Using the artistic pedagogical technology of photovoice to promote interaction in the online post-secondary classroom: The students' perspective

Margaret Edwards, Beth Perry, Katherine Janzen, Cynthia Menzies

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the effect of the artistic pedagogical technology (APT) called photovoice (PV) on interaction in the online post-secondary classroom. More specifically, this paper focuses on students' perspectives regarding the effect of PV on student to student and student to instructor interactions in online courses. Artistic pedagogical technologies are teaching strategies based on the arts (Perry & Edwards. 2010). APTs use music, poetry, drama, photography, crafts or other visual media as the basis of teaching activities. Photovoice is the purposeful use of selected visual images and affiliated refection questions as an online teaching strategy. Social Development Theory (Vygotsky, 1978) and Janzen's Quantum Perspective of Learning (Janzen, Perry & Edwards, 2011) provide the theoretical basis of the study. The convenience sample included 15 graduate students from the Faculty of Health Disciplines at an online university. Participants completed a 4 month master's course in which PV was used. Data were collected after final course grades were official. Data were gathered using an online questionnaire based on an adaptation (with permission) of Rovai's (2002) Classroom Cohesion Scale (CSS) and Richardson and Swan's (2003) Social Presence Scale (SPS). A follow-up focus group with 6 of the original 15 participants was held. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected. This paper focuses on findings from the quantitative data with supportive qualitative comments. Data analysis of the quantitative data takes the form of descriptive statistics. Data analysis of the qualitative data used NVivo software. In sum, the majority of respondents did find that PV had a positive influence on course interactions, but also on their sense of community, comfort in the educational milieu, and on how well they got to know themselves, other learners, and the instructor. Questions for further research are posed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-43
Number of pages12
JournalElectronic Journal of e-Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar. 2012


  • Artistic pedagogical technologies
  • Online education
  • Photovoice
  • Quantum perspective of learning
  • Social development theory
  • eLearning


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