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Using photo diaries as an inclusive method to explore information experiences in Higher Education

Watson, Ben and Leigh, Jennifer S (2021) Using photo diaries as an inclusive method to explore information experiences in Higher Education. In: Cao, Xuemeng and Henderson, Emily F., eds. Exploring diary methods in higher education research: Opportunities, choices and challenges. Routledge, Abingdon, UK. E-ISBN 978-0-429-32631-8. (doi:10.4324/9780429326318) (KAR id:81403)


In this chapter we discuss our method of ‘diary-photograph: diary-interview’ (which included photo-elicitation diaries and face-to-face interviews) as used in a comparative study to understand how print disability affects students’ access to information. A person with a print disability may have a visual impairment, have dyslexia, or a physical disability that prevents them from being able to access a physical copy of a print publication. Students with a print disability may therefore be disadvantaged within an HE setting. We asked participants with and without a print disability to keep a diary for a week and record experiences accessing information in relation to their studies, and also socially. In addition to sharing details of our method and analysis, we discuss how it worked in practice, and the potential challenges of using the method, These included; variation in quality of diaries, the lack of researcher control, the selectivity of responses, and possible inequities of the format. Overall, it was an effective and inclusive method, delivering a wide range of data from all participants. The data did not focus on the electronic and physical aspects of reading or accessing texts as had been expected. Our participants showed that they experienced barriers in accessing information beyond print accessibility. The participants relayed wider issues relating to accessibility which presented as informational barriers to students both with and without disabilities.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.4324/9780429326318
Uncontrolled keywords: Higher Education; Diary; Diaries; Photo-elicitation; Participatory research
Subjects: H Social Sciences
L Education
Divisions: Divisions > Directorate of Education > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Depositing User: Jennifer Leigh
Date Deposited: 27 May 2020 12:18 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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