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Video-mediated interviews to reveal multiple voices in peer collaboration for mathematics learning in groups

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Peer collaboration in schools can be a locus for negotiation of power and cultural norms. Set in the context of ethnically and linguistically diverse urban schools, this study discusses the possibilities and limitations of utilizing video-mediated interviews to reveal multiple voices. Our research method is based on video-recorded peer-to-peer interactions wherein a small group of students engaged in mathematics tasks, as well as video-mediated interviews with individual students while watching the video of themselves engaging in group work. Using the theoretical framework of ideological and sociohistorical nature of voice and figured worlds, our analysis revealed the ideologies and sociohistorical norms that influenced the ways in which the students collaborate with their peers. Based on our analyses of the video-mediated interviews, we raise awareness of potential conflicts that could affect the generation and development of ideas through collaboration. We also discuss ways to use video-mediated interviews as a methodology to interrogate the norms underlying collaboration among students in school settings.
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Video-mediated interviews to reveal multiple voices in peer
collaboration for mathematics learning in groups
Miwa Aoki Takeuchi and Venise Bryan
ABSTRACT
Peer collaboration in schools can be a locus for negotiation of power and
cultural norms. Set in the context of ethnically and linguistically diverse
urban schools, this study discusses the possibilities and limitations of
utilizing video-mediated interviews to reveal multiple voices. Our
research method is based on video-recorded peer-to-peer interactions
wherein a small group of students engaged in mathematics tasks, as
well as video-mediated interviews with individual students while
watching the video of themselves engaging in group work. Using the
theoretical framework of ideological and sociohistorical nature of voice
and figured worlds, our analysis revealed the ideologies and
sociohistorical norms that influenced the ways in which the students
collaborate with their peers. Based on our analyses of the video-
mediated interviews, we raise awareness of potential conflicts that could
affect the generation and development of ideas through collaboration.
We also discuss ways to use video-mediated interviews as a
methodology to interrogate the norms underlying collaboration among
students in school settings.
ARTICLE HISTORY
Received 30 June 2017
Accepted 5 February 2018
KEYWORDS
Video-mediated interview;
video research in education;
group work; student voice;
mathematics learning
Video-mediated interviews in educational research
Along with the development of digital tools for qualitative research, the possibilities and opportu-
nities have opened up for methodology and generation of theory (van Dijck 2007; van Doorn
2013). One of the most commonly used digital tools for qualitative research is the video camera.
The use of video in qualitative research has developed and become popular over the years (Blik-
stad-Balas 2016). Today, using video in qualitative research is dubbed as one of the prevalent
forms of data collection in field work (de Freitas 2015), and is integral in capturing the multiplicity
and complexities of social interactions (Jewitt 2012). Video has been used for qualitative research
in various ways, including video-mediated interviews (or alternatively called video-stimulated
recall interviews) (Jewitt 2012; Rosenstein 2002; Lee, Arthur, and Morrone 2017; Nolan, Paatsch,
and Scull 2017). Researchers focusing on meaning-making through interactions have utilized the
video camera to capture essential information such as eye-gazing, gesture, facial expressions, and
other body movements within particular learning environments (Goodwin 1994; Erickson 2007).
Video data affords the close examination of micro interaction (Erickson 1992), occurring simul-
taneously at different time frames (Lemke 2007) and allows researchers to collectively develop
interpretations of actions (Engle, Conant, and Greeno 2007).
In our study, we utilized video-mediated interviews, where activities of the participants are video
recorded, and then it is replayed to the participants, so they can express their views on points of inter-
est (Calderhead 1981; Muir 2010; Schmid 2011). Video-mediated interviews has gained increasing
popularity in educational research over the past 20 years (Rowe 2009). Similar to our study, this
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
CONTACT Miwa Aoki Takeuchi miwa.takeuchi@ucalgary.ca
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH & METHOD IN EDUCATION
2019, VOL. 42, NO. 2, 124136
https://doi.org/10.1080/1743727X.2018.1445218
method has been used in mathematics education studies to allow students the opportunities to
recount their experiences, and to explain their thought processes, as they engaged in solving math-
ematical problems (Pirie 1996; Dookie 2015; Kotsopoulos 2007). The video-mediated interview has
also been used in other educational qualitative studies to gain the participantsperspectives on
their interactions while performing in the filmed activity (Sherin and Han 2004; Dempsey 2010;
Haw and Hadfield 2011; Nguyen and Tangen 2016).
