Visual spaces for personalised and connected learning

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation onlypeer-review


The use of images in teaching represents an exciting and evolving field which provides educational opportunities to creatively imagine new and powerful pedagogies to enhance student learning. Despite the inherent power of visual strategies to engage students in meaningful and effective learning, their implementation in education remains at the fringe of mainstream education practices.
This presentation reports the findings of a qualitative research project that explored how photo-elicitation employed as a teaching strategy shaped students’ learning. This research utilised two data collection strategies (1) an anonymous online survey and (2) semi-structured interviews. All texts generated were coded and interpreted within a hermeneutic tradition including multiple readings of the transcripts, identifying shared understanding and pre-judgements, interests and assumptions. The research participants were academics enrolled in a Graduate Certificate of Learning and Teaching.
Photo-elicitation was found to open up powerful, personal and enjoyable ways to engage students in meaningful learning. The photographs provided an opportunity for students to eloquently connect topic areas being studied to their lived experiences and interests. Photo-elicitation also provided immediate, tangible and intimate ways of understanding and enhancing student learning. The use of photo-elicitation teaching strategies created personalised and connected student learning.
Visual teaching and learning strategies represent an exciting and evolving field. They provide educators with opportunities to both creatively imagine and enact new and powerful pedagogies, and to develop graduates who will flourish in current and future societal contexts. This presentation concludes with a case example of how an academic, having experienced photo-elicitation as a teaching and learning strategy has embedded visual strategies in her own teaching and learning. Many different uses of photographs to create powerful learning spaces as well as the continuous evolution of these visual teaching strategies to best meet students’ fluid educational requirements are also reported.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) 42nd Annual Conference, 2019 - University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 03 Jul 201905 Jul 2019
Conference number: 42nd


ConferenceHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) 42nd Annual Conference, 2019
Abbreviated titleNext generation, higher education: Challenges, changes and opportunities
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
OtherIn the last decade, Higher Education has undergone dramatic changes with internationalisation bringing a broader range of students to tertiary institutions, while requiring researchers to focus on priorities set by government. The sector continues to grapple with restrained budgets, increased student numbers, greater student diversity and government agendas requiring preparation of students for work and lifelong learning. In addition, the research environment has become more complex with funding opportunities becoming more competitive but not as plentiful.
As we enter a new decade, there will be new challenges and changes along with opportunities for the next generation in Higher Education. Within this context we have identified areas and points of interest relevant to the conference theme as captured within our sub-themes. The points beneath these sub-themes are intended to help guide thinking and potential areas of interest for research. You are however, encouraged to interpret the themes as it best suits your own institutional or national context.
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