Using digital video as a research tool: ethical issues for researchers.Digital video and accompanying editing software are increasingly becoming more accessible for researchers in terms of ease of use and cost. The rich, visually appealing and seductive se·duc·tive
Tending to seduce; alluring: "his sad and fastidious but ever seductive Irish voice" John Fowles. nature of video-based data can convey a strong sense of direct experience with the phenomena studied (Pea, 1999). However, the ease of selection and editing of digital video clips A short video presentation. means that researchers need to be aware of possible bias inherent in presentation of video vignettes and they also need to monitor the authenticity of clips. Issues of confidentiality and ownership are important and need to be thoughtfully considered by researchers before this new technology becomes ubiquitous in qualitative educational research. The article discusses ways in which digital video was used as a research tool in a project and explores these issues as experienced in the project.
Digital technologies are becoming more commonly used in all areas of education. In particular, as they become more user-friendly, many technologies are now being used as tools in research, by nonspecialist users. This article discusses the use of digital video as a research tool in projects investigating pedagogy and children's learning. The ease of use of digital video and the accompanying editing has had implications for research, in that researchers can readily use this technology without having any specific expertise in the area. Due to the ubiquitous nature of the technology, its usage becomes commonplace, without the implications of such usage attracting much debate or consideration. As a result, some ethical issues may arise in projects that include teachers and children as participants. In this article, some of the issues surrounding the use of digital video as a research tool in education projects are analysed and this discussion is contextualised by locating it in a research project in Australian schools recently completed by the authors (Kearney & Schuck, 2005).
Ongoing developments with digital video cameras, computer hardware, and editing software increasingly make video use a viable option in research methodologies and, consequently, new ways of using, analysing, and presenting video data are occurring (Pea, 1999; Walker, 2002). Relevant video clips can be added to reports and papers to promote a richer discussion, highlight issues and provide opportunities for the reader to have access to data in an expanded number of ways. By inserting carefully selected video clips into a paper or presentation, for example, to illustrate a student's animation and excitement at solving a problem, researchers can present and support the data in a compelling and illuminating il·lu·mi·nate
v. il·lu·mi·nat·ed, il·lu·mi·nat·ing, il·lu·mi·nates
1. To provide or brighten with light.
2. To decorate or hang with lights.
3. way. This article contributes to the debate on the changing nature of qualitative research Qualitative research
Traditional analysis of firm-specific prospects for future earnings. It may be based on data collected by the analysts, there is no formal quantitative framework used to generate projections. techniques in the light of new technologies, and highlights the need for enhanced critical skills and ethical conduct in "reading" and presenting multimedia research documents.
BACKGROUND AND MOTIVATION
The authors have recently completed a collaborative research study, Students in the director's seat: Teaching and learning across the school curriculum with student-generated digital video (Schuck & Kearney, 2004), involving case studies of five schools in Australia. The schools were asked to participate in the study because they were known to be using digital video in innovative ways with their students. The researchers' interest in these case studies was in developing an understanding of the ways in which pedagogy might be influenced by the use of this technology, and hence the research questions explored the processes and roles of teachers and learners working with digital video in these schools. The case studies comprised visits to each school over a period of two to four days, in which lessons were observed, and students and teachers interviewed, with a focus on the way that student-generated digital video was being used to enhance learning. Audio tapes were used to record interview material, and video was used in the classrooms to capture the events occurring during the lessons. After each school had been visited, one member of the research team developed the case study of that school from the data that had been collected. For further details of this project, see Kearney and Schuck (2005) or Schuck and Kearney (2004).
The methodology for this study was supported by educational technology theorists (such as Neuman, 1989; Salomon, Perkins, & Globerson, 1991) who have advocated more naturalistic nat·u·ral·is·tic
1. Imitating or producing the effect or appearance of nature.
2. Of or in accordance with the doctrines of naturalism. studies that provide appropriate data about relevant social and cognitive processes Cognitive processes
Thought processes (i.e., reasoning, perception, judgment, memory).
Mentioned in: Psychosocial Disorders to explore the affordances of innovative technologies for learning. By developing an understanding of ways in which teachers' beliefs, pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.
2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner. approaches, and contextual factors inhibit or encourage good practice in the use of student-generated digital video, the researchers aimed to develop a set of principles that indicated good practice in using this technology to improve student learning.
