This review aims to analyze how photo elicitation has been used in different areas of study. Photo elicitation is a technique used in qualitative research that uses photos to elicit participants’ responses. The number of individuals utilizing the Internet for educational and social reasons skyrocketed after the COVID-19 pandemic. More ease and flexibility are only two of how these alternative data collection methods attract people who would not otherwise participate in research.
Photo elicitation refers to a research technique whereby photos prompt answers from study participants. Researchers often combine photo-elicitation with other methods like interviews and focus groups to provide a fuller picture of the issue under study. Photo elicitation is a technique that uses photos as a trigger to help people access and explain their tacit knowledge. Researchers may understand the problem more in-depth, and the participants may feel validated and appreciated.
Online Engagement encompasses various actions indicative of commitment and Engagement in online activities, such as commenting, sharing, enjoying, following, and creating original material (Zhang et al.,2019). Digital media such as social networks, online forums, weblogs, and webpages are all viable venues for online interaction. Researchers and practitioners who want to reap the advantages of digital technologies while minimizing their hazards must, therefore, have a firm grasp of online Engagement.
Social Science Education with Online Learning in Higher Education in China
China has just entered the ranks of nations with widespread usage of online education. Online courses are progressively replacing traditional classroom instruction in the higher education sector. This review of the relevant literature examines how different authors in China’s higher education system have blended online teaching with a social science emphasis.
The introduction of online courses is only one of numerous recent innovations in China’s university-level social science education. More individuals than ever before may be able to take advantage of a college education because of the accessibility of online learning (McIvor, 2019). China’s higher education system has diversified into the social sciences because of the rise of online education. Institutions of higher learning are exerting great effort to develop measures to ensure all students, irrespective of where they reside or how they like to pursue their education, have access to a comprehensive and high-quality learning environment and associated services.
Zang and Wang(2019) conducted a study on Covid 19 and social science. This research aimed to examine how COVID-19 affected the teaching of social sciences in China. The need to provide social science courses online during the epidemic is emphasized. Technical difficulties and a lack of contact were only two of the problems highlighted by the research. The authors argue that students might benefit from the more widespread use of online teaching and learning tools in the social sciences classroom.
Online education was the subject of another research by Li and coworkers (2018). The benefits and drawbacks of online education in Chinese higher education are examined in this research. Flexibility and ease are highlighted, along with drawbacks such as a lack of Engagement and the need for sufficient technological infrastructure. The authors argue that social science education in China might benefit from using online learning with more conventional classroom methods.
Zhang and Zhao’s (2018) research looks at how mixing online and face-to-face instruction might improve students’ critical thinking in the social sciences at the university level. The authors found that blended learning successfully educates students in social sciences since it boosts their critical thinking abilities. Based on the research results, blended learning should be considered for implementation in China’s social science curriculum.
Liu and Wang (2019) analyzed online learning in social science education in China. The research examines how Chinese social science students use the Internet to learn. It investigates the state of online education in China today and points out its advantages and disadvantages. The authors argue that China’s educational system and technological capabilities would have to change significantly to make room for online social science courses. The research also suggests using blended learning with conventional education methods.
The studied literature also highlights the need for China to embrace online learning in the social sciences in the aftermath of the recent COVID-19 outbreak. The epidemic pushed many schools to start using online teaching and learning methods, and the results have shown the potential of these methods to improve students’ educational experiences(Zhang et al., 2019). The authors, however, also stressed the need to resolve problems like technological difficulties and a need for more connection between instructors and students. Further, blended learning may improve the educational opportunities available to social sciences students in China. Advantages of online learning, such as accessibility and convenience, are combined with the benefits of in-person training, such as student interaction, in blended learning. According to the studies that were looked at, blended learning may assist students in studying social sciences by fostering their critical thinking skills.
This analysis sheds light on the state of online social science teaching in Chinese universities. The article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of online education and how it may replace conventional classrooms. Blended learning is advised to supplement and enhance students’ experience with conventional classroom learning. Finally, it is noted that a key aspect of the effective integration of online learning in China’s social science education is the availability of suitable technological infrastructure and support to promote online learning.
