Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 50, No. 2 - 101

Re-visioning Bulletin Boards
Photovoice is particularly valuable for education research focused
on residence life because it helps student affairs professionals
understand how students inhabit and navigate residential spaces.
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. Justin noted that some boards offered accessible learning opportunities
through their combination of basic information and a QR portal: " We noticed
that there's a lot of usage of QR codes, which can sometimes not be very useful, because
not everyone's gonna go up and scan. " Hector added,
Some of the boards, they're packed to the brim with information. And so, if you're just
walking by, it's kind of overwhelming. So with the QR codes, you can combine some
paragraphs, and then if you want to learn more, here's tools to do so.
Some elements of the bulletin boards captured the attention of the student-participants
and incited them to share what they learned with others. They argued that
the most captivating forms of image-text expression were those that created a narrative
with a sense of progression. Meanwhile, references to popular culture often led to
student-participants paying closer attention and even noticing bodily reactions to the
boards. Like Hector, Steven emphasized the efficacy of popular culture references on
bulletin boards when he asserted that he recognized the title ( " Hi, my name is . . . " ) as
a " reference to Eminem, " referring to a popular song by the rapper. Justin observed,
" Most of us are pretty used to seeing memes, " adding that they incite an " instant dose
of dopamine. And we're like, 'Oh, this is funny. But let's go to the next one' . . . It takes
advantage of that instinct. " Student-participants shared what they learned with others,
especially when the bulletin boards made use of memes. Christian pointed out, " Essentially,
when you tell your friends, that's like sharing on social media. You notice it creates
more energy around it. "
By completing this participatory study, students engaged in deeper learning than
they otherwise may have. They also demonstrated learning at various levels described by
the ICAP framework (Chi & Wylie, 2014). This section deploys the ICAP framework-in
which the depth of learning progresses from passive to active to constructive to interactive
levels-to describe examples of various types of student learning that took place.
Bulletin boards often appear as passive learning activities and are designed as entry
points into a topic, where students can gain some introductory knowledge and, if
they choose, then explore the topic more deeply. Steven described the passive learning
that can occur when he noted that one board " even teaches you some vocabulary
there, which I find really interesting. " Christian echoed the point: " And when you leave
knowing a little bit of vocabulary, you remember it's there to teach you something. "
Hector pointed out that although the boards are designed to engage passive learning,
they can still be interesting. Hector's statement, " I thought this was really interesting,
because it's kind of funny, but like, it's really informative, " was an example of baseline
bulletin board learning-if the information is presented in a compelling way, it may be
absorbed by passersby without much extra effort on the part of the observer.
98 The Journal of College and University Student Housing

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 50, No. 2

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