Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Creative ways of listening

Community Based Research skills in action. Cinderella Al Homsi and Mustafa Ismail take part in a role play interview.

This video features Mustafa Ismail, MA student, UCL Institute of Education and Cinderella Al Homsi, research assistant, UCL RELIEF Centre. In the video, Cinderella and Moustafa practice using another interview technique that could help them listen more closely to people’s feelings. We recommend watching the videos with English subtitles as they contain both English and Arabic.

During the interview, Cinderella draws a simple map while Moustafa describes the highs and lows of his commute to university in Cairo. Cinderella asks him to identify three key points during the journey, then asks him to rate how he feels at each point. She uses a simple template that looks like this:

graph with happy face at the top sad face at the bottom and a middle line and including 3 points on the journey going across the page

Cinderella uses this template to draw his journey from home to university as a continuous line moving between the happy face and sad face.

The process provides Cinderella with the data that helps her understand Moustafa’s feelings during his journey. Moustafa describes how the image helped him understand his feelings better too. You could use this method of participatory creative production or create your own. You can ask your research participants to create an image themselves, or do it together as in this example.


Create a map of a day’s typical journey with a family member or close friend using the template below – then take a photo of your map and share it on the Journey Map Padlet.

Look through some of the other maps before making your comments below.

Over to you

In the discussion below, consider whether this process helped you to listen more closely to what your participant had to say, or help them say it more clearly.

This article is from the free online

Community Based Research: Getting Started

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now