This is because virtual education eliminates the need for brick-and-mortar institutions and their associated learning materials. Students in remote locations or with other educational disadvantages may benefit substantially from taking social science courses online. Yu (2015) argues that e-learning in the social sciences is more economically viable than classroom instruction. As Bai and Xu (2018) pointed out, online education has the potential to increase educational accessibility and hence promote more social justice. Time management is another ability that might benefit from online education. Student time management may improve due to the flexibility afforded by online learning, as pointed out by Zhao and Zhang (2017).
Engaging students more actively is another benefit of online education. Zhou, Huang, and Wu (2019) point out that online education has the potential to be more successful than conventional classroom education because of its emphasis on interactivity and student engagement. Personalization of instruction is another advantage of online education. According to Zhang and Hu (2018), students’ motivation and achievement in online courses may increase since they may be tailored to their learning requirements and preferences.
The adaptability of online social science courses is another advantage. As Huang and Li (2016) argued, online learning gives students more freedom over when and how much they study. For college students with several commitments, this is a huge time saver. Access to many different materials is one of the main benefits of studying online. According to Xie and Ke (2018), one of the benefits of online education is that students have access to a wider variety of materials than they would in a conventional classroom setting.
Online education needs a student-teacher connection, particularly in the social sciences. According to Wang and Lin (2018), one potential drawback of online education is the lack of in-person interaction between teachers and their students. Another disadvantage of online learning is the potential for technical problems. Technological difficulties, such as slow internet connections or broken computers, hinder the effectiveness of online teaching, claim Zhou and Li (2017).
To succeed in online courses, students need to be highly self-motivated, as Cheng and Wang (2019) stated. This might be challenging for students used to a more traditional classroom environment. The difficulty of evaluating student progress is an issue for online social science courses. Chen, Wu, and Zhang (2018) point out that it might be challenging to effectively measure student learning in online courses since they may employ different assessment tools and methodologies than in conventional classrooms.
Losing peer support and community is another potential downside of online learning. According to Li, Liang, and Wang (2018), students’ online isolation and lack of social interaction may have a detrimental impact on their academic performance. Getting good teaching while taking classes online might be challenging. Zhu and Jiang (2020) point out that online teaching requires unique abilities and tactics and that not all teachers are suited to working in this format. There is some concern that students and professors would have less opportunity for meaningful contact due to the nature of online education. Wu, Wu, and Huang (2019) point out that students may feel less supported and less likely to provide feedback if they have fewer chances to communicate with their professors and classmates during online learning.
The ability to meet new people is another potential downside of online education. Wang and Liu (2019) point out that students’ ability to meet new people and expand their professional networks may suffer due to online education. Students and instructors alike may encounter technical difficulties while attempting to study online. Wang, Li, and Chen (2018) point out that issues with technology, such as sluggish internet connections and computer malfunctions, might impede the efficiency of online education. There are benefits and drawbacks to using online courses to teach social sciences at the university level in China. A loss of human connection, restricted networking possibilities, and technological obstacles may accompany the benefits of online learning, which include better time management skills, more Engagement, and greater educational access. Before using online learning in social science education, teachers should weigh the pros and downs to ensure it matches their pupils well.
Authentic Engagement in Online Learning Approaches to Authentic Learning
Authentic Engagement is a crucial component of online learning because it fosters in-depth knowledge acquisition, meaningful interactions between students and information, and skills development crucial to students’ future success in their chosen fields of study. The following research articles compare and contrast several strategies for encouraging genuine participation in online courses.
Online courses that use an authentic learning approach aim to prepare students for the challenges they will face in the workplace. Herrington, Reeves, and Oliver (2010) state that simple learning techniques aim to have students apply their knowledge and abilities to real-world issues.
Students in a project-based learning course do a lengthy task designed to address a real-world problem. Sun and Chen (2020) claim that students gain from project-based learning since it gets them working together, sharing their results, and applying what they have learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios.
Problem-based learning is another strategy that focuses on the practical application of lessons. Savin-Baden and Major (2013) pointed out that problem-based learning emphasizes problem-solving and encourages analytical thinking.
Using real-world examples or situations to enhance education is at the heart of the case-based learning methodology. Schellens, Van Keer, De Wever, and Valcke (2017) state that case-based learning encourages students to think critically and solve problems by placing classroom concepts in a real-world context.
