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Visual Methods for Assessment in Sociology


Cook, PS, Visual Methods for Assessment in Sociology, Challenging Identities, Institutions and Communities: the Annual Conference of The Australian Sociological Association, 24-27 November 2014, University of South Australia, pp. Session 5. (2014) [Conference Extract]

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We live in a visual world; primacy is placed on sight and the image. Special moments in our lives are captured by moving and still images, which function as tools that help us remember and as evidence of a time gone by. The easy accessibility of photographic technology, incorporated into computers, tablets, and mobile phones, has increased this ability to capture. However, as Becker (1974: 6) notes, sociologists "seldom use photographs as a way of gathering, recording, or presenting data and conclusions". Such criticism is perhaps being addressed by the increasing attention to visual methods of data collection, such as photo-elicitation and photo-voice. These can help jog the researcherís and participantís memory, reveal how they interpret and perceive the social world, and provide an alternate way to capture thoughts and feelings. In addition, incorporating images into teaching allows points to be illustrated or expanded upon, can help illuminate something where words simply do not suffice, and cater to a wider variety of student learning styles. Despite the power of the visual image and the wide accessibility of photographic technologies, there has been almost no research on visual methods for assessment in sociology teaching and learning. In this presentation, I will explore the importance of the visual image in and to sociology, and some ways that I have empowered students to use visual images in their learning and assessment. Such methods can help students to critically assess and connect sociology to their everyday world (Eisen 2012), and engage and develop their sociological imagination.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Teaching sociology; visual methods; visual sociology
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education policy, sociology and philosophy
Research Field:Sociology of education
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Cook, PS (Dr Peta Cook)
ID Code:97644
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-01-06
Last Modified:2015-01-07

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