Title: Photography-based Research Projects in the Classroom: Discussing Experiences, Evaluation Criteria and Outcomes
Stream: Visual Communication
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Luc Pauwels, University of Antwerp, Belgium
This presentation focuses on the use of photography-based visual methods by students in the social sciences. The path is drawn from introducing the students in the theory, methodology and practice of visual sociology. The project design stage then involves an iterative process whereby students choose a subject with a significant visual dimension, formulate a hypothesis or a problem, develop plans to operationalize the research questions into visual indicators and select an appropriate combination of methods. Through designing, executing and presenting their own photography-based project(s) students gradually develop a sensitivity for the visual aspects of society and learn to appreciate the ways in which such methods can also provide access to immaterial treats (values, norms, expectations) of cultures. A hands-on experience in visualizing, interpreting and using the visual provides a useful complement to the more passive ways of learning about the visual aspects of society. Based on experiences with coaching over 350 projects, the presentation will discuss some typical problems students tend to struggle with in setting up, executing and presenting their projects.
The core part of the presentation consists of a detailed analysis of a selection of ‘noteworthy’ student projects that will elaborate and illustrate the above made points and observations. ‘Noteworthy’ in terms of one or several of the following evaluation criteria: theoretical underpinning, quality of the visual material (e.g. projective potentiality, data richness…), social relevance, rapport building, the generation of new research questions, the integrated presentation of visual and verbal material.
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