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Re-visioning Bulletin Boards
Participants focused their analysis on the design of the bulletin boards, the topics
that most interested them, and the way their attention was directed during and outside
of the photovoice study. Student-participants shared their opinions alongside their
photographs and made recommendations to senior leaders according to these three
thematic areas. In highlighting the importance of design elements, students pointed
to variation across the boards in terms of font size and color, quantity of information,
and portals to further information. The most effective bulletin boards offered tangible
opportunities to learn by providing some basic information but also included a QR
code to give the observer the option to learn more. However, students quickly moved
past boards that included small fonts and too much information.
Student-participants also indicated that particular topics were more interesting
than others and thus more likely to facilitate learning. From the five topical areas covered
by the full collection of bulletin boards, those focused on Arab-American heritage
and gender pronouns proved significantly more interesting to students than did financial
wellness, environmental sustainability, and preparation for final exams. In the
group interview, students described how their own cultural identities and pre-college
experiences led them to be particularly interested in intercultural learning.
Participant analysis of bulletin board design and content led to discussion of the
boards' ability to capture students' attention. Participants thoughtfully considered how
the activity increased their desire to pay attention to what they otherwise may have
ignored, how the spatial experience of residents dictates which boards are seen and in
what conditions they are encountered, and how certain boards with compelling design
and content were more likely to earn a bypasser's attention.
FINDINGS
Our study resulted in findings that reflect demonstrations of deep learning, shared
identities of the student-participants, and the style of articulation they chose to voice
their experience. The ICAP framework and attentiveness to students as auteurs helped
conceptualize the interactive, personalized learning process that took place. In this
section, we share findings that reflect the themes of student learning, student identity,
and student agency.
Deep Learning
This section will review various examples of student learning that took place in the
study. Some of the observations shared by student-participants focused on information
they gleaned instantly from the bulletin boards. In addition to learning vocabulary
or basic facts, students highlighted the importance of design elements, pointing to
variation across the bulletin boards in terms of font size and color, quantity of information,
and portals to further information. However, they quickly moved past boards that
included small fonts and too much information. They also reflected on how the photovoice
activity itself increased their desire to pay attention to bulletin boards, which they
otherwise may not have noticed.
Volume 50, No. 2 * 2024 97

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