Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 50, No. 2 - 95

Re-visioning Bulletin Boards
all the bulletin boards in this study were uniform. Student-participants utilized photovoice
to communicate their experience and demonstrate their learning to residence life
staff in ways that exceed traditional data collection and assessment methods. 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 (Samura et al., 2021). We built on Samura and colleagues' (2021)
exploration of student belonging in residence halls, which leveraged photovoice methodology
to demonstrate the interrelationship of spatial experience and student identity.
Not only do residence halls generate intimate and meaningful spaces, but students
engaging in photovoice research find new modes of reflecting on and expressing the
developmental impact of their residential experience. This article explores how the
methodology's participatory, artistic approach shifted power from researcher to participant
(Kemmis & McTaggart, 2005), disrupted the normative gaze of higher education
professionals (Hemy & Meshulam, 2020), legitimized students' affective experience
(Barone & Eisner, 2012; Edwards, 2015), and aided them in navigating institutional
identity to maximize the expression of their voice (Carr, 2009).
The research questions guiding the study focused on how the project enabled students
to demonstrate learning from bulletin boards and what artistic decisions were
made by student photographers in their presentation to residence life leaders. The
ICAP framework offers a way to conceptualize interactive bulletin board learning, and
photovoice methodology provides a more direct way to demonstrate that learning than
do traditional assessment methods. This combination can offer residence life and other
student affairs professionals an effective framework for learning assessment.
RESEARCH DESIGN
Methodology
This study uses photovoice methodology (Wang & Burris, 1994, 1997) as an arts-based
alternative to traditional forms of eliciting student feedback. Photovoice deploys a
three-pronged conceptual framework that draws on Freirean theory to empower participants,
feminist standpoint theory to affirm the knowledge of participants, and artsbased
research to open the possibilities for multimodal communication (Latz, 2017).
Photovoice projects develop critical consciousness, empower the voice of marginalized
participants, and offer non-linguistic modes of expression. Photovoice is an innovative
research approach because of its combination of political action, participatory involvement,
and image-based representation. In a photovoice project, individuals take
a number of photographs in response to a prompt. Then the group discusses their
photographs, identifying themes in a shared exercise. In the third phase, participants
directly interface with the policymakers through an exhibition, showing and describing
selected photographs as a group.
As a form of participatory action research (PAR), photovoice places ethics at the
forefront and is more labor intensive than many approaches to research. The goal
of this type of research is to shift power from researcher to participant (Kemmis &
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Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 50, No. 2

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