Data Collection Assignment Term Project
Directions: Please collect data from at least 2 sources (acceptable sources explained & listed below). In addition to collecting data, you will need to document your process of gathering it through field notes (at least one set required). You will also need to put your data into a format that can be shared, at the very least, with me. This means that you will need to type up field notes, transcribe interview data, upload any photos or videos taken, and maps you may have drawn.
Acceptable Sources of Data: Your data should be ethnographic in nature, which means based on your own observations, your interactions with research subjects and/or your experiences in the field (which may be your home, your work, or someplace else, including virtual spaces). Here are some examples of ethnographic data:
- OBSERVATIONS written and recorded as field notes (i.e., what you see the person do and say, their body language and expressions). This can include digital sources that you observe (for example, live video or audio streams, discord/twitch). Your data collection must include at least one set of field notes. Aim for a deep well of data to draw from for the next assignment steps (the analytic memo, data analysis, & final report).
- INTERVIEW DATA (e.g., of a parent, sibling or friend, their coworkers, their friends, other family members). If you choose to interview someone, it should be someone who works (or did work) in the occupation that you are researching. Interview data is best presented as a transcript (typed up version) of the questions asked and each answer given. Yes, you can reach out to people in the occupation you are researching even if you don’t know them but talk to me before doing so, so that we can discuss the best way to do so.
- AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC DATA (e.g., Diary or blog/vlog entries; narratives of your own experiences). This data is most appropriate if you also work in the job field that you are researching. This form of data may also be useful if you are investigating someone close to you, and you feel comfortable sharing your own experience as a person in their life.
- PHOTOS or VIDEOS that you take documenting the life and experiences of your participant, the work or interview/observation setting/environment (e.g., of a workplace before and after covid-19 shutdown; the commute to/from work, etc), artifacts (items relevant to the subject’s work life). You DON’T need to photograph a person’s face, consider taking photos of the work process: hands working, typing, using tools; work materials (list of delivery sites, checklists, protective equipment, etc).
- DIGITAL SOURCES such as sites that collect job reviews from workers (e.g., indeed.com or glassdoor.com), live streams of agencies (e.g., public safety agencies via Broadcastify), conference proceedings or webinars (also try finding a professional association for the occupational field you are studying, such as the American Psychological Association as these organization often maintain such materials).
Preparing for Data Collection: It’s important to prepare before collecting data. You do this by reviewing past lessons and slides on research methods (Observations/Fieldnotes, Interviewing, Autoethnography), by writing down a plan of action including a list of questions to ask a participant, things to observe in the field, questions you want to find out.
Grading Rubric 120 Points Methodological Field Notes: You must include a statement that details your data collection process (i.e., tells me how you collected your data: when/where/how/any challenges). Points are based on the clarity, descriptiveness, and completeness of this part of your field notes. 15 points Range of Data Collected: Grade is based on the quantity of data collected and how varied the sources of the data are (e.g., a mix of observations and interviews is more varied than data that solely comes from one source, such as observations of one site. Multiple interviews are better than a single interview, but interviews with 3 different people is preferred over 3 interviews of the same person). (2 sources of data is the minimum accepted; 3+ is preferred) 20 points Quality of the Data: Grade is based on the quality or analytic potential of your data. Sometimes hard to control but you can increase the value by planning and preparing ahead of time (an interview protocol; reviewing our methods readings and slides), taking careful & detailed notes, typing up fieldnotes right after observing. 45 points Presentation of Data: Grade is based on the overall effort put into formatting and presenting your collected data (e.g., transcription preparation, detail and readability of fieldnotes). All submitted data should be organized and readable, with identifying info removed or renamed with pseudonyms. 30 points
ALSO: Additional data enriches your research and is the backbone of ethnographic research in particular. You will gain additional points for any (and each) additional ethnographic data you collect beyond the two sources required by this assignment. Additional data will be evaluated on the same basis as noted above.