What is Engineering to You? (WIETY)

We were involved with a photo elicitation study that uses photos obtained by the participant to represent their ideas of engineering to answer the question: “What is engineering to you?” This project’s goal was to explore photo elicitation as a research and pedagogical method in relation to engineering.

Research Questions: How can photo elicitation as a  research on conceptions of engineering held by people of different backgrounds? Also, how can it be used as a pedagogical tool to aid in the development  of conceptions of engineering?

Methods: Data analysis for this project is done on transcripts of interviews, plus photographic artifacts.  Participants engage in 3 interviews.  We used emergent qualitative coding.


  • Jordan, Shawn, Robin Adams, Alice Pawley, and David Radcliffe. “The Affordances of Photo Elicitation as a Research and Pedagogical Method.” Conference proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference, San Antonio TX (October 18-21, 2009). (Download pdf here.)
  • 2011. Morley, K. M., Pawley, A. L., Jordan, S. S., & Adams, R. “Gender and Engineering: Using Photo Elicitation as a Method of Inquiry.” Paper presented at the 118th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, June 27. Paper.