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The following prompts can be used to guide consultations about instructional methods and approaches. Although developed in the context of discussing photographs made in one instructor’s class with that same instructor, the prompts can be adapted widely for reflection and discussion using photographs of teaching more generally, or for use in group discussions.

For more information about photographs in teaching consultations, including the results of a research study documenting the outcomes of using this method, please refer to the following publication:

Springborg, Martin, and Cassandra V. Horii. 2016. “Toward a New Creative Scholarship of Educational Development: The Teaching and Learning Project and an Opening to Discourse.” To Improve the Academy 35 (2): 197–221. http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/tia.17063888.0035.210.

Pre-reflection

Prompts to guide the instructor when looking at photographs of their class on their own, before the consultation.

  • List or make a few mental notes of various things you see in each image. Consider the main focal point(s) as well as other, less noticeable objects.
  • Consider how the images reference what may be happening beyond their borders or frames. What do these references say about the larger classroom environment or dynamic?
  • Do you think the photographer’s perspective influenced the decisions made in creating these photographs? If so, how does that affect your understanding of them?

Consultation

Prompts to guide the discussion between the consultant and the instructor, looking at photographs of the instructor’s class together.

  • Context:
    • Is this a new/long-standing course?
    • Have you made recent changes?
    • How is the class going?
  • Images:
    • What do you see?
    • What stands out to you in the photographs, for example, about the environment, students, interactions, or yourself?
    • Additional prompts as appropriate, e.g.: Please tell me more about that. What else do you see here? Why do you think so?
  • Interpretation:
    • If you were to edit a set of ideal class photographs, what would viewers see?
    • Do you think the set of photographs properly conveys your work? Why or why not?
    • Were there any surprises for you in these photographs?
  • Reflection:
    • What do still images prompt in terms of your reflections on your teaching practice and/or student learning?
    • If you have had video-based, written, or other feedback on your teaching in the past, how do your insights based on seeing photographs compare to those experiences?
    • Do you have any final thoughts about this experience or the photographs?