Instructions for Student Photo Survey

  1. Tell or email Gudrun Willett that you would like to participate and approximately what day you would like to take the survey. Choose any day in the week, as long as you feel that it would helpfully represent when/where you do the most learning at Carleton.
  2. Choose your source of photography. You can use your own phone or camera phone, as long as you know how to get the photos off of the device and can send them to Gudrun. However, it is very easy to borrow a camera from PEPS
  3. Start taking pictures! Make sure that you write down the topic and time you take a photo so that you can reconstruct the day later on. Try to take a picture every hour - but if this isn't possible, strive for a picture every time you change places or activities. If you photograph a person who will be identifiable in the photo (someone close-up, as opposed to at a great distance), please get their signed consent with the attached form (Microsoft Word 35kB Sep22 09).

Here are some possible topics to guide your photography (but don't feel limited to these items):

Student Learning Topics

  • Area where you like to study (ex. library, room, grassy place, etc.)
  • Area where you study the most often
  • Area that is not a good place for studying (but that you might be forced to study in?)
  • Tools for studying (ex. computer, websites, books, notebooks, desk, paints, etc.)
  • Tools for class projects (computer or science lab, field equip, etc.)
  • Tools for keeping track of your schedule and assignments (computer program, notebook, file cabinet, etc.)
  • Websites you use to study (*could take a screenshot of your computer)
  • Websites you use to procrastinate (*screenshot)
  • Notes/whatever you write during class
  • What you carry with you during your day on campus
  • Help for projects/assignments/studying (ex. librarians, Write Place helpers, Math helpers, friends, professors, phone/email if contacting someone away from campus for help, etc.).
  • Your professor, instructor, or advisor
  • A study group

Topics Related to Life at Carleton

  • Where you eat
  • Who you eat with
  • Where you sleep
  • Your roommate(s)
  • Something that you do in your unscheduled, free time.
  • Something fun that you like to do
  • Where you hang out when you don't know what else to do.
  • A place that has meaning only to your group of friends or other Carletonians
  • A stressful place or situation (lab, classroom, gym, etc.)
  • A place or person that gives you comfort
  • A really wacky or weird place/thing/person
  • A "good" party or social event
  • A place you only go to on the weekends
  • A chore (laundry, dishes, going to econo) and how you found time for it
  • Main form of communication
  • Something (not homework), that you feel obligated to do but don't really want to do (friend's club meeting, professor's bowling night)

FINAL INSTRUCTION: Send your photos to Gudrun Willett and set up a time to conduct your interview. Cookies or other treats may be provided at the interview.


Briden, J. (2007). Photo Surveys: Eliciting More than You Knew to Ask For. Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester. N. F. F. a. S. Gibbons. Chicago, IL, Association of College and Research Libraries.