While the focus of the five case studies was on student-generated digital video and its impact on pedagogy, this article discusses the researchers' use of digital video as a research tool to collect, analyse an·a·lyse
v. Chiefly British
Variant of analyze.
analyse or US -lyze
[-lysing, -lysed] or -lyzing, , and interpret data and disseminate dis·sem·i·nate
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.
2. findings of this study. During the case studies and preparation of reports, the researchers used digital video to highlight important incidents, expressions, conversations, and activities, as well as to develop ideas, illustrate points, and provide consistency between the topic being researched and the ways of researching it. As the researchers worked with this medium, various issues arose that indicated that the use of digital video for enhancing the understanding of the case study was not unproblematic. However, the use of digital video as a methodological tool has proven to be an effective way of illuminating the study's results and providing valuable insights that might not otherwise be available. This article discusses the value of digital video as a research tool in this study and explores issues that emerged from this use.
Use of Digital Video as a Research Tool in Other Studies
Given that the authors have used digital video as a research tool in a qualitative, multiple-case study, the focus of this discussion about the use of digital video in research methodology is restricted to similar qualitative studies. This article considers what other researchers suggest as the value of using video in their research, particularly in the digital format.
Digital video appears to have considerable potential as a research tool in educational research. Walker (2004) bemoaned the fact that although educational research is viewed by its proponents as cutting edge and driving change, educational researchers tend not to exploit the potential of digital technologies to look at research in new and innovative ways. The studies cited discuss the ways in which using digital video contributes to the understanding of our research. An analysis of the literature on the issues that arise from using this, and allied, technologies is also outlined.
Data Collection and Analysis
The advantages of video-based data to a study are its permanence Permanence
law of the Medes and Persians
Darius’s execution ordinance; an immutable law. [O.T.: Daniel 6:8–9]
there always, as evilness with evil men. [O.T.: Jeremiah 13:23; Br. Lit. as a record, its retrievability, and its availability to other researchers to check findings, with the possibility of reinterpretation re·in·ter·pret
tr.v. re·in·ter·pret·ed, re·in·ter·pret·ing, re·in·ter·prets
To interpret again or anew.
re (Plowman, 1999). Digital video adds to the value of video-based data collection, with the ability to annotate annotate - annotation clips, find them easily, select clips for future use, and edit the video. For example, Mousley (1998) coded relevant snippets of video and linked them to a spreadsheet. Included on the spreadsheet were notes of the clips' origins, categorisations, and short descriptors. She subsequently made transcriptions that provided an easily navigable NAVIGABLE. Capable of being navigated.
2. In law, the term navigable is applied to the sea, to arms of the sea, and to rivers in which the tide flows and reflows. 5 Taunt. R. 705; S. C. Eng. Com. Law Rep. 240; 5 Pick. R. 199; Ang. Tide Wat. 62; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. and searchable resource for revisiting later, and a basis for careful data analysis. Plowman (1999) also carefully labelled and logged videos to help future searching and emphasized the flexible nature of the data with the ability to go back and review material repeatedly. She did, however, acknowledge the problem of video being relatively inaccessible inaccessible Surgery adjective Unreachable; referring to a lesion that unmanageable by standard surgical techniques–eg, lesions deep in the brain or adjacent to vital structures–ie, not accessible. See Accessible. and even in digital format, it needs to be viewed and coded in real time.
Triangulation triangulation: see geodesy.
The use of two known coordinates to determine the location of a third. Used by ship captains for centuries to navigate on the high seas, triangulation is employed in GPS receivers to pinpoint their current location on earth. of Data
The use of video-based data can be seen as a method of supplementing other data. Williams and Clarke (2002) took up this issue of triangulation in classroom video research, in particular, the contribution of the "student voice" to research methodology. They believed that validity is improved by providing extra sources of data to supplement video-based observation. In their study, they explored the teaching and learning of mathematics as viewed from the perspective of the learner, using videotape videotape
Magnetic tape used to record visual images and sound, or the recording itself. There are two types of videotape recorders, the transverse (or quad) and the helical. of a sequence of lessons, post-lesson video-stimulated student and teacher interviews, collections of student work, and teacher questionnaires as data. Although the video data were sometimes interpreted by the researchers in different ways, corroborating evidence corroborating evidence n. evidence which strengthens, adds to, or confirms already existing evidence. from other data sources was used to revise these interpretations (or indeed retain alternative interpretations). Plowman (1999) also used a range of other data sources to triangulate See triangulation. with her video-based data, pointing out that video does not capture unobservable processes such as thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and perceptions. Thus, copious co·pi·ous
1. Yielding or containing plenty; affording ample supply: a copious harvest. See Synonyms at plentiful.
2. field notes, questionnaires, interviews, informal discussions, and video-based, stimulated recall sessions were used to collect information and check on validity of findings.
