Tag Archives: Teaching

Life with Technology at Penn: Student Research 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.

Learning how to teach (Excel)

ImageThis guest post comes to us from Nicolette Tan, a junior in the College studying political science. She wrote this reflection essay during her participation in MGMT 353 Wharton Field Challenge in fall 2013. WIC staff assisted students in the seminar taught by Arjun Bhaskar and Samaira Sirajee with guidance from Professor Keith Weigelt in learning how to present Excel skills to small business owners in Philadelphia.

It’s one thing to know how to use Excel yourself; it’s another to be able to teach it.  Today’s workshop definitely showed me that teaching is hard, and even more so when you’ve only met these people for the first time. The class got off on a high note, when Grace asked the class to “Raise your hand if you’re excited about learning Excel!” and people cheered and raised their hands enthusiastically. One thing that strikes me every time is the positivity that the students bring to the class, and how eager they are to improve themselves – regardless of age or background, and I have so much respect for that. Continue reading Learning how to teach (Excel)

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

Engaging Students Through Technology 2011 Symposium

On Friday, October 28th, we will host the Fourth Annual Engaging Students Through Technology Symposium which tackles two broad questions:

  1. How should I use technology, in my classroom and outside my classroom, to engage my students?
  2. How should I manage the technology (laptops, smart phones, tablets, etc.) that my students bring to my classroom?

The symposium includes a faculty panel, a student panel, lunch, discussion and hands-on sessions for Assessing Tech Projects, From Idea to Reality, Prezi for Presentations and iPads for Class Projects.  Registration is open for Penn faculty and instructors. Interested graduate students can email wic1@pobox.upenn.edu to be included on a space-available basis. Register now!

For the past 3 years, the event has filled up quickly and we hope for a similar great turnout this year! In case you have to miss the event, we will video-record the faculty and student panels and make the videos available on our website in mid-November.

Also, we are recruiting students to speak on the student panel – click here and share your contact info if interested.

Social Scholarship using Facebook

This morning I was reading the July 4 issue of the New Yorker and came across a brief article on Jeff Nunokawa, a writer and English professor at Princeton. The article describes how Nunokawa uses Facebook’s note feature to share his contemplations on literary quotations. Nunokawa joined Facebook in 2005 and now has more than 3000 notes and 3055 followers.

In his interview about the project, Nunokawa says, ‘I like the infra-dignitatem element—Facebook is where the kids go…I like the social media element—I want it to be social. It’s not that I don’t want to be a scholar, but this is how I want to be a scholar.’

Are you or someone you know using  Facebook for “social scholarship?” If so, please share your experiences; we’d like to know more about it.

Read selections of Nunokawa’s notes in a feature from the Princeton Alumni Weekly.
Read the article about the project on Chronicle’s Wired blog.