Unique affordance of video-mediated interviews
Previous studies using video-mediated interviews discussed its unique affordance as a methodologi-
cal tool. For example, Dempsey (2010, 351) discussed that video-mediated interview could offer,
memory prosthesis, a crutch that can bring an informant beyond a recitation of traditional best prac-
tices or socially valorized morals or values about how ought to act in given situation.Video can bring
forth participantsactions as they actually happened. Other researchers have explained that video
could act as a strong visual stimulus as the images of the individual in the filmed activity activate cog-
nitive processes that enable them to recount and explain their actions and interactions at that par-
ticular time (Gass and Mackey 2000; Schmid 2011; Paskins, McHugh, and Hassell 2014). Participants
seeing the images of themselves in the video can give access to verbal and non-verbal behaviours
that might have been taken for granted, easily forgotten, or misremembered if the interview were
to take place without a stimuli (Henry and Fetters 2012). This can be enhanced further when com-
bined with other triggers, such as, written notes or artifacts the participants might have been
working on, to assist them to give an accurate account of what would have been taking place at
that particular time (Lyle 2003; Paskins et al. 2017). From this perspective, it is encouraged that the
post activity interview needs to take place within hours of the activity as participants may give an
account of what they now think is happening as opposed to what had actually taken place (Gass
and Mackey 2000; Paskins, McHugh, and Hassell 2014).
In our study, we argue that the unique affordance of video-mediated interview is to reveal mul-
tiple voices(Bakhtin 1981, 324), which reflect peoples lived history and ideological/sociohistorical
contexts that shape ones voice. Rather than treating video-mediated interviews as a way to retrieve
the participantsaccurate memory, we were interested in how youths in the study are in the intense
interaction and struggle between ones own and anothers word(Bakhtin 1981, 354). The specifics of
the interaction participants were in, which can be offered through video data, are important
resources for participantsvoices to be actualized. In order to elaborate more on our perspectives
on voice, we also draw from the figured world(Holland et al. 1998, 52) that will be discussed in
the following section. We also maintain that the strengths of video-mediated interviews lie in
serving as a participatory research tool to listen to voices of children and youths (Pascal and
Bertram 2009). Through the video-mediated interviews, children and youths are also able to contrib-
ute to the analysis of the data regarding their actions and interactions; thereby allowing us to enrich
and better contextualize the data (Christensen and James 2008).
Revealing multiple voices: theoretical framework
In conceptualizing voices, we draw from the notion of Bakhtin. Central to Bakhtins notion of voice is
heterogeneity always in contact, described as each word tastes of the context and contexts in which
it has lived its socially charged life(1981, 293). For us, this notion of voice helps us to understand
speakerswords as culturally and historically situated. In other words, speakersvoices are not com-
pletely fully their own but in contact with others (for example, as demonstrated in the following
section, studentsvoices are intertwined with their parentsvoices). Thus, we attempt to reveal mul-
tiple voices that are in contact within a participants interview.
Drawing from Bakhtin, Wertsch discusses how voices can be those of two individuals engaged in
overt dialogue,’‘those of an author and a character in novelistic discourse,or those of two conflicting
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH & METHOD IN EDUCATION 125
positions(1985, 225). In this sense, if we seek the understanding of voice, we must attend to the
figured world of participants, defined as a socially and culturally constructed realm of interpretation
in which particular characters and actors are reorganized, significance is assigned to certain acts, and
particular outcomes are valued over others(Holland et al. 1998, 52). The figured worlds frame the
coproduction of activities, discourses, performances, and artifacts,as they are peopled by the
figures, characters, and types who carry out its tasks and who also have styles of interacting
within, distinguishable perspectives on, and orientations toward it(51). The figured world framework
is useful for understanding the cultural and historical nature of the stories that we tell. Figured worlds
are not just constituted by one person; stories are succeeded from preceding generations, parents,
and grandparents, as well as peers and friends.
