogical technologies are teaching strategies founded in the arts (Perry & Edwards, 2010). Typically APTs include literary, visual, musical, or drama elements. They are distinguished from traditional teaching technologies in part by their emphasis on aesthetics and their link to creativity. Photovoice is an example of an APT. Photovoice is the purposeful use of selected visual images and affiliated reflective questions organized as an online teaching activity. The convenience sample for this study included three university instructors from the Faculty of Health Disciplines at a large online university. The participants used photovoice in an online graduate course they taught over one semester. Data were gathered in two ways. First, participant-research assistant email exchanges related to using photovoice were collected. These narratives included the instructors’ insights, reflections, and questions regarding photovoice and the influence photovoice seemed to be having on interactions in the class. Second, the research assistant conducted one-to-one unstructured telephone interviews (recorded and transcribed) with each participant at the end of the semester. The written narratives and interview transcripts were analyzed thematically. Findings include the following themes: photovoice as the trigger of interaction, photovoice as the sustainer of interaction, and photovoice as an enhancer of interaction. Social Development Theory (Vygotsky, 1978), The Community of Inquiry (COI) Model (Rourke, Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000) and Wenger’s Social Theory of Learning (2009) provide a framework for the study and for discussion of findings.

Keywords: Artistic Pedagogical Technology, Photovoice, Interaction, Online Education, Teaching Strategies, Electronic Pedagogy, Social Development Theory, Community of Inquiry, Social Theory of Learning

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.117-128. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 771.713KB).

Dr. Beth Perry

Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Beth Perry has been teaching online at Athabasca University in graduate and undergraduate courses for the past 10 years. As a nurse and educator Beth’s research interests are in exemplary nursing practice and excellence in online teaching. She is currently completing a 3 year SSHRC funded study related to the use of artistic pedagogical technologies in online education.

Cynthia Menzies

Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada

Cynthia Menzies and Katherine Janzen contributed to the study as research assistants during their Master of Nursing programs at Athabasca University.

Prof. Katherine J. Janzen

Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Margaret Edwards

Professor, Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Edwards is a Professor in the Faculty of Health Disciplines at Athabasca University. Most recently she has been the Director of the graduate program in the Center for Nursing and Health Studies.