Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 50, No. 2 - 92

Re-visioning Bulletin Boards
BULLETIN BOARDS ARE UBIQUITOUS in residence halls and may not always
capture students' attention, but when they do, they have the potential to
engage students in meaningful learning experiences. Our study explores how
arts-based methodologies can be used in student affairs and higher education
research to expand possibilities for practitioners to understand what students
want to voice and to assess student learning directly. We worked with
four student participants to set up a photovoice project in tandem with a
university's residential curriculum. In this article, we share findings from the
photovoice project and apply a learning framework to analyze the deep
learning that residents experienced. Findings reflect shared identities of
the student-participants, the style of articulation they chose to voice their
experience, and demonstrations of deep learning. This article explores how
photovoice methodology's participatory, artistic approach shifted power
from researcher to participant, disrupted the normative gaze of higher
education professionals, and legitimized students' affective experience,
helping them navigate institutional identity to maximize the Intelligibility of their
voices. Student-participants in this study utilized photovoice to communicate
their experience and demonstrate their learning to residence life staff in ways
that exceed traditional data collection and assessment methods.
B
ulletin boards in residence halls lurk within the architecture, offering educational
interaction with residents who pause to engage with them. Yet in the
fast-paced life of a 21st-century college student, bulletin boards may not always
capture the attention of young adults whose eyes dart from one screen to another.
When they do, these boards mobilize a powerful mode of communication with residents
because of their text-and-image combination and potential to highlight relevant
topics. These features enable a compelling visual experience as well as an opportunity
to make learning connections outside students' curricular experience. Moreover, we
argue that bulletin boards can intensify student relationships when they share the information
they learn with one another and when they recognize the material labor
involved, often done by their resident advisor. This study explores how higher education
professionals might better understand students' experience of bulletin boards and
how they contribute to student learning.
Student affairs professionals may not be able to fully understand how students
learn from and experience bulletin boards because conventional forms of eliciting
student voice, such as streamlined survey instruments and individual or small-group
interviews (Henning & Roberts, 2016; St. Pierre, 2011), are limited. Conventional
approaches tend to generate a reductive feedback loop that seeks to capture and
Volume 50, No. 2 * 2024 89

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

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