Tag Archives: Frasso

Life with Technology at Penn: Student Research Exhibit

SWRK781-Fall2015-exhibit
Dr. Rosemary Frasso, Allison Golinkoff (TA)  and graduate student research team– Qualitative Research Methods for Social Work and Public Health Professionals (SW 781) Fall 2015

As everyone trickles back in to the library this semester, take some time to walk towards the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom (right before the WIC entrance, to the right) to see Dr. Rosemary Frasso’s graduate students’ research exhibit Life with Technology Among University of Pennsylvania Students. Dr. Frasso’s previous research exhibits include Pressure Release and Fear and Safety at Penn. I took some time this week to make my way through the exhibit and found it interesting to see how Penn students are understanding technology’s role in their lives. Here at WIC we post about tech frequently, and this past year alone we’ve discussed new ways of using social media tools, using apps for productivity and travel, and our experiences with 3d printingLife with Technology takes a more in-depth look into the complicated ways students’ lives intersect with technology that can be both useful and intrusive. The exhibit  is organized into thematic categories: Changing Times, Dependence, Disconnected, Efficiency, Health, Multitasking. Privacy, Social Connections, Ubiquitous, Unplugged, and Work and Education.

In order to decide on a topic, students used Nominal Group Technique (NGT) in order to come to a consensus representative of the group’s preferences. Interviews were then conducted using photo elicitation (first named by photographer and researcher John Collier in 1957) in which a qualitative interview is guided by photographs taken by study participants. Each student recruited one participant, an undergraduate or graduate student from Penn, and explained the study to them. The topic of the project was explained and participants were asked to “define and explore the meaning of ‘life with technology’ over the course of one week using their phones to document their exploration.” Ultimately, the research team decided together on which images and quotes to use in the exhibit and how these pieces fit into categories. Some memorable images include dried cranberries, Penn classrooms, a kitchen stove, and selfies.

From here, students will use NVivo 10 software for thematic analysis, and members of the research team will then identify salient themes, summarize findings, prepare an abstract for presentation, and a manuscript for publication. The exhibit is beautiful and engaging, so please come by and check it out at the  Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom. 

If you are interested in using NVivo software, consider joining our NVivo User Group which meets monthly with a guest presenter for each session.

Pressure Release

Rosie Frasso Class April 2014
Rosie Frasso and her students

“Any spare easels?” Samantha Barry‘s email brought me the news of a poster exhibit on the porch, the glass-walled space near the entrance to WIC that winds into our new Collaborative Classroom. A few days later, I spent a wonderful half-hour browsing Pressure, an exhibit created by social work and public health students in  Rosie Frasso‘s qualitative research course this semester (visual design by Laruen Hallden-Abberton).

As I walked around the exhibit, I noted comments about how your phone can trigger pressure points. Recent PennWIC posts about manatees and fishing have highlighted how your phone can help you cope with stress. In contrast, the Pressure exhibit includes descriptions of how a text message triggers stress, and how trying to relax can in itself feel like pressure. By capturing campus perspectives, and describing the many ways we experience pressure at Penn, this exhibit may help us all exhale, relax at least for a few moments and gain a better understanding of the graduate student experience.

When I visited Rosie’s class, SW781 Qualitative Research, the students described how they used different qualitative techniques during each step of the process.

Continue reading Pressure Release