Visual research methods
A number of disciplines make use of qualitative visual research methods, with a rich literature on practical and methodological issues, particularly in the fields of visual sociology, anthropology and ethnography. These will also be useful to anyone attempting to explore the visual aspects of learning in other disciplines, as will some school-based educational visual research methods. Here are some useful starting points, mainly web-based resources.
- About Image-based Research
Useful overview, part of the website of The Image and Identity Research Collective (IIRC)
- Building Capacity in Visual Methods Project based at Leeds University offering introductory and advanced workshops on applied visual research methods.
- Digital Video as Research Practice: Methodology for the Millennium Shrum, Duque & Brown. Journal of Research Practice Volume 1, Issue 1, Article M4, 2005 Useful online introduction and primer.
- Social Research Update Issue 11: Marcus Banks ‘Visual Research Methods’
- Social Research Update Issue 40: Rosalind Hurworth ‘Photo-interviewing for research’
- Visualising Ethnography website “a resource .. for students and researchers using visual methods of research and representation in ethnographic projects. .”
- Visual Studies is a peer-reviewed journal, published on behalf of the International Visual Sociology Association.
- Among print resources, standard texts include:
Banks, M.Visual methods in social research. London: Sage, 2001
Prosser, J. (ed) Image-based research:A sourcebook for qualitative researchers. London: Falmer 1998
Rose, G. Visual methodologies. London: Sage, 2001)
Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software
- Choosing a CAQDAS Package: A working paper 5th edition July 2006 by Ann Lewins & Christina Silver, is an excellent overview of what different software packages can (and cannot) offer - including Transana (see below) . This paper is one of many resources produced by the University of Surrey CAQDAS networking project, which also arranges workshops and other events.
- Transana is open source software 'for professional researchers who want to analyze digital video or audio data... a new way to manage large collections of video and audio files and clips.”
Examples of visually oriented research projects
- The Teaching Landscape in Creative Arts Subjects This research project undertaken through the Creative Learning in Practice (CLIP) CETL used photo-elicitation interviews.
- David Gauntlett’s ArtLab website (University of Westminster) includes examples of "creative and artistic activities as research tools to gain insights into people's identities and their relationships with media culture” and articles such as 'Creative and visual methods for exploring identities' You can see several short videos on YouTube demonstrating his approach - for instance 'Representing Identities' or Models of Learning
- Barbara Zamorski ‘Research-led Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: a Case study’ Teaching in Higher Education, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2002 “12 undergraduate researchers were ... asked to carry out a set of small-scale qualitative research tasks’. [These included] using a digital camera to capture 12 ‘images of research’ at the University and provide a written commentary to accompany the images.”
- Qualitative Inquiry (journal) - see eg special issue August 1 2003, Volume 9, No. 4 on the Arts and Narrative Research