From Luddite to Google Documents Techie Professor Peter Tuckel (Sociology) April, 2010

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Transcript of From Luddite to Google Documents Techie Professor Peter Tuckel (Sociology) April, 2010

From Luddite to Google Documents Techie

From Luddite to Google Documents TechieProfessor Peter Tuckel (Sociology)April, 2010

1Chapter One: The SettingTwo of the courses that I teach are Introduction to Research Methods and Research Practicum.

Every semester that I teach either of these courses I have my students undertake a research project in which they observe behavior in a public place.2The Setting (Continued)

Some of the projects in the past included:

1) When the Metrocard was first introduced into New York City, the students investigated the number of swipes it took subway patrons to successfully enter thru the turnstiles.

2) Hand-washing in public restrooms3The Setting (Continued)3) Self-bussing in fast-food restaurants.

4) The frequency with which customers in supermarkets use tongs or wax paper to extract items from the bins in the bakery section.

4) Distractions of motorists while driving in New York City (e.g., putting on make-up, eating, using a cellphone, etc.)

4The Setting (Continued)5) The riding behavior of cyclists in New York City (e.g., stopping at a red light, going the right way on a street, using a helmet, etc.)

This study was carried out also with students in Professor William Milczarskis class in the Department of Urban Planning and Affairs.

5The Setting (Continued)6) Use of bike lanes by cyclists in New York City This study was carried out also with students in Professor William Milczarskis class in the Department of Urban Planning and Affairs.

6Chapter Two: The Luddite YearsFor these studies, the following methodology was adhered to:

1) Students gathered the data as unobtrusively as possible. Usually they recorded the pertinent data on a paper copy of the code sheet which they had on their possession.

They oftentimes pretended they were reading a newspaper or engaged in some other activity so as not to call attention to themselves while recording the data.7The Luddite Years (Continued)2) Students then learned how to enter the data in an SPSS spreadsheet. They had to learn how to create variable names, value labels, and how to input the data.

This was a time consuming process and required the instructor to devote at least one class period for this purpose.

8The Luddite Years (Continued)3) Students then submitted their individual data sets to the instructor by email (either directly to his email account or thru Hunter Blackboard).

4) The instructor then aggregated each of the students data sets into a large data set.

9The Luddite Years (Continued)This was always a painstaking process. Frequently students would format the columns incorrectly (either by misspelling the variable names or not using the proper sequencing of the variables). When this occurred, a students data set could not be merged with the other data sets.

10Chapter Three: Evolving into a Google Documents Techie:The SettingThis semesters project is to re-visit the topic of hand washing in public restrooms.

The project is also being undertaken by Professor Milczarsskis class in the Dept. of Urban Planning and Affairs.

The research has two primary objectives:

1) to assess whether there has been a change in personal hygiene over the last five years (especially in light of the concern with the flu).

11Evolving into a Google Documents Techie:The Setting2) to determine the availability of necessary supplies (e.g., soap, paper towels or other drying mechanism, and warm water) in public restrooms.

Each student was to visit five sites in a designated zip code in Manhattan and gather the pertinent information. The student was to visit each of the five sites on three different occasions: weekday morning, weekday afternoon or evening, and weekend. Thus, each student was to gather the pertinent information for 15 combinations of sites and visits.

12Evolving into a Google Documents Techie:The First StepInitially the methodology for gathering the data was going to be the conventional one: students would use a paper copy of the code sheets to record the data and try to be as inconspicuous as possible.

Two pitfalls were associated with this approach:1) the code sheets were very lengthy and2) students might feel awkward writing down information in a public bathroom.

13Evolving into a Google Documents Techie:The Second StepStudents then advanced the idea of using their cell phones to help in the data gathering process.

It was initially proposed that students could either call themselves on the cell phone with the pertinent information, text themselves the pertinent information, or use an application such as notepad to record the information.

Every student enrolled in the course had a cell phone.

14Evolving into a Google Documents Techie:The Third StepSince the code sheets were in a Word Document format, it was decided to upload the Word Document via the Hunter Blackboad site. This way students with a smart phone could directly download the document into their smart phones and enter the information into the Word Document in the spaces provided.

The Word Document can be seen on the following pages.15Code Sheet -- Restroom Supplies Project and HandwashingVisit No. (1, 2, or 3): ____ Place No. (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5): _____Your name ________________________________________Your sex (f or m): _____Your class (SOC 240, Sec. 1, SOC 240, Sec. 2, URBS 311): __________Month and day of visit: ____________________Day of week of visit (Monday -- Sunday): ____________________Zip Code of places for your observations: _______________Full name of place: ________________________________________Street address of place: _____________________________________Type of place (e.g., grocery store, fast-food restaurant, other restaurant, department store, bar, hotel, book store, other retail outlet, transportation portal, hospital, library, park, museum, other): _______________________________________________________Floor or level of place in which observations were conducted: ________Hour in which you conducted observation (8-9 am, 9-10 am, 10-11 am, 11-12 noon, 12-1 pm, 1-2 pm, 2-3 pm, 3-4 pm, 4-5 pm, 5-6 pm, 6-7 pm): _______________16Number of sinks: __________Type of soap (1 = soap dispenser with gel, 2 = soap dispenser with foam 3 = hand sanitizer 4 = bar of soap 5 = combination of hand sanitizer and gel soap dispenser 6 = combination of hand sanitizer and foam soap dispenser 7 = combination of hand sanitizer and bar 8 = other) _________________________Total number of soap dispensers/pumps or hand sanitizers: _________No. of soap dispensers/pumps or hand sanitizers with soap: _________Type of soap dispenser/pump (1 = manual, 2 = hands-free, both): _____________Type of hand dryer(s) (1 = paper towels 2 = machine dryer 3 = both 4 = other) ________________Total number of paper towel dispensers and/or machine dryers: ______Number of paper towel dispensers with paper towels (If no paper towel dispensers, put not applicable na): _____Type of paper towel dispenser (1 = manual, 2 = hands-free, 3 = na): _______________________17Number of machine dryers that work(If no machine dryers, put not applicable na): _______ Type of machine dryer (1 = manual, 2 = hands-free, 3 = na): ________________________Total number of faucets that have warm/hot water: ___________Type of faucets (1 = manual, 2 = hands-free, 3 = other): _______After gathering the data on supplies, spend two additionalminutes in the restroom. Count the total number of individuals who finished using the facilities during the additional two minutes and count the total number of them who exited the restroom without washing their hands. This means not even using water to rinse their hands.Total no. of individuals who finished using the facilities duringthe additional two minutes: ________Total no. of individuals who left without washing their hands: __________Comments (write down here anything to help explain the findings or special circumstances):18Evolving into a Google Documents Techie:The Third Step (Continued)While this approach was superior to the old paper and pencil data gathering method, there were several problems still associated with it.

First, many students did not have a smart cell phone.Two, students would insert their responses to the Word Document coding sheet in the blank spaces provided. But there were no uniform response categories.Third, each student would still need to enter his/her data in an SPSS spreadsheet and the instructor would still need to aggregate all the individual student files. 19Evolving into a Google Documents Techie:The Fourth StepEnter Dr. Gina Cherry of ICIT.

She informs Professors Tuckel and Milczarski of the virtues of Google Documents. 20Evolving into a Google Documents Techie:The Fourth Step (Continued)She shows Professors Tuckel and Milczarski how to set up the code sheets with uniform response categories as a Google Document.

The first few variables are shown on the nextthree slides.21my_id

first_name

last_name

sex female male

my_class SOC 240, Section 1 SOC 240, Section 2 URBS 311

visit_number 1 2 3

place_number 1 2 3 4 5