In this study, we recognize that culture and socialization play a significant role in the way in which
children construct their figured worlds. One example is Alton-Lee, Nuthall, and Patricks(1987) pio-
neering work that revealed students interpretation and placement of their views in relation to
culture and gender. In their study students in the middle school setting quickly identified the us
and them,and historical people who were civilized and in leadership roles were perceived to be
men. Some of these views might have been spawned by a popular TV show at the time, as well as
the childrens socialization at home and school (Alton-Lee, Nuthall, and Patrick 1987). Researchers
have conceded that a major consideration when conducting research with children is the students
background experiences and the influence of these experiences on the classroom experience
(Nuthall and Alton-Lee 1990,1995; Forman 2012). One of the salient influences is the home experi-
ence, such as, discussion with parents and other family members, as well as other social influences
through television exposure and how these contribute to studentsunderstanding and interpretation
of their classroom experiences.
Setting and data collected
The data for this study were collected in two urban middle schools in Canada. Both of the schools
were linguistically and ethnically diverse. More than 45 home languages of students were
represented, and more than 50% of the students were categorized as English language learners. In
this study, we focused specifically on students who were considered 1.5 generation immigrants.
Students, who are considered 1.5 generation immigrants, came to a host country after the age of
nine, and their native language is not an instructional language at school. In Canada, where this
study was conducted, there is a report issued by Statistics Canada, pointing out that students who
immigrated to Canada after the age of nine, and whose first language differs from the instructional
language at school, tend to face a significantly higher risk of not attaining a high school diploma
(Corak 2011). For example, according to this report, 2025% of the students who immigrated to
Canada after the age of 13 did not attain a high school diploma. Their challenges in schooling are
not necessarily limited to language issues. In fact, these students can bring in different experiences
for school learning. Thus, we decided to examine how these students construct the figured worlds
around group work.
We conducted video-mediated interviews as follows. First, we video-recorded students working
on mathematics problems in groups. For each group work session, two to four students worked
together approximately for an hour. At least one 1.5 generation immigrant student was involved
in each group. We collected video data during group work with 11 groups (with 41 students). Indi-
vidual video-mediated interviews were conducted after the students engaged in group work. We
showed each student a video clip of themselves engaging in group work and elicited their interpret-
ations and perspectives about their own and othersactions. In addition, we asked questions about
their educational backgrounds, their dispositions toward mathematics learning, and the influences of
their parents or guardians (e.g. by using a prompt, Do your parents say anything about mathematics
learning?). Individual interviews were conducted with almost all the students (with 39 students) who
participated in the group work sessions.
126 M. A. TAKEUCHI AND V. BRYAN
Our analysis was led by the lens of studentsvoices shaped through the figured worlds (as explained in
detail, in the above section). We focused on the ideologies and sociohistorical norms that influence ways
in which students collaborate with their peers. We also analyzed whether and how studentsaccess to
opportunities to learn was equitably assured (for example, by examining how conversational turns
were distributed among group members), and how figured worlds influenced studentsaccess to oppor-
tunities to learn. Both of us watched the videos of group work sessions separately, listened to students
interviews, and completed analytic memos. Analytic memos were written focusing on how students
emerging productive idea was taken up in a group (Barron 2003),andhowfiguredworldsplayeda
role in the development of these ideas. Subsequently, we had a series of meetings to discuss and solidify
the figured worlds at play in the particular group work sessions. In analyzing figured worlds through
student interviews, we focused on their story lines, characters, and the norms that they recounted
with regards to this particular group work episodeandworkingwithothersingeneral.
Video-mediated interview as a tool to reveal multiple voices
In this section, we highlight how the video-mediated interview played an essential role in revealing
multiple voices shaped through the figured worlds at play in the group work settings. We demon-
strate how multiple voices reflected culturally-constituted gender norms. These multiple voices influ-
enced how they collaborate to solve a mathematics problem. We take cases of two groups, to
highlight the possibility of video-mediated interviews as a tool to reveal multiple voices.