The value of video in research on teacher learning is also noted in the literature. Sherin and Han (2004) discussed the way that teachers use video of their classes to move their thinking from a focus on their actions to a focus on their students. This study noted that observations of classrooms through video prompted teachers to think about their teaching in new ways. This usage of video is supported by Walker (2002) who believed video-based data helped the reader to perform their own validity checks: "... access to the video ... shifts our gaze, exercises our capacity to triangulate and amplifies our appreciation of the complexities of classroom interaction" (p. 119).
Video or photographic data from the field can also be used in interviews to stimulate good conversation and produce rich data. This technique may help interviewees decipher Same as decrypt. more quickly the meaning of researcher questions, provide a focus for their responses and prompt their memory of past events. Indeed, Mousley (1998) has handed teachers video snippets to think about in preparation for an interview but noted that some complexities of classroom interactions presented by video data can be distracting dis·tract
tr.v. dis·tract·ed, dis·tract·ing, dis·tracts
1. To cause to turn away from the original focus of attention or interest; divert.
2. To pull in conflicting emotional directions; unsettle. for research participants. For example, she found teachers in video-stimulated interviews were distracted dis·tract·ed
1. Having the attention diverted.
2. Suffering conflicting emotions; distraught.
dis·tract by their own looks, clothing, expressions, vocal tenor, and so forth. To help solve this problem she used still photograph-stimulated interviews by extracting the photos from the original digital video footage.
For studies involving computer-based learning environments, Plowman (1999) discussed the possibility of combining video footage of the computer users with a recording of their "onscreen on·screen or on-screen
adj. & adv.
1. As shown on a movie, television, or display screen.
2. Within public view; in public. " interactions. In her study of students using a CD-ROM CD-ROM: see compact disc.
in full compact disc read-only memory
Type of computer storage medium that is read optically (e.g., by a laser). , she used video to collect data about the language and interactions in the classroom. She also wanted to investigate how students navigate through the software and how design features interact with students' learning strategies. Hence she used two video recordings: one showing the group of students at the computer, positioned to capture talk, movement, gesture and interactions with the computer; and the second taken from the computer screen by way of a "scan converter A device that changes the video output from a computer to standard TV signals, allowing a regular TV to be used as a computer screen. A VCR can then also be used to record screen output. " (i.e., the signal from the computer is recorded directly on to video.) Both recordings were synchronized syn·chro·nize
v. syn·chro·nized, syn·chro·niz·ing, syn·chro·niz·es
1. To occur at the same time; be simultaneous.
2. To operate in unison.
1. and presented as valuable data in a "split-screen" display for analysis.
Use of Video for "Thick Description"
One major discussion point for Goldman-Segall (1990) in her study exploring children's thinking in a Logo constructionist con·struc·tion·ist
A person who construes a legal text or document in a specified way: a strict constructionist. culture, was the use of video as a primary source of data. In this doctoral study, the researcher built up video-based "thick descriptions" (Geertz 1983) of participants and their actions and created different "video slices" of events. Video clips provide the researcher with a way of articulating what is seen, although, like all interpretive in·ter·pre·tive also in·ter·pre·ta·tive
Relating to or marked by interpretation; explanatory.
in·terpre·tive·ly adv. research, it is "imprisoned im·pris·on
tr.v. im·pris·oned, im·pris·on·ing, im·pris·ons
To put in or as if in prison; confine.
[Middle English emprisonen, from Old French emprisoner : en- in its own immediacy im·me·di·a·cy
n. pl. im·me·di·a·cies
1. The condition or quality of being immediate.
2. Lack of an intervening or mediating agency; directness: the immediacy of live television coverage. or detail" (p. 32). Indeed, every reader will access the data differently and will view the same data "through different eyes." However, an appropriate "thickness" of description will hopefully mediate MEDIATE, POWERS. Those incident to primary powers, given by a principal to his agent. For example, the general authority given to collect, receive and pay debts due by or to the principal is a primary power. the extent of these interpretations: "The thickness of the description of the act, event, or process may provide a measure to ensure that conclusions, although not the same, fall in the same range" (p. 33).
Presentation and Dissemination dissemination Medtalk The spread of a pernicious process–eg, CA, acute infection Oncology Metastasis, see there
Acting or serving as an illustration.
