If Pictures Could Talk: Using Photo Novella in International Service Learning to Capture Visual Meaning and Interpretive Engagement Academic Article uri icon


  • Many complex problems require interdisciplinary solutions; however, students are often trained to work in specific areas and may not be able to make connections in a diverse international context. Four graduate students participated in a 2-week global horticulture, human nutrition, and community resilience project in Timor-Leste and provided one photograph each accompanied by a written reflection about their service-learning experience. Learners demonstrated how concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation contributed to their understanding of international development based on their service experiences in the Timor-Leste villages. Students engaged in action learning/research in local communities develop professionally and personally, and photo novella is an effective research and evaluation technique for demonstrating the iterative process of actions and reflection for global learning experiences.

published proceedings

  • Nacta Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Dobbins, C. E., Dooley, K., & Edgar, L. D.

complete list of authors

  • Dobbins, CE||Dooley, Kim||Edgar, LD

publication date

  • January 2019