Visualizing connection: Using photovoice to understand a system of students' study away experience Academic Article uri icon


  • PhotoVoice was used to visually understand studentsperspectives of and reveal students motivations for participating in a domestic study away. A domestic study away is a high-impact learning experience within the United States that exposes students to unfamiliar places and cultures. The high-impact experience course used as the context of this study was developed and designed using reflection and PhotoVoice, a research method that connects participants with their environment through photographs of moments or events capturing their attention. On a 10-day, study-away field experience, 45 students enrolled at Texas A&M University captured photos of places, events, and objects that held meaning and significance to them. Students each submitted 10 photos they believed best represented their study-away experience. The photos were accompanied with student-generated captions depicting the students meaning of the photo. The PhotoVoice analysis identified five major themesproduct, process, people, place, and point in timewith an over-arching theme of connection. Connection is a driving factor for students to participate in a study away. Developing a study away around connection could enable instructors to recruit students and keep them interested and engaged throughout the experience. PhotoVoice offered students a chance to understand themselves and use photographs to reflect on their experiences.

published proceedings

  • Nacta Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Homeyer, M., Leggette, H. R., Mckim, B., & Walker, J.

complete list of authors

  • Homeyer, M||Leggette, Holli R||Mckim, B||Walker, J

publication date

  • January 2017