Adj. 1. digital media can be presented with text as part of a multimedia document in the dissemination stage of the research process (Pea 1999). Indeed, Walker (2002) believes we need to move beyond textual tex·tu·al
Of, relating to, or conforming to a text.
textu·al·ly adv. forms of research dissemination to make visual evidence available to the reader in this new genre. He discussed the advantages of multimedia environments to present educational research where the reader reads the text of the case in combination with other digital media-based source material.
Mousley (1998) discussed the interesting technique of "extracting" important frames of video data and using them as photographs in her research. She made the point that transcriptions can unintentionally "take out" important factors such as gesture, facial expression facial expression,
n the use of the facial muscles to communicate or to convey mood. , bodily presence, and pauses. However, photographs extracted from the original digital video data can be useful in providing the reader with some of this valuable information in conjunction with text-based transcriptions.
An ethical dimension of using digital film for dissemination and presentation is considered by Kaplan and Howes (2004). They suggested that researchers often marginalise Verb 1. marginalise - relegate to a lower or outer edge, as of specific groups of people; "We must not marginalize the poor in our society"
interact - act together or towards others or with others; "He should interact more with his colleagues" young participants in their research by neglecting to represent the participants' views. Often researchers interpret data collected from students and present researcher perspectives on the students' activity, but do not give the students the opportunity to have a voice in the interpretation. Kaplan's and Howes' research incorporated the perspectives of all participants to present a more ethical and balanced presentation of results. It is likely that digital video can be used to present the participants' perspectives in a way that allows a more direct connection between audience and participant than that offered by written quotations. However, as will be shown in this article, digital video extracts can also be open to misinterpretation.
Ethical Issues Noted in the Literature
Kaplan and Howes (2004) suggested that researchers have an ethical obligation to represent student voices in school research, as previously discussed. However, they also noted some of the ethical issues, which can arise from including video of young participants in research reports on the Web. They discuss the dangers of invasion of privacy invasion of privacy n. the intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause, which can give the person whose privacy has been invaded a right to bring a lawsuit for damages against the person or entity that intruded. , child abuse, and the need to safeguard against these dangers when using websites and images. However, they urge researchers to use careful judgement so that a potentially valuable educational research tool is not ignored as a result of over-reaction. It is issues such as these that form a major part of the discussion in this article.
In the study discussed in this article, the researchers used video in some of the ways described earlier. For example, they used digital video data for triangulation with other data sources, they extracted still photographs from the raw video and they constructed multimedia documents to report on the research. The next sections describe the use of digital video as a research tool and raise pertinent issues that have surrounded this use. These issues mainly concerned data collection and presentation using digital video.
DIGITAL VIDEO AS A RESEARCH TOOL IN THIS STUDY
Five case schools were selected so that there were both primary (grades K-6) and secondary (grades 7-12) schools and a range of curriculum areas and pedagogical contexts for the use of the technology. These schools included two state primary schools (comprising students whose ages ranged from 5 to 12 years) and three secondary schools (comprising students of ages 12-17 years). One of the secondary schools was a state school and the other two were both Catholic systemic schools. In each case study from the project, permission was obtained from the school, the relevant education authority, teachers, parents, and students to video the lessons observed, and to use data collected in this way in our analysis of the study. The researchers also promised to maintain confidentiality of the students and other participants, and gave assurances that images of students or teachers would not be shown in any publications on the research, without gaining permission from the participants in the images.
The research team, comprising the authors as principal researchers and two highly experienced research assistants, visited schools in pairs. As well as data collected through the use of questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups, lessons related to the classes' use of digital video were observed. Observations were based on an observation schedule the team had developed, but also focused on any interesting activities in which the students were engaged. One member of the team filmed the student activity and general classroom environment, while the other member of the team made field notes according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the observation schedule and supplemented these with relevant observations that had not been captured by the schedule. This way of using video for data collection is supported by Bogdan and Biklen (1998) who recommended a collaboration of researchers in the field to supplement video data with participant observation participant observation,
n a method of qualitative research in which the researcher understands the contex-tual meanings of an event or events through participating and observing as a subject in the research. and field notes. They believe that film "isolates and freezes relationships or behaviours in a way that cannot be created verbally; but a human observer can give a sense of the entire fabric of events that cannot be conveyed photographically" (p. 103). Goldman-Segall (1990) supported this view: "... I cannot observe A type of fire control which indicates that the observer or spotter will be unable to adjust fire, but believes a target exists at the given location and is of sufficient importance to justify firing upon it without adjustment or observation. , participate in meaningful conversations, write notes, notice a full range of ambience am·bi·ence
Variant of ambiance.