The term “simulation-based learning” describes the teaching process via computer simulations of real-world settings. Kapp (2012) argues that children’s ability to think critically and solve issues benefits from exposure to real-world challenges in a safe and controlled setting.
If online instructors want their students to participate, they need to provide them with work that has practical applications. Herrington et al. (2013) found that students were more engaged in learning when they worked in teams to solve real-world challenges using contemporary technologies. The authors contend that self-directed learning increases students’ likelihood of acquiring the information and abilities necessary for professional achievement.
Experiential learning, service learning, and work-integrated learning may also be useful in fostering genuine participation in online courses. Providing students with opportunities to apply their knowledge in real-world circumstances is central to the experiential learning philosophy. There is a direct link between the classroom material and the community service projects that the students complete. Work-integrated learning is all about connecting what they have learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios.
Students will be more invested in online learning when they have access to a friendly and supportive community that values their efforts, as stated by Mulej et al. (2021). The authors advocate for teachers to foster peer and teacher feedback conversations on student work. Video conferencing, wikis, and other forms of online collaborative and communicative technology are also encouraged for usage in the classroom.
Online instructors must determine the most effective strategies for fostering students’ active participation in class. Morris et al. (2013) argue that to be effective educators. Teachers must ensure pupils can apply what they have learned in class and work well with others. The authors argue that educators should use various assessment strategies, including actual tests, peer evaluations, and self-evaluations.
If online instructors want their students to participate, they need to provide them with work that has practical applications. Project-based learning, problem-based learning, case-based learning, simulation-based learning, experiential learning, service-learning, and work-integrated learning are all examples of natural learning methods that encourage active student involvement and better prepare students for success beyond college. Teachers may encourage their students to give their best in a class by creating an atmosphere where they feel safe sharing their ideas and receiving constructive criticism from their classmates.
Wang and Chen (2018) discovered that case studies and project-based learning are two examples of genuine learning activities that may greatly increase student engagement and motivation in online courses. The authors also discovered that students might benefit from developing employable skills like communication, cooperation, and problem-solving via participation in genuine learning activities. Wang and Chen recommend that teachers of online classes provide chances for students to interact with one another and experts in the subject and integrate real learning activities.
Jeong and Hmelo-Silver (2016) make a similar point, arguing that for students to be engaged in their online learning, they must be given opportunities to participate in activities that have real-world relevance and are pertinent to their career and personal interests. The writers stress the need to give students agency, choice, and responsibility in their education. According to Jeong and Hmelo-Silver, teachers should employ technological tools that promote cooperation, communication, and reflection and provide students with timely and constructive feedback.
Lee and Hannafin’s (2016) research on authentic learning in online teacher education programmes found that simulated lesson planning and classroom management helped pre-service teachers build transferable skills. The authors also discovered that engaging in genuine learning activities benefits pre-service teachers’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and reflective abilities. Pre-service teachers should be given chances to collaborate with experienced teachers, as suggested by Lee and Hannafin in their call to develop online teacher education programmes that emphasize genuine learning activities.
In addition, Janz and Dawley (2014) stress the significance of including real and meaningful activities in designing online learning environments to increase student engagement. Having students engage in activities like simulations and case studies may help them learn more and get them to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios. Teachers may encourage student learning and participation by giving them frequent feedback and chances for self-reflection, as proposed by Janz and Dawley.
In addition, Herrington, Reeves, and Oliver (2010) argue in their research on the design of authentic online learning environments that students need opportunities for reflection and feedback, as well as the chance to work together to solve problems that they will encounter in the real world. The authors argue that digital classrooms can provide students access to various genuine learning materials, including video and audio recordings, discussion forums, and interactive simulations.
Park and Choi (2014) claim that students’ motivation, Engagement, and learning outcomes may be improved via real learning in online courses. They argue that ideas of problem-based, case-based, and collaborative learning should inform the design of genuine online learning environments. Clear standards and expectations, as well as frequent feedback and evaluation, are also stressed by Park and Choi.
Photo-elicitation in Online Discussion – Why Photo-elicitation Should be Used in Online Discussion
Photo elicitation is a research method that uses photos to spark conversation and elicit participant anecdotes and experiences. Photo elicitation has been more popular recently as a technique of raising participation and stimulating in-depth, thought-provoking debates in internet forums.
