Reflection through a Lens • Student Speak.
The Proposal • The aim was to explore photo-elicitation and in particular auto-driven photo-elicitation as an evaluative method for capturing the international student experience at our institution. Our Research Question What are the international students’ experiences of Wolverhampton?
But what is auto-driven photo-elicitation??? What would you take??
The Plan • Recruitment of international students • Briefing session with students • Students would take ‘meaningful’ photo’s (max of 3) • Video/audio recorded discussions of photographs • Analysis of discussion and photographs.
Working together • The research team would use a collaborative webfolio to incapsulate the interviews and photographs of our student researchers.
Working together We would also use a collaborative report webfolio. This would help us discuss methodology, interview techniques and help us to plan for the future.
Student A “There was so many buildings and so many people about and you just felt so lost. Coming from a really small town I wasn’t used to all these new things. It feels to me like the university is a town, but I found my way and it just got easier with time. Now I feel safer and I know my way, its not a scary problem anymore.”
Student A “Its taken on the 6th or 7th floor of the Art and Design building and it kind of represents that coming here was a big step for me. The journey from Norway to all the way to here, just feels like I’ve walked so many steps and I’m already quite high. I have achieved a lot and I feel people back home don’t have the guts to go out and try and do it. I feel like doing this, on my own and without my family here has made me stronger and that I have walked all these steps on my own and it feels good.”
Student B “When I started the course and went to the MI building and saw this equipment, I thought that this is fantastic. The equipment, we never have this back home. So I wanted to take this photograph to show to my brothers, sisters and friends back home, who also might wish to come study here. To show them, that we have these wonderful facilities, to help study on a course.”
Student C “The image of the prayer room and Mosque could represent my religion but to me they are about support and understanding. The Mosque to me is a place to go to ask for clarification about why UK people might respond in a particular way and the prayer room was a place for peer support and advice sharing of ideas.”
What did we see? • We found that some international students feel part of a community. • Issues with photographing self or others • There are different learning/support mechanisms that a lot of people are not aware of. • Being an international student can mean taking a giant step.
Where next? • We would like to have more international students. • Explore this research method with ‘home’ students. • Use different modes of capturing photos. • Explore this method with other research proposals.