ambience or ambiance
the atmosphere of a place
Noun 1. in the environment, and reflect upon it--all at the same time" (p. 234). Another perspective on the use of video in this way is gained by looking at the work of Cunningham and Benedetto (2002). They suggested that digital video can promote reflection by its producers. While their article discussed promoting reflection of student teachers through video, the same could be said of usage of video by researchers. An opportunity is gained to carefully consider the evidence at hand and revisit re·vis·it
tr.v. re·vis·it·ed, re·vis·it·ing, re·vis·its
To visit again.
A second or repeated visit.
re and discuss with collaborators, the implications of what is seen.
As well as video captured by the researchers in the classrooms, a valuable source of data was obtained through student artefacts. Examples of student-generated video produced by the classes were provided to the researchers on CD or DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc
Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology. , with permission to use in the study.
After the field trips for each case study were completed, the researchers who had been involved in the data collection at that school transcribed the data from notes, audio tapes, and video tapes. These transcriptions were sent to all members of the team who had been researchers on that case study, for verification. In the case of disagreement, the researchers revisited the raw data on the audio and video tapes. After all data from a case had been transcribed, a member of the research team took responsibility for writing up the case study. The case studies followed a template that the principal researchers had developed to capture the case of the first school visited. The template considered the data and categorised Adj. 1. categorised - arranged into categories
classified - arranged into classes the findings into a number of areas that had been suggested by the research questions for the study. Additional discussion occurred as appropriate. Finally, a member of the research team went through the digital video tapes and used editing software to compile a set of relevant clips as a library of illustratory video. He then went through the case and linked selected clips to sections of the report so that the researchers would have examples and illustrations of various phenomena described textually tex·tu·al
Of, relating to, or conforming to a text.
textu·al·ly adv. in the report
The next stage after all the case studies were complete, was to collaboratively consider the five cases and look for common trends, discrete differences and influences that might have caused these differences. A final summative Adj. 1. summative - of or relating to a summation or produced by summation
additive - characterized or produced by addition; "an additive process" report was prepared on the study as a whole. As well as this report, to be shared with the funding bodies A funding body is an organisation that provides funds in the form of research grants or scholarships. Research Councils
Research Councils are funding bodies that are government-funded agencies engaged in the support of research in different disciplines and , reports were also sent to each school and to the major employing authority of the case schools under its administration, and papers were written and disseminated disseminated /dis·sem·i·nat·ed/ (-sem´i-nat?ed) scattered; distributed over a considerable area.
Spread over a large area of a body, a tissue, or an organ. .
WAYS IN WHICH DIGITAL VIDEO WAS USED AS A RESEARCH TOOL IN THE PROJECT
As can be seen from the description of methodology, the researchers used digital video in a number ways in the research process. First, it was used to collect data in classrooms to supplement the data collected in observation. Students were filmed working collaboratively at computers editing their films, they were filmed in the playgrounds when they were shooting video and examples of their work were filmed as they demonstrated these to the research team. In the analysis stage of the research, digital video was used to confirm or refute re·fute
tr.v. re·fut·ed, re·fut·ing, re·futes
1. To prove to be false or erroneous; overthrow by argument or proof: refute testimony.
2. findings that researchers had tentatively proposed. Video was also used in cases where researchers disagreed about a finding. Students' digital video artefacts were also used to inform analysis. Finally, the findings of the study were illustrated clearly by sequences from the video footage collected and this footage greatly enhanced the presentation and dissemination process.
As the research team worked with digital video as a research tool, it became apparent that there were a number of areas in which issues arose as a direct result of this use. These are discussed in the next section.
Issues Arising from the Use of Digital Video as a Research Tool in this Study
A number of methodological and ethical issues emerged as the research team collected and analysed the video-based data and used them to disseminate findings. These issues arose in two main areas of the research process, the data collection stage and the dissemination and presentation stage. Consequently, these are the two areas which are discussed next. Some of these issues have been discussed in the literature, so the following accounts are not meant to provide a panacea Some antidote or remedy that completely solves a problem. Most so-called panaceas in this industry, if they survive at all, wind up sitting alongside and working with the products they were supposed to replace. for related problems but rather, extend the boundaries of discussion.
