Publication Date

Fall 2016


Photo-elicitation was first named in a paper published by the

photographer and researcher John Collier (1957). It involves a

qualitative interview stimulated and guided by participant-generated

photographs. This method can help break down barriers between

researchers and participants and can promote rich and collaborative

discussions (Harper, 1994).

Each student in the Fall 2016 Qualitative Methods Research Class

recruited one study participant (n=25) (undergraduate and graduate

students) and trained them in the appropriate and ethical use of this

method. Study participants were asked to explore the meaning of

“Penn’s relationship with the surrounding community” over the

course of one week using their phones to document their

exploration. Using the participant-generated photographs to guide

conversation, each member of the research team conducted an

interview with a participant. Additionally, each student investigator

recruited five members of the Penn community (n=125) and asked

them to answer a free-listing question designed to help us explore

perceptions of Penn’s relationship with the surrounding community.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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