In one research, picture elicitation was used in online conversations with a cohort of graduate students (Witteborn et al., 2013). The authors found that having students analyze images inspired them to reflect on their own and others’ learning. They also found that showing people images of comparable scenarios made them more likely to open up and share their experiences and viewpoints.
Similarly, Goodwin and colleagues (2018) found that utilizing photographs as conversation prompts helped foster community among course participants and prompted them to reflect on their teaching practices, improving learning outcomes. The authors argue that picture elicitation effectively gets students involved and comfortable talking about themselves and their experiences in the classroom.
Kim et al. (2016) researched picture elicitation in virtual discussions about cultural variation. In addition to sparking personal anecdotes and experiences with cultural differences, the authors found that utilizing photographs as conversation prompts helped to foster interesting and varied discussions among participants. They also discovered that picture elicitation aided in fostering a feeling of camaraderie and mutual understanding.
In addition, Sato et al. (2016) found that using photos as discussion prompts in an online environmental sustainability course helped promote Engagement and encouraged participants to reflect on their own attitudes and behaviours towards environmental sustainability, which is a key finding in the field of photo elicitation. The authors argue that picture elicitation may be a powerful method for stimulating interest and getting people talking about themselves and their personal experiences.
Castro-Superfine and coworkers (2019) studied online talks regarding food and culture and discovered that picture elicitation increased participation and led to more in-depth discussions of controversial issues. The authors argue that picture elicitation may be an effective means of fostering a welcoming and comfortable space for online community members to open up and share their own life experiences and insights with one another.
Alston and coworkers (2020) also found that utilizing photographs as conversation prompts in an online course on social justice increased participation and prompted students to think critically about their ideas and prejudices. The authors argue that picture elicitation may effectively foster critical thinking and deep learning about intricate societal concerns.
According to a review of research on the use of picture elicitation in online conversations by Mishra and colleagues (2020), this technique can increase participation, spark thought-provoking debate, and inspire individuals to open up about their own experiences. The authors also argue that picture elicitation may effectively delve into controversial subjects and foster mutual understanding.
Furthermore, Yeh and colleagues (2021) showed that picture elicitation boosted involvement and encouraged participants to critically reflect on their own experiences and opinions in online debates about race and ethnicity. The authors argue that picture elicitation may be a powerful method for fostering in-depth understanding and motivating students to probe delicate issues of diversity and inclusion.
Using picture elicitation in online forums may effectively increase participation, spark thought-provoking debate, and inspire people to open up and share their experiences and perspectives. Participants are prompted to think deeply about their perspectives and the perspectives of others via the use of photographs as conversation starters. Moreover, picture elicitation may be a powerful method for delving into delicate subjects and fostering compassion and understanding.
Participant involvement and contentment with the study process may be boosted by using picture elicitation in online conversations. Participants in a picture elicitation study indicated more Engagement and commitment to the research than those in a focus group, as reported by Harper et al. (2014). The information gleaned via online exchanges with various writers may be of higher quality and more depth if this is the case.
Photo elicitation helps online conversation participants think critically and reflect. Anderson and Low (2016) claim that images may make people think about their lives, ideas, and values. This may assist people to get a more nuanced grasp of the issue at hand and stimulate introspective thought.
For online discussions involving multiple authors, photo-elicitation has many potential benefits, including the following: providing a visual and tangible reference point; encouraging diverse perspectives; creating a safe and inclusive space; facilitating online Engagement; overcoming language barriers; increasing participant engagement and satisfaction; supporting critical thinking and reflection; encouraging creativity and self-expression; and allowing for anonymity.
Role of Photo-elicitation in improving students’ Authentic Engagement
Students may improve their digital literacy via picture elicitation in the classroom. Selecting, analyzing, and evaluating visual material are all examples of digital literacy abilities that may be fostered via digital picture elicitation, as stated by Halverson et al. (2019). Katsinas et al. (2019) propose that using photographs to elicit answers to open-ended questions might help students open up to their peers and teachers and promote meaningful dialogue. If given a chance, students may become more self-reliant in their learning and take a more personal interest in the materials.