Group 1
Group 1 consisted of four Grade 7 students; Ajinder, Dhann, and Baljeet (all studentsnames are
pseudonyms) were considered English language learners at the school and Fiona was considered a
native speaker of English. Dhann is a boy and Ajinder, Baljeet, and Fiona are girls (self-identified). In
the particular segments of interactions selected here, students were engaging in the following
problem: construct a square exactly half the area of the original square(adapted from Driscoll 2007;
Boaler 2015). This task was selected because there are multiple solutions and multiple approaches to
this problem. When given the problem, the students proposed an idea of folding four corners in, to
show half of the area of the original square (see Figure 1). However, they had difficulty justifying that
it was actually half the area.
The group conversation was mostly directed by Dhann who performed the role of a leader. Instead
of discussing key mathematical ideas (such as area and perimeter) presented by the problem,
the group spent most of the time on procedural aspects of the problem, such as, measuring the
length of sides of the square with a ruler, and precisely folding papers. The group focused on this
procedural aspect for approximately 30 min. While the group initially proposed an emerging pro-
ductive idea represented in Figure 1, they did not thoroughly follow through on this idea. Our analysis
Figure 1. Groups tentative solution to the problem.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH & METHOD IN EDUCATION 127
revealed one significant aspect of what might have hindered this group from cultivating the emer-
ging productive idea through discussion. Dhann was mostly dominating the conversation in the
group compared to the other group members; of all the student conversational turns (a measurable
unit of each utterance) in the 29 min of solving the problem, Dhann took 53%, whereas Fiona took
22%, Ajinder took 14% and Baljeet took 10%. By following Dhanns idea (represented in Excerpt 1),
the group kept folding and measuring to make a square that was half the perimeter of the original
square and not the area, as the question had asked.
Excerpt 1.
00:01:38 Dhann: It only took a genius to figure that out.
[Ajinder is banging on her table. Fiona looks at Dhann. Baljeet looks at the other direction from Dhann.]
00:01:43 Dhann:
k, lets see if this is right. [holds folded paper onto original square then puts it down]k,Im going to do a
calculation here. [gets ruler]
00:01:53 Fiona: Of course, its half.
00:02:10 Dhann: Well, I just have to, like, measure how much is minus from this. So, this is, lets see what is the area perimeter
of this? [measuring with ruler] Seven by, seven and half by seven and half. Seven and half plus seven and
half is
00:02:10 Baljeet: Fold it in half and fold it over okay
00:02:15 Dhann: Fifteen in perimeter.
In the group, Dhann acted as if he knew much more than the others did, by making comments
such as it only took a genius to figure that out,’‘I always take a step ahead for some reason.In
this group, he never asked a question or elicited feedback from the other members. He mainly
decided the direction for problem solving, gave instructions to others, and evaluated othersideas.
Dhanns behaviour is representative of hegemonic masculinity that Connell (2005) describes as a
dominant pattern of practice associated with masculinity. Seeing Dhanns pattern of practice from
hegemonic masculinity helps us move away from describing essentialized gender roles. Rather,
our argument is how forms of masculinity and femininity can be shaped culturally (in this case,
through parentsexpectations) and contributed to studentsfigured worlds of collaboration (which
are revealed through video-mediated interviews).
We showed segments of the video capturing the above-described interactions to each of the
group members, individually. Video-mediated interviews helped us understand how students were
successfully performing what their parents expected, in this particular scenario (note that we are
not claiming that these students always perform what is expected for them). We introduce interviews
with two studentsDhann, a boy, and Ajinder, a girl, both from Indian immigrant families. Here, we
contrast a boy and a girl; however, we will examine an all boy group in the following section.