DATA COLLECTION ISSUES
Choosing What to Film and Edit: Subjectivity Issues
Collecting and analysing video-based data is prone to the same issue of subjectivity as selection and analysis of nonvideo-based data, both when collecting the data and when analysing them. For example, decisions about what to record and how to record it are not neutral. To address this issue, Mousley (1998) suggested the need to discuss the selection process itself in the research while Goldman-Segall (1990) suggested that interpretive researchers need to tread tread
injury to the coronet of the horse's hoof by treading on it by the opposite hoof, or by another horse when they are being worked in a team. If the coronary matrix is injured there may be a subsequent crack or deformity. carefully between what may be labelled as "bias" reporting and their own interpretations. Indeed, she makes the point that too much educational research in the past has tried to avoid a personal, subjective, and interpretive approach, and video-based data cannot be without a point of view: "... video ethnography Video recording of subjects in their natural environment and context, when confronted with an object or study, with an objective of observing their spontaneous reactions and applying that knowledge to new product development and product design.
Example:  is the ethnographer's perspective of what takes place in front of the camera when the camera is turned on" (p. 29). As a result, the reader "is put in a role that requires active engagement with the evidence and critical attention to its shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.
Shortcomings may also be:
Discussion among research team members about what should be filmed, both before and during filming, was valuable. Before filming, the research team had a shared understanding of what they were investigating so that the researcher who was filming was able to capture material relevant to the study. While at a case school, the filmer often consulted with the other researcher in the classroom to gain agreement about what should be filmed. The research was designed to ensure that the whole team worked on the initial case and collectively shared their reasons for choosing to film certain incidents or events. This process helped to make the data collection process for subsequent cases more transparent to the whole team.
Selection of classroom events from the raw video data for representation, analysis, and writing up involves a series of value judgments. This includes any decisions on what video frames might make suitable photographs (see previous section for details on how we used this technique) and how much of these photographs need to be edited (e.g., how much background to "crop" from a photo). Mousley (1998) cautioned that "... the greater the reduction (the more that the result is decontextualised over area and time), the greater the potential for biased choice" (p. 402).
Of equal concern were the possible factors that may influence the selection decision, such as clarity of the video, evocativeness of the incident, confidentiality issues (are children's faces clearly visible and identifiable), and the researcher's interests and biases. In some cases, the decision, therefore, to include a video clip may not be because it will enrich the understanding of the case, but rather because it is expedient ex·pe·di·ent
1. Appropriate to a purpose.
a. Serving to promote one's interest: was merciful only when mercy was expedient.
b. to include it. In this study, the researchers were aware of this potential bias and selection of video-based data was done collaboratively by the research team so that consensus was reached on what was kept and what was discarded dis·card
v. dis·card·ed, dis·card·ing, dis·cards
1. To throw away; reject.
a. To throw out (a playing card) from one's hand.
b. in the analysis and dissemination of results.
CHANGING THE RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT--AUTHENTICITY ISSUES
Impact of Filming on Participants and Learning Environment
Although video is often associated with a naturalistic approach naturalistic approach,
n a medical philosophy that holds that illness results from external, objective causes (such as accident, infection, mal-formation, etc.) to data collection, the presence of a video camera inevitably intrudes on the "natural" environment being studied. Bogdan and Biklen (1998) noted that the presence of an observer changes any setting to be observed, however, a photographer or filmer can change it in more noticeable ways. For instance, a researcher may need to ask a class to minimize background noise levels and other distractions relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc the filming of participants. The researchers in this study were very aware as they conducted the study that many of the teachers in the classes they visited, had gone to great lengths to ensure that they could have access to lessons using student-generated video. This often meant that the research situation had changed to achieve the goals of the research, that is, the research was influencing the researched. Further, bringing video cameras into classrooms usually gained some attention from the students, who often behaved differently for the camera than they might have had the researchers just been observers sitting in the classroom.
This problem can be minimized though. Bogdan and Biklen noted that the novelty of a filmer in the classroom can quickly disappear after a short time. While not being specific about differences in "extinction extinction, in biology, disappearance of species of living organisms. Extinction occurs as a result of changed conditions to which the species is not suited. of interest" due to age, their discussion is located in the classroom and their comments supported our experience in the five cases. However, this "extinction time" needs to be considered in a study's design and enough time must be allowed for it. Participants should also be informed of the nature and purpose of the filming to help them "act naturally" and avoid distraction Distraction
Divination (See OMEN.)
a “person from Porlock” interrupted Coleridge while he was recollecting the dream on which he based “Kubla Khan”. [Br. Lit.: Poems of Coleridge in Magill IV, 756] . Indeed, in this study, the researchers asked the classroom teacher to introduce them and explain why they were there and often the teacher would give them the opportunity to tell the students something about the research and what they intended to do. Also, the students in this study were using cameras and video editing software Video editing software is application software which handles the editing of video sequences on a computer. It usually includes the ability to import and export video, cut and paste sections of a video clip, and add special effects and transitions; and it sometimes includes the themselves and so the novelty of seeing others filming in their classroom (and the subsequent "extinction time") was significantly reduced.
