Research Methods for Digital Civics 2017
Nothing here yet
An ethnography of the Metro on the journey from Whitley Bay to Newcastle over 5 consecutive days.
People enter this contained, constrained and fixed physical space without visibly paying attention to the people or things around them – perhaps subconsciously identifying a seat or a place to stand. People in conversation when they enter may continue that conversation, but often this stops shortly afterwards. Otherwise, there is no verbal interaction beyond an occasional request to sit in an empty seat or to exit when this involves traversing other people’s personal space (and the corresponding acknowledgement).
Research Ethics in HCI: A Reflection on Institutions and Practice
My undergraduate dissertation project involved human participants. Before starting data collection, I was required to submit an application to the university ethics committee for approval. I found the formal process useful in identifying risks as element of research design. However, the process resembled a risk assessment with the objective of obtaining informed consent as a legalistic waiver for the university and the researcher.
This week our task was to pick a place of interest in the city and return to it for 4/5 days and do one of the assigned ethnographic tasks. The place I chose was near Oxford St which acts as a gateway between the city and Shieldfield. The one aspect that kept repeating in my notes was the relationship between waste and people.
Research Ethics with Older Adults
For the past two weeks, we have engaged with questions of ethical issues within research. In particular, our group considered ethical issues concerning people with dementia. We examined the case of an ethnography of people with dementia and their views of the assistive living technologies in their homes. This raised several interesting ethical questions..
This week we had the task of focusing on the tool of coding in qualitative methods. Our task revolved around transcripts about the intimacy between a user and their mobile phone. We first read over the transcripts to get any familiarisation from it and then use the guidelines to help with coding data we had been given.
This week we got given the task of engaging in exploring a historical case which I looked at the Stanford Prison experiment. I delved into John Mark  who played one of the guards. What I found interesting was John’s views of the experiment which came off as a very independent thinker rather than the common themes of the experiment.
This week we did a T-test – correlated samples that you use with matched pairs or repeated measures design. We are then able to determine the effects of the variable (the use of the app) on anxiety. The result of the test was -2.47 which did stir some confusion in the group.
Ethnography: who's watching who?
It’s about 6pm on a Thursday evening.
The area I’m studying is a collision between the fringes of Newcastle. The neon lights and smells of cooking from the edge of Chinatown are juxtaposed with the old Newcastle city walls. There’s a severe-looking block of social housing alongside a pedestrian walkway with neatly-bordered grass.
Qualitative Research - The Critical, The Experiential and The Coding
During class we were given an individual interview transcript to code, where the participants were being asked about the ways they interacted with their mobile phones and their perceived intimacy. We were asked to code the data to provide an analysis.
Through coding a transcript, observational activity or focus group,
Ethics, Children and Research
In response to past ethical issues in research, like Zimbardo with his prison experiment or Milgram and the obedience experiment, ethics codes and standards were developed to protect participants from potential long-term negative impacts. An complex area in ethical research is that of ‘children in research’ in regards to gaining informed consent,
The t-test is an analysis to see if two different sample groups are statistically different from one another. From the immediate data we gather, it may be possible to infer that there are differences between the groups, but this might not represent a true difference in the real population and the results were merely arrived on by chance.
Reflections on Quantitative Methods
As an example of a quantitative assessment of experimental data, we tested the hypothesis that the “buddhify” app affected anxiety levels. Dummy data was provided for anxiety level (dependent variable) of 12 participants after 1 week of using the app and after 1 week of not using the app (independent variable).