A database of student-contributed photos in a virtual exchange
The IVEProject is a virtual exchange that has been allowing EFL students from around the world to connect via forums. It has been growing steadily and had over 3200 students participate in the autumn of 2019. A supplemental feature called ‘Photos of the Day’ was added to create a new avenue for students to learn about and discuss the countries involved. For seven of the eight weeks of the exchange, students were encouraged to upload original photos corresponding to daily themes related to forum discussion topics. Using Moodle’s database module, a total of over 3600 photos were uploaded from participants from five countries. By filtering the photos by theme and country, participants could gain a new visual perspective of various aspects of daily life in different countries. It also acted as a catalyst for both in-class spoken discussions as well as forum discussion. The presentation discusses the setup of ‘Photos of the Day’, differences in how different countries used it, and qualitative data from students’ forum posts. Furthermore, it offers lessons learned for improvement in the 2020 iteration.