Impact of Film Editing on Data
A well-discussed and obvious affordance of digital video-based data is its malleable malleable /mal·le·a·ble/ (mal´e-ah-b'l) susceptible of being beaten out into a thin plate.
1. Capable of being shaped or formed, as by hammering or pressure. nature--it can be easily edited and represented in a multimedia document. However, the extent to which such editing changes the original meaning of the raw data is problematic. Pea (1999) mentioned this limitation: "An ... issue is the integrity of video data that are being reported, where the concern is time sequence or time compression alterations distorting 'the way it was'"(p. 353). In this study another distortion was evident, as illustrated in what follows: A scene filmed in one of our case studies recorded two children arguing at the keyboard of a computer and captured the students pulling and pushing each other's hands away from the keyboard. The two children were from different racial backgrounds and the final scene beautifully captured the dark-pigmented hand of one child over the white-pigmented hand of her partner. This image was the final frame of the selected clip and conveyed quite a powerful image of inter-racial harmony, implying that the two students had reconciled their differences. In fact this was not the case but only the researcher who observed this incident was aware that the differences still existed; the other researchers interpreted the video clip of the incident as one ending in reconciliation between the students. Hence the presence of a clip illustrating a seemingly seem·ing
Outward appearance; semblance.
seeming·ly adv. poignant moment, without providing information about the pressure that the one hand was exerting on the other, led to misinterpretations by some of the researchers. Further, the use of such clips in commercial film-making has created "movie cliches," which encouraged the researchers to jump to a conclusion that they had seen previously enacted in television or movie stories. Williams and Clarke (2002) reported on similar misleading representations from the video data.
On numerous occasions the researchers worked with a relevant section of raw video footage and selected a series of shorter but pertinent clips from this recording. The irrelevant material "between" these clips was deleted Deleted
A security that is no longer included on a specified market. Sometimes referred to as "delisted".
Reasons for delisting include violating regulations, failing to meet financial specifications set out by the stock exchange and going bankrupt. and the remaining clips were "stitched stitch
1. A single complete movement of a threaded needle in sewing or surgical suturing.
a. A single loop of yarn around an implement such as a knitting needle.
b. " together by transition effects that effectively acted as "video ellipses Ellipses is the plural form of either of two words in the English language:
DISSEMINATION AND PRESENTATION ISSUES
Concealing Identities: Confidentiality Issues
A major constraint in the use of digital video in qualitative educational research is that of confidentiality. While addition of video clips to papers and reports undoubtedly enriches the cases, the researchers were ethically bound to keep identities confidential. This constraint meant that if the researchers wished to use a clip in which children could be clearly identified, they had to disguise the identity of the children's faces. They used digital video editing software in two main ways to preserve anonymity. First, they used "masking mask·ing
1. The concealment or the screening of one sensory process or sensation by another.
2. An opaque covering used to camouflage the metal parts of a prosthesis. " effects on video shots of students' faces, to conceal conceal,
v to hide; secrete; withhold from the knowledge of others. students' identities. Second, where there were too many faces to conceal, the researchers extracted a digital photograph from an appropriate scene in the relevant video clip in which the activities rather than the students' identities were visible. They then used the editing software to extract associated audio (e.g., a learning conversation) from the same footage to present as a supplement to the photograph and surrounding text. This use of digital photographs and digital audio data gets around the issues of confidentiality but still makes available much of the rich data available in the audio (e.g., expression and tones of voices, general ambience of environment, etc.). A small issue that has emerged here is the need to provide text which relates the voices in the audio recording to the context shown in the associated photograph. The researchers also inserted audio annotations to clarify incidents in which they extracted audio clips but could not use the corresponding visual clips for confidentiality reasons.
