Visual Research Ethics Non-Credit Micro-Credential Project

Project Team

  • Fiona P. McDonald, Assistant Professor, Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Co-Lead)
  • Joel Thiessen, Senior Emerging and Digital Media Specialist, UBC Studios Okanagan, UBC Okanagan Information Technology (Co-Lead)


  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Professional Skills and Competencies
  • Program Development and Transformation



About the Project

Fiona P. McDonald (FASS) and Joel Thiessen (UBC Studios Okanagan) are collaborating on an innovative non-credit micro-credential program in Canada that allows students to learn about ethical approaches to still and video capture.  The Visual + Material Culture Research Ethics Non-Credit Micro-Credential Program presents a new opportunity to students at UBC that will foster a space for applied skills in research ethics with a focus on visual methods and object analysis. This project responds to the ALT 2040 objective to develop approaches, resources, activities, or programs that support diversity and build capacity for inclusion in teaching and learning contexts. Currently in Canada, there exists no such non-credit program that allows students to think about ethical approaches to still and video capture as well as object documentation. This is something whether one continues in academic research or moves to government, non-profit, or other industries, knowing the ethical use of capturing images of humans in public and private spaces is paramount. In the Government of Canada’s Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2 Core), only Module 10 covers the use of photography but does not go deep enough to cover the depth of the use of video and still capture. Added to this, there is a need to extend training to consider the ethical use of visual, material, and audio materials under Canada’s Copyright laws. This non-credit micro-credential program we propose to develop will allow us to take the training in visual anthropology courses at UBCO that focus on ethics in visual and object research and allow students to translate these skills to future employers. It also is a chance to expand this non-credit micro-credential across both campuses to other students interested in visual and material culture research outside of formal credit courses.



Awarded in the Program and Learning Experience Enhancement Stream

Additional Information

Project Website