263213 Using photovoice with first-year MPH students: An innovative educational assessment tool

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tara Leonard, MPH Student , Health Sciences Department, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Jaime Flores, MPH Student , Health Sciences Department, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Kevin Roe, MPH , Department of Health Science and Recreation, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Jacqueline McCright, MPH , Professor, MPH Program, Health Sciences Dept., San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
MPH Cohort 2011 , Health Sciences Department, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Background: The transition to a Masters of Public (MPH) program is both exciting and challenging, creating financial, familial, and academic stressors. It is also a critical step in producing a well-trained public health work force. Instructors at an accredited MPH program introduced Photovoice as an instructional and experiential tool in community-based participatory research.

Purpose: To gain insight into the experiences of first-year MPH students and provide programmatic recommendations to enhance the learning environment.

Significance: Photovoice provides a medium for self-exploration and anonymous feedback, empowering individuals to inform change.

Methodology: 26 participants were asked to photograph their experiences as first-year MPH students. Each student chose one photograph and wrote a description about what they saw, what it represented, and what could be done to improve the situation. Photos and descriptions were displayed anonymously in class. Students identified themes, formed recommendations for program faculty and future MPH students, and presented these findings to the department and graduate student association.

Findings/Results: Recommendations for future students related to time management and the need for support systems. Recommendations to program faculty focused on the orientation process, including additional technological and writing support.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Photovoice is an innovative tool to assess and respond to the educational climate and provides educators with a window into the student experience. Photovoice holds promising universal applicability and similar methodology could be used in the middle, high school, and undergraduate settings to assess school climate around bullying, body image, drug use, and a host of other academic and health-related issues.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the use of Photovoice as a participatory tool for improving the learning experience of public health graduate students.

Keywords: MPH Curricula, Participatory Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a first-year MPH student ay San Jose State University. In the past I have worked as a health writer and journalist creating K-12 comprehensive school health education curricula and collaterals (pamphlets, videos, posters)as well as newspaper and magazine articles related to health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.