Given that the purpose of the video clip is to share the data from the case with the reader in as realistic a way as possible, the masking of faces or extraction of appropriate digital photographs or audio data is a limitation to this use of video and possibly presents a distraction to the reader/viewer. Hence, as the researchers became aware of the difficulties of portraying faces in a convincing manner using the previously described techniques, they changed some data collection techniques using the video camera. They concentrated on getting video footage of the activity, rather than the students, and if students were included, they tried to film them from behind so that they could not be identified. This way of filming has allowed them to present video clips in their dissemination in a way that is more faithful to the case. However, the removal of students' faces from the clips is an example of the diminishing of the students' participation in the research as active partners and contributors, a difficulty alluded to by Kaplan and Howes (2004).
Collected Student Documents in Digital Video Format: Ownership Issues
Another issue that needs to be raised here is that of ownership of student-generated digital video-based documents that were collected as a data source in this study. Often the teachers would provide the researchers with CDs or DVDs of the students' work using digital video. These artefacts were very useful in demonstrating how the video had been created by students for their learning. Accordingly, it was desirable to use some of these examples by extracting clips from them to include in the multimedia-based research reports. However, an issue of the researchers' right to use material that has been generated by students, with the support or leadership of their teachers, arises. The intellectual property belonged to the class or school from which it came, and yet it could not be attributed to the producers because of the need for confidentiality required by the education authority giving permission for this study to be conducted in their schools. A solution to this problem was to show only a very small segment of such artefacts, in our papers and presentations. However, as with the edited researcher video clips (see previous section), cut-down, edited versions of these student artefacts may have changed the intended meaning of the original collected documents.
Implications and Conclusion
In this study, selected video clips were added to the case studies that illustrated various findings in evocative e·voc·a·tive
Tending or having the power to evoke.
e·voca·tive·ly adv. , compelling, and succinct suc·cinct
adj. suc·cinct·er, suc·cinct·est
1. Characterized by clear, precise expression in few words; concise and terse: a succinct reply; a succinct style.
2. ways. The clips clarified points of discussion, brought the cases to life and enhanced understanding of the results. However, methodological and ethical matters relating to the use of digital video as a research tool emerged during our study and warrant further discussion. These matters include issues of confidentiality, subjectivity, authenticity, and ownership. In some ways, the increasingly malleable nature of digital video-based data is changing the landscape of these issues and pointing to the need for greater development of skills in critically "reading" multimedia-based research.
The ease of editing video-based data presents both benefits and problems for researchers. For example, the increasing number of ways to use video editing software to conceal students' identities is helping to solve the issue of confidentiality when using video data. Ways of extracting appropriate photographs and associated audio to present in a multimedia document have been discussed here. However, edited video data may be misinterpreted in a way that is not congruent con·gru·ent
1. Corresponding; congruous.
a. Coinciding exactly when superimposed: congruent triangles.
b. with the original meaning of the raw footage. This authenticity problem also applies to video-based collected documents that are edited for inclusion in research analysis and reporting. Indeed, the selection and editing of these clips (or other digital media extracted from the raw digital video) can involve highly subjective judgements and these processes need to be both discussed thoroughly and made transparent by researchers. Also, the marginalisation Noun 1. marginalisation - the social process of becoming or being made marginal (especially as a group within the larger society); "the marginalization of the underclass"; "the marginalization of literature"
marginalization of the participants through these methods needs to be acknowledged. Removing images of students' faces, or showing only brief, unattributed un·at·trib·ut·ed
Not attributed to a source, creator, or possessor: an unattributed opinion. extracts of their work contributes to the power imbalance imbalance /im·bal·ance/ (im-bal´ans)
1. lack of balance, such as between two opposing muscles or between electrolytes in the body.
2. dysequilibrium (2). in research studies, where the researcher becomes the generator and keeper of the knowledge and the students are denied voice in the study.
Despite advances in the ease and cost of using digital video to enhance data collection and analysis, interpretation, description, and dissemination of qualitative studies, issues relating to the use of digital video as a research tool need further explication ex·pli·cate
tr.v. ex·pli·cat·ed, ex·pli·cat·ing, ex·pli·cates
To make clear the meaning of; explain. See Synonyms at explain.
[Latin explic and debate. Further, although the issues discussed here are paralleled in text-based discussion of research, the richness of video data makes the evidence seem seductively se·duc·tive
Tending to seduce; alluring: "his sad and fastidious but ever seductive Irish voice" John Fowles. real and compelling and can lead the reader to suspend critical judgement more easily than in text-based cases. Researchers who have experience using video tools in the field could usefully contribute to this debate.
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SANDY SCHUCK AND MATTHEW KEARNEY
University of Technology, Sydney