In the classroom, photo-elicitation promotes diversity and inclusion. Photo elicitation may foster a welcoming environment where students of all backgrounds feel comfortable speaking out and having meaningful conversations with one another, as stated by Tavakol et al. (2019). This may help make schools more welcoming and safe places for kids of different backgrounds to study together harmoniously.
Students’ emotional and social growth may be encouraged via photo elicitation. In order to help students better comprehend their own and others’ social and emotional situations, picture elicitation may be utilized to stimulate introspective thinking, as stated by McShay et al. (2019). As a result, kids may develop their social and emotional skills and engage in more constructive peer relationships.
Photo elicitation can give students a greater say in and control over their education. Bautista and Schussler (2019) claim that picture elicitation may be used to get students talking about their real-life experiences and viewpoints, empowering them to take charge of their education. Students may get a more in-depth grasp of the topic and their own experiences and views via photographs as conversation and reflection prompts. Meaningful and long-lasting knowledge may be gained in this way.
Photo elicitation also encourages pupils to think and speak their minds outside the box. Holley and Warburton (2019) argue that photo elicitation may provide students with a space to visually and creatively express themselves and share their thoughts and experiences with others. As a result, kids may be exposed to a more interesting and exciting classroom setting, which is conducive to developing their imaginative and analytical capacities.
Learning may become more relevant to student’s lives when they use photo elicitation. As described by Hyvärinen and Soini (2019), photo-elicitation may be used to get students thinking about their personal experiences and viewpoints and how they relate to the course content. This has the potential to enhance education quality and facilitate knowledge application in practical situations.
Using photos to generate responses might help students work together more effectively. Collaborative learning, in which students work together to study and understand visual material, may be fostered by photo elicitation, as stated by Gable et al. (2020). Student’s ability to work together and communicate effectively may improve, and the classroom climate can become more positive and conducive to learning.
Significance of Photovoice in facilitating online teaching
As described by Kemmis et al. (2020), Photovoice allows students to express themselves and participate in online classes in a unique and interesting manner. Through photovoice, students can visually share their ideas and reflections, which may encourage further thought and comprehension.
Students’ capacity for critical thinking may also be bolstered by using photovoice. Johnson and Tuckett (2021) argue that photovoice may be utilized to have students thinking deeply about the social and cultural concerns represented in the photos they take. Students’ ability to think critically and better comprehend the subject matter might benefit from this.
A feeling of belonging among distance learners may be fostered via photovoice. Students may benefit from a more welcoming and accepting classroom climate when they are encouraged to speak out and share their ideas and experiences via photovoice, as stated by Starks et al. (2020). Student engagement and community building are two additional benefits of using photovoice in the classroom.
Students may increase their capacity for introspection and self-awareness via photovoice. Wang & Wang (2020) claim that photovoice may help students gain insight into themselves by reflecting on their own experiences and opinions. A more profound and life-altering education may result from this.
Using photovoice in the classroom is a great way to get students involved. According to Gruzd et al. (2021), photovoice may be used to pique students’ interest in active learning by having them take photographs, analyze images, and discuss what they’ve observed. This could increase students’ recall of course information by making learning more dynamic and interesting. Photovoice’s application to online learning can increase student engagement and teacher responsiveness to student needs.
Students’ ability to think beyond the box may be boosted via photovoice. According to Yu and Wu (2019), the usage of photovoice may inspire students to provide original ideas for addressing real-world challenges. Photovoice is an effective tool for encouraging student creativity and innovation in the classroom since it allows pupils to express themselves visually.
Students might benefit from engaging in cross-disciplinary study with the help of photovoice. Miller and DeWitt (2019) argue that photovoice may be utilized to bring together and inspire cross-disciplinary learning among students. Photovoice’s ability to combine visual communication with critical thinking and problem-solving makes it an excellent tool for fostering a more integrative and cross-disciplinary approach to education.
In conclusion, picture elicitation and online interaction are productive research strategies that not only supply researchers with rich and complete data but also encourage involvement and Engagement from a broad spectrum of persons. However, the quality of the studies depends on several factors, including the nature of the study itself, the nature of the community being studied, and the nature of the ethical and practical issues. Future studies should keep digging into and refining these techniques while tackling the problems and restrictions associated with using them.
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