For Dhann, success in the school was significant to meet his parentsexpectations. In response to
the question regarding parentsexpectations, Dhann said, she expects me to always do great in all
my subjects.When we confirmed if this expectation was mostly coming from his mother, he said,
Mostly, its always mom. My dad is into business and he doesnt really () sometimes when I
show my report card, he does, he is usually impressed.This expectation could influence how
Dhann made several comments about his smartnessin the group interaction.
Looking back at the specifics of the group interaction (that was introduced above), Dhann said he
felt that he was doing all the work and the others did not help much: In this scene I am doing more of
the math stuff, and so, like maybe, they should help a little bit more, because like but Im not
saying they didntthey did, but they should help out a little bit more.From Dhanns perspective,
the group was not collaborative in the sense that he was working more on mathand the others
should have helped him more.
Ajinder interpreted the group interaction quite differently from Dhann. Ajinder focused mostly on
listening in group interactions. For her, group harmony was important and she prioritized others
ideas and contributions over hers. In the individual interview, Ajinder shared her approach to
solving the problem, and this was not shared with the group. When asked why she did not share
her approach, she said, Because I was seeing how they were doing the ideas, like similar, they
were doing similar ones.She described her general role in the group as a listener.Explaining
128 M. A. TAKEUCHI AND V. BRYAN
why this was the case, she said, Because it matters. Maybe their ideas will maybe figure the question
out or maybe like give a clue on how to give an example, and how to do the question.Thus, she
believed that it was important to listen because othersideas could contribute to solving a problem.
Describing what she learned from her parents, she said, they taught me really good things
keep away from people that like to show off and brag about this and this.She also said, they
just taught me that you should always, like, um, smile and always be happy never be like be sad
or like mad or like just always go to school with a happy face and come back with a happy.In
the group work interaction we analyzed, she mostly played the role of a listener than a leader
without pushing her ideas onto others.
One way to interpret the difference in the messages Dhann and Ajinder received from parents
could be from the lens of gender-biased socialization reported in the studies on Indian immigrant
families, which highlighted domestic gender relations and parentscontrol of daughterssocial life
(Dasgupta 1998; Kallivayalil 2004). Although this gender-biased socialization is now being challenged
in the modern day, a form of masculinity that has traditionally been valued was around leadership
and decision-making (Dasgupta and Gokulsing 2014). Video-elicited interviews provided us insights
as to how a potentially productive idea was not pursued in Group 1 as studentsfigured worlds con-
structed around gender norms influenced (and hindered) their collaboration.
Group 2
Another group of students, consisting of three boys participated in a similar group activity. The three
boys are in Grade 7 and from the same math class. All the boys are 1.5 generation immigrants who
came to Canada after the age of nine; Vishal and Kavi are from India and Joseph is from the Philip-
pines. Here we will introduce the interviews with Vishal and Kavi, the two boys who are from Indian
Immigrant families. Our intention here is to reveal multiple forms of masculinities observed in stu-
dentsfigured worlds, by making a comparison between Group 1 and Group 2.
In this group work, Vishal performed the role of leader and mostly dominated the conversation;
during the 25 mingroup activity of solving the same question introduced above in Group 1,
Vishal took 46% of the conversational turns, while Joseph took 28% and Kavi took 26%. At the begin-
ning of this activity, after reading the problem to be solved, Kavi stated that he was given a similar
problem in the past and started to describe to Vishal and Joseph how to solve the problem. Using
hand gestures, Kavi explained how to fold the paper into triangles and then to combine the triangles
to create a square. Vishal and Joseph listened as Kavi gestured and whispered his explanation as to
how to solve the problem. However, the group did not take up this idea. Instead, Vishal stopped Kavi,
then took a ruler and insisted that they needed to measure the original square to solve the problem
using measurements. Joseph seemed to be concerned hearing two different suggestions which pre-
sented opposite approaches, one of using measurements and calculating the exact area of half the
original square (Vishals idea), and another to visualize half by folding the original square (Kavis idea).
Joseph quietly asked if they knew how to solve the problem. Eventually, the group proceeded with
Vishals suggestion, and Vishal ended up doing most of the work. Kavi became very silent; and Joseph
looked on as Vishal worked on solving the problem. The following excerpt reflects the overall pattern
of the group interaction during this group work.
