Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Language, Education, Humanities, and Innovation 2017

Picture Proposal: Planning for the Interactive Use of Photos in the Higher Education Classroom

Adie Haultain

Massey University, New Zealand


The world in which we live is becoming increasingly visual. A photo is taken in every moment of everyday to capture a special moment in time. The very nature of photos inspires sharing with others, evoking questions as mystery surrounds the photos: Who are the people in this photo? Who took it? Why was this photo taken and what story hides behind this photo? Emotions are ignited and recalled as we view photos. While there is mounting demand for individuals to use, understand, and create visuals within their day- to-day life, their potential within education is often overlooked. This qualitative study was exploratory in nature and examined how a group of teachers in an Institute of Technology and Polytechnic in New Zealand were using photos in the classroom. Data was gathered from a number of sources starting with an institute-wide online survey. This was followed by interviews of six teachers using photo elicitation, and observations their teaching classrooms. The research concluded that photographs are regularly underutilised by many higher education teachers, however when carefully planned and used interactively photos can act as powerful tools for enhancing students’ learning. This study deliberated ways photos could be utilised further to encourage interactive deep-learning, in order to enrich both teachers’ and students’ educational experiences. The research deliberates that, as higher education teachers, it is imperative the benefits of photos are recognised and skills required to become visually literate are developed. The challenge is made to higher education teachers to improve their knowledge and planning in order to better use photos to enhance students’ learning.


Photos, teaching, learning, interactive learning, Huakina, photo- elicitation

Back to Table of Contents
Download Full Paper (PDF)