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Images in Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research

ISBN: 978-1-78560-287-0, eISBN: 978-1-78560-286-3

ISSN: 2056-3752

Publication date: 29 September 2015


In this chapter, the authors discuss the use of various kinds of images, namely photographs, drawings and verbal metaphors, as research data. These, perhaps less conventional forms of data, have been used to identify and probe deeper into beliefs and conceptions that are closely connected with identities, but which might not be obvious to the research participants themselves. The purpose of this chapter is to provide examples of how images can be used in research, and to identify some of the features particularly pertinent or specific to the use of images. The authors draw on their own research using these forms of data in studies on teaching and learning in higher education. The authors describe key issues related to data collection and analysis, and identify challenges in these processes. They also discuss trustworthiness of images as data and dependability of interpretations in the process of analysing photographs, drawings and metaphors, and identify ethical perspectives specific to research utilising these data.


Löfström, E., Nevgi, A., Wegner, E. and Karm, M. (2015), "Images in Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education", Theory and Method in Higher Education Research (Theory and Method in Higher Education Research, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 191-212.



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