Excerpt 2
00:20:00 [Begins by all 3 boys silently reading the problem.]
00:20:02 Kavi: Square.
00:20:06 Vishal: Half the area
00:20:09 Kavi: Oh I got it, I got it. So first like if you fold it in half and then like
00:20:19 Vishal: No, that would, wouldnt be a square. No.
00:20:27 Kavi: Yah but then if you cut, if you like fold it here and join the two triangles like this then it would form a square.
[Kavi is using hand gestures to show what he means when explaining his reasoning to the other boys.]
00:20:30 Vishal: No, we have to do it exactly half of the size. [Kavi uses pen, hovering above the origami paper.]
00:20:33 Joseph: So lets go with this one.
00:20:36 Vishal: Yah [Kavi grabbed the ruler]
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH & METHOD IN EDUCATION 129
We then showed the above-described segments of video data to the boys during the interview.
The students presented different views on collaboration and this was influenced partly by the mess-
ages received from their parents. As demonstrated in the following section, Vishals parents encour-
aged him to be a leader and to help guide others, while Kavis parents advised him to avoid being a
leader at times to prevent conflict.
In the video-mediated interview, Vishal evaluated the above-introduced group work to be suc-
cessful. For him, members of the group agreed on the answers, he said:
It was a successful group work. We were, uh, agreeing upon the statements and we made it together. Uh because
we made it with measurements and the answer was also right. So and all of us agreed upon it. We know how it
worked. So it was successful.
He stated further that he was always the leader, but when I have a companion with me who is at my
level then we both become the leader.Being a leader was the norm for Vishal, when asked if this
inclination was from his parentsinuence he said, they say that you should always, um, guide
peoples way.His parentsmessage inuenced Vishals way of seeing this group work as successful
and his actions as benecial to all.
Vishals comments with regards to the specific group activity were that he took charge and did
most of the work because as he stated I like to do it myself more times.Additionally, Vishal
rigidly believes mathematical problems should be solved with numbers and measurements, for accu-
racy. He stated:
First I thought that, uh, we would make it with the measurements accurate because, um, I think the measure-
ment gives us accurate answers and over here (referring to Kavis suggestion), we were not doing measurements
we were just doing it roughly. So I thought that we should go with the measurements first.
Vishal persisted with his idea and did not listen to other group membersideas. Judging from his ways
of interpreting his own actions in the group, Vishal adopted an authoritarian style of leadership, that
involves telling, and other members of the team were not allowed to contribute ideas (De Hoogh,
Greer, and Den Hartog 2015).
Kavis perspective is that the group activity was not very successful, because only one person com-
pleted most of the work. He stated:
The unsuccessful part they did not () really think about my idea they just came up with another one. So I think it
works best when you take everybodys ideas. () Having like more open opinions not just one persons idea.
He believes that he was robbed of the opportunity to enjoy mathematics in this experience, as his
ideas were not given a chance. Kavis view of group work is more cooperative where everyones
ideas should be evaluated based on merit and the best idea used to nd the answer. He felt that
this was not done in the group as they disregarded his idea, although it was plausible and he had
solved a similar mathematical problem to this one before.
Kavi said that his parents encouraged him to be a leader but not all the time, because sometimes
when you take leadership position it leads to trouble and other people may start arguing that they
want to be the leader.Kavi stated that you should not be leader all the time as it could result in an
argument. Describing what his parents said to him, Kavi said, they do not want me to work in group
because they do not want me to start swearing.As such, his interpretation of the above-described
video segments helped us identify the culturally-constituted notion of leadership and collaboration
Kavi was bringing to the group. This could be why he did not insist on being the group leader and did
not push the group to use his ideas or give it thought.
