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Reflexive Analysis of Action Research

Our group engaged in a digital storytelling project using a process that has turned out to be similar to a photovoice method. As might be expected in a 3-week group project, data collection was somewhat rushed. We faced challenges with the seemingly simple process of forming a group and contacting everyone, but ended up with a strong and diverse group.

We used a website to initially gather the images for our project, and aside from a few days of working out the details, that choice turned out to be a good one which I would make again in a future project. The site theme was specifically designed to crowd-source images while allowing for, but not requiring, anonymity. A second phase of our data collection occurred during class on Nov 5 when we led the rest of the class through a 1-2-4-All sharing conversation based on the activity described at liberatingstructures.com/1-2-4-all.

Liberating Structures - 1. 1-2-4-All

Given the time-constraints in the class and the knowledge that a guest speaker would be joining us at the end of class, we correctly anticipated that we would have very limited time.

It was our intention to use the class time to fully recategorize the submitted images based on the results of the 1-2-4-All process. The group I facilitated suggested the alternate category of ‘before, during, and after’ class as different times with different indicators of community. At the beginning of each class session, there is lots of chatter and conversation, followed by more focussed work, and ending rather abruptly at 7:30 with many people needing to depart for home or other obligations.

I believe that the most significant thing we could change in a future project with a similar structure would be to allow for much more time to view, think about, and discuss the submitted images. This would provide a richer sense of how the images could be recategorized and allow us to dive into why people chose the images they did and why they categorized them as they did.

As we planned the analysis phase of the project, we anticipated that there were only two images that could be categorized as ‘containing humans’. As I considered the images, though, it became apparent that humans were present as silent, or perhaps invisible in their presence.