Snapshot journal

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About Snapshot

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Snapshot cover Volume 1 Number 1: Burlesque show with Vesper White. Photographer: Anette Moen (released under CC-BY 4.0)

Snapshot is an online journal that publishes undergraduate student work submitted for assessment. Work is selected from humanities and social sciences subjects at La Trobe University initially, and there is potential for this to be extended to other disciplines in the future. Snapshot showcases work that demonstrates both high-quality and average-standard work at undergraduate level, in order to reveal a broad range of student work.

Visit the Snapshot journal online

The project has been funded through the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) scheme in its first year. Snapshot aims to increase the number of students from low socioeconomic and Indigenous backgrounds studying in the faculty by showcasing undergraduate student work. The journal will act as an ongoing record of work that La Trobe students produce - one that shows their unique perspectives and insights into their studies. For many students at La Trobe they are the first person in their family to embark on university education, sometimes without much of a picture of the sort of work they will be expected to produce. The journal will provide an example of the work that students produce from their very first year at university - so that students can see what that work is, and so it can be shared with family, friends and anybody else who’s interested.

Undergraduate student research and creative writing in the journal will provide an open educational resource that can be used as an exemplar of study at La Trobe. The content may vary from shorter pieces of work, for example group work reports, minor and major assessment pieces (e.g. essays) to creative work and film reviews. Individual issues of the journal may focus on a theme, subject or course.

The journal can be incorporated into the curriculum in a variety of ways - it can facilitate and encourage active learning or an enquiry based learning approach by providing an opportunity for an authentic assessment activity. It could also facilitate collaborative and cooperative learning, such as editorial and review activities, to foster both peer and faculty interaction for students. The purpose of the journal is to showcase the unique perspectives of the diverse La Trobe University student body, not just the best student work.

Conference presentations given about Snapshot

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View the presentation CC-BY-NC-SA given to the Independent Publishers Conference in Sydney, November 2014 about Snapshot and open publishing in tertiary education. Download the audio (CC-BY).

Snapshot first edition

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The first edition of Snapshot was published in November 2014. This edition drawn on work submitted by students undertaking the second/third-year American Literature subject. As the issue editor, Dr Sofia Ahlberg, states in her editorial, the work 'encompasses students’ engagements with, and reflections on, the fictional, theoretical and critical material studied in the first five weeks of this subject. This work is part 'creative’, part ‘critical’ and this reflects an emerging trend in the way English is taught at tertiary level... The assignment is intended to encourage students to write with a view to addressing a wider or alternate readership than would usually encounter this literature.'

The students' work ranges from C-grade up to A-grade, and has been contributed by a wide range of students from varied backgrounds. Each piece comments in some way on the theme of culture and identity.

Getting involved in Snapshot

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  • Lecturers can get involved with Snapshot as Editors
  • Students can get involved with Snapshot as authors and readers
  • Students can also contribute cover artwork for Snapshot

Snapshot is no longer running an editorial internship.

The Public Knowledge Project - the group responsible for developing the OJS system that houses Snapshot - provides online modules for how to use the system, and what the various roles entail.


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Following a successful pilot stage in 2014, Snapshot will be directed by the lecturers who elect to undertake the Editor role. Read more about what is required in the Editor role. Download the Snapshot journal workflow chart as a guide to get started.

La Trobe University students

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Student authors can explore how to use the system through a short online module or read the registration and upload instructions. Go to the Snapshot login page to register as an author.

Editorial internship

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During the 2014 pilot stage of the project, intern and work experience students completed the editorial and production work for the first two editions of the journal. A different process will be followed from 2015 onwards, as detailed in the instructions for lecturers/Editors.


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Students will be required to format their articles following the Snapshot article template after they have completed the copyediting stage.

Lecturers/Editors will be required to use the Snapshot editorial template to write their editorial.

Documenting the creation of Snapshot journal for La Trobe University

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This wiki will house information regarding the development of Snapshot journal, its policies, processes, etc. These processes are still under development as of June 2014. Suggestions/recommendations can be made on the discussion section for this wiki (see Discuss tab above).

See sub-pages for:

Themes for journal editions

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Each edition of Snapshot will be allocated a particular theme, which could single out one particular subject/unit of study, or be applicable to a number of subjects across disciplines (i.e. creating a multidisciplinary issue). Potential edition themes and contributing subjects include:

  • Understanding Youth - Youth in Society: Consumption, Subcultures, Identity and Development
  • American Literature - Race, Sex and Identity
  • Urban history
  • Food for Thought
  • Cities - archaeology, ancient civilisation subjects
  • Sport - sports journalism, sports subjects from business/economics disciplines
  • Sustainability
  • Drama
  • Myths

Snapshot journal research project

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The development of the journal will be recorded as part of a research project on teaching and learning practice. The project will explore the effectiveness of the journal as a method to improve engagement and retention of undergraduate students, particularly those from low socioeconomic or Indigenous Australian backgrounds.

Themes/keywords of the research project:

  • open access
  • authentic assessment tasks
  • open educational resources (OER)
  • participation
  • undergraduate research
  • exemplifying undergraduate study
  • interactive learning

A research report will also be written up to record the outcomes of the project for the HEPPP funding scheme.

Other undergraduate journals

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