Document Type


Publication Date



Photovoice, storytelling techniques, communication apprehension, pandemic, documenting experience, autoethnography, lessons from the pandemic


Students often struggle with ways to turn their experiences into meaningful stories. Photovoice is a way to use photography for positive social change and to help people tell their stories. I used Photovoice to help students process the uncertainty of moving back home when the university switched to remote in Spring 2020. Since I teach public speaking, I used those stories to teach public speaking skills as well.
For example, one prompt I used was “an unexpected use of something.” I showed them a small hand weight that I used as a doorstop. I took creative pictures of the weight and then used it to tell a story in different ways. Each class students brought their photo and their story. They had to use the photo to tell different types of stories. Sometimes telling the story from a different perspective and sometimes telling it in only 5 words. The experience created an important bond between students as they shared very ordinary items from their life. It also presented a new springboard for student story telling.

Funded in part by Provost Instructional Grant and special thanks to Photovoice: Ethical photography for social change.