In comparing Vishals role in his figured worlds to that of Dhanns in Group 1, this is another pres-
entation of hegemonic masculinity. Vishal identified himself clearly as being more dominant, as he
pointed out in his statements above (if he has a group member who is at his level, then both of
them can be the leader, otherwise he is the leader). In contrast, Kavis role in Vishals figured world
could demonstrate more of a marginalized form of masculinity (Srivastava 2014). Vishal might
130 M. A. TAKEUCHI AND V. BRYAN
have interpreted this as lack of confidence; hence, Kavi was not his equal, and so, he, Vishal, had to be
the leader and take charge. Connell (2005) maintains that some masculinities are more honoured
than others, and the hegemonic masculinity is legitimized in the cultural hierarchy. For example,
Pradhan and Ram (2010) reported that young men in India felt a real manneeded to meet
certain criteria such as being able to take charge, earn good income, financially maintain and
sustain the family, make decisions, and take actions. In this case, Vishal emulated the hegemonic mas-
culinity, where he took the decision as to how to solve the problem without listening to others, took
action through an authoritative style of leadership, and eventually silenced others.
Discussion
Considering students bring in the norms and practices developed outside the school, for example,
through their parents (de Abreu and Cline 2005; Civil, Planas, and Quintos 2005), the methodological
tool such as a video-mediated interview can play an important role to understand the broader con-
texts in which studentsstatus and patterns of interactions are formulated. Mathematics problem
solving or any other collaboration do not happen in a vacuum. By revealing multiple figured
worlds at play during the group work, using the tool of video-mediated interview, we suggest the
necessity to develop a research tool to reveal multiple figured worlds at play, in order to promote
meaningful discussion and collaboration. Similar to Nuthall and Alton-Lees(1990) reference to
private voice of primary school children that revealed data that would have been otherwise
missed by the teacher or by an observer, the use of video-mediated interviews was helpful to this
research to listen to studentsvoices.
Mitigating the power imbalance between researchers and the researched
By bringing the video-mediated interview as a research tool, we aimed to mitigate the power imbal-
ance between us, as researchers, and the participants as the researched. For over two decades,
researchers have been examining the interactional characteristics unique to group work (Yackel,
Cobb, and Wood 1991; Barron 2003; Webb and Mastergeorge 2003). Despite the learning and
social benefits of group work, researchers have raised concerns about the unequal distribution of
learning opportunities among students (Esmonde 2009; Engle, Langer-Osuna, and de Royston
2014; Langer-Osuna 2016; Takeuchi 2016). In these previous works, the analyses of interactions
were conducted mainly through researchers perspectives. Studentsown voices were not necessarily
at the centre of the analysis. The methodological choice behind bringing in video-mediated inter-
views was motivated by our intention to invite the interpretation of the situation by the participants
themselves.
By inviting participantsown interpretations, we questioned and revised some of our earlier
interpretations focusing on participantspersonal traits (e.g. Joseph is shy and doesnt talk
much.). Rather, we came to understand how certain verbal and non-verbal actions were rooted in
the figured worlds these people enacted. As seen in the above example, the use of video allowed
us to enrich and diversify the interpretation of particular interactions. By listening carefully to
voices of children and youths, we came to conclude that video-mediated interviews could serve as
a participatory research tool (Pascal and Bertram 2009) and help mitigate the power imbalance
between us, as researchers, and participants.
Camera effects: how to frame the interview
Utilizing the video camera in qualitative research can come with several limitations including a sense
of being intrusive (Heath, Hindmarsh, and Luff 2010). Participants can become overly aware of
the presence of a video camera and the fact that they are being recorded, thus, can alter their
behaviours and responses (Jewitt 2012). In our study, we utilized the video camera to reduce
researcher bias in interpreting the findings and to use it as a source of data collection that could
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH & METHOD IN EDUCATION 131
facilitate recall, as the participants could vocalize their interpretations of their interactions during the
group activity.
However, our research methodology also made us reflect on some of the challenges we encoun-
tered in using video-mediated interview. For example, the following is the transcription of one of the
interviews between a researcher and a student participant. In this interaction, the participant hesi-
tated to share his opinions openly in front of the camera. It was after the researcher explained
that peers would not see or hear what the student said, when the student started to share more
of his perspectives openly.
