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Education Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 736791, 11 pages
Research Article

Students’ Digital Photography Behaviors during a Multiday Environmental Science Field Trip and Their Recollections of Photographed Science Content

Department of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, Utah State University, 2830 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84321, USA

Received 15 January 2014; Accepted 7 May 2014; Published 2 June 2014

Academic Editor: Gwo-Jen Hwang

Copyright © 2014 Victor R. Lee. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Taking photographs to document the experiences of an educational field trip is becoming a common activity for teachers and students alike. Considering the regular creation of photographic artifacts, our goal in this paper is to explore students’ picture taking behavior and their recollections of science content associated with their photographs. In this study, we partnered with a class of fifth-grade students in the United States and provided each student with a digital camera to document their experiences during an environmental science field trip at a national park. We report the frequency of photography behaviors according to which activities were most often documented by the students and specifically that students tended to document more of their experiences when they were in outdoor, natural spaces rather than inside of visitor centers or museums. Also, through an analysis of students’ comments about the science content captured in their photographs we observe that students’ comments about photographs of the outdoors tended to show greater depth and complexity than those that were taken in indoor, museum-like spaces.