Excerpt 3
00:04:55 Interviewer: So would you classify it as a successful group work or an unsuccessful group work?
00:05:17 Kavi: Uh I think it might be a little bit of both. Like, like the successful part was that we solved the problem and
the unsuccessful parts was the, did not like, they did not kind of go like, they like didnt really think
about my idea they just came up with another one.
00:05:19 Interviewer: Ok. Do you want to explain that some more?
00:05:21 Kavi: Uh
00:05:36 Interviewer: And feel free to say what. As I said we arent sharing the information with your fellow students we just
want to understand better how group work works best, so um explain that some more for me please.
00:05:47 Kavi: Ok. So I think it works best when you take everybodys ideas. And like people work on it and you cant
work on your own ideas so that the most votes that they get thats the idea they do.
While at the beginning of the interview we explained the research ethics protocol, throughout the
interview we had to remind participants of how we are (not) going to use the video data. With the rise
of social media, there is a heighten awareness about privacy (Jewitt 2012). On the one hand, the tech-
nological advancement made the use of video camera more accessible to the public. On the other
hand, the public is more concerned about the fair and ethical use of video and images. This need
for privacy and ethical use of video must be recognized.
Pedagogical implications
Heightened concerns for privacy cannot dismiss the use of video in qualitative research and its
insightfulness into the interactions of participants (Bowman 1994). In the case of this study,
video-mediated interview was a valuable and beneficial tool in aiding the understanding of what
can hinder collective generation and development of ideas in school. Our use of video-mediated
interviews suggests the possibility of expanding this research methodology tool as a pedagogical
tool. The video recording of student group work showed how students worked in the group
settings. Combining the video footage with video-mediated interviews helped us understand
their figured worlds, how they perceive, and are enacting the situation. In educational research,
video data has been used for teacher professional development and teacher education (Sherin
and van Es 2005; Towers 2007; Roth McDuffie et al. 2014). Video stimulated recall allows for
more reflection on ones activity, as reported by Sewall (2009), student teachers gave more
in-depth and reflective feedback on their teaching when they watched themselves on the video,
when compared to observation-based debriefing without video or image use. We believe that
video-mediated interviews will be a useful tool in teacher professional development and education,
to expand teachersunderstanding of how students make sense of certain situations in the
classrooms.
Not only the teachers but also students can benefit from watching the video footage and video-
mediated interviews. For example, Kotsopoulos (2010) showed video footage of non-collaborative
learning to a group of students and created the opportunity for them to reflect on normalized pat-
terns of collaborative learning. While we have to be careful with protecting studentsprivacy and with
creating the context where students can freely express what they observe in the video, video-
mediated interviews can help generate the opportunity to raise awareness of diverse culturally-con-
stituted voices.
132 M. A. TAKEUCHI AND V. BRYAN
Conclusion
In this article, we discussed how the use of video and video-mediated interview contributed to under-
standing multiple voices in the situation such as solving a mathematical problem together. These
voices were shaped culturally, being influenced by parents and through the practices of schooling.
The use of video-mediated interview helped us understand participantsfigured worlds, how they
defined and made sense of the situation as well as how the lack of negotiating multiple figured
worlds at play interfered with the emergence and elaboration of ideas. For example, as introduced
in our findings, the culturally-constituted norms associated with masculinities and femininities
largely shaped the way students worked.
This article contributes to the discussion on the use of video-mediated interview to listen to voices
of participants, with careful attention to multiple voices. Participants were given the opportunity to
explain their interactions and the reason for responding in the way they did during the video-
recorded interactions. Interpreting the findings through the theoretical lens of the figured world
also adds to the empirical literature; this framework helped us to situate participantsvoices in the
sociohistorical contexts surrounding those people. Based on the analyses of video-recorded inter-
actions and video-mediated interviews with the participants, we demonstrated both the possibilities
and some of the challenges associated with using video-mediated interviews for educational
research.
Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
Funding
This work was supported by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada [grant number 403-2015-
00151].
ORCID
Venise Bryan http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3477-2917
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136 M. A. TAKEUCHI AND V. BRYAN
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