Methods of data collection during our 2015-2016 research cycle included:
1. Student SMS Mapping Diaries: Twenty students at each college were asked to chart their movements during one academic day by replying via their cellphones to text message prompts sent every 75 minutes. The research team geocoded the data to create a map of each participant’s day, then the student was interviewed and asked to narrate the events of the day while examining the map with the researcher.
Protocol included as the appendix of A Day in the Life: Practical Strategies for Understanding Student Space-Use Practices, in the proceedings of the 2016 Library Assessment Conference
2. Student In-Person Technology Surveys: Between 10-15 students at each college participated in a brief interview about their technology ownership, access, and use for their academic work. Researchers set up a table in high-traffic areas on campus and recruited students as they walked by the table.
3. Student Online Questionnaire: Students in hybrid and online courses were asked to complete an online questionnaire on their technology access and use, focusing on the technologies they use to participate in these courses.
4. Faculty Online Questionnaire: Faculty teaching hybrid and online courses were recruited to complete a questionnaire about their and their students’ experiences with technology in their hybrid and online courses.
Methods of data collection during our 2009-2011 research cycle included:
1. Faculty Interviews: 10-14 faculty members at each college were interviewed in-person for 30 minutes each. The interviews explored faculty expectations for and experiences with their students’ work on research-based assignments.
2. Mapping Diaries: Ten students at each college were asked to record and sketch their activities, including location and time, over the course of a typical school day. When the diaries were complete, each student was interviewed individually to explain and comment on the maps and sketches.
3. Photo Surveys: Ten students at each college were given a disposable camera/asked to use their own camera or phone and a list of 20 objects and locations related to student scholarly habits to photograph. After the photos were developed or downloaded, each student was interviewed individually for 30 minutes and asked to explain the content of the pictures and offer comments.
4. Research Process Interview: Ten students at each college were interviewed individually for 45 minutes. Each student was asked to describe in detail how they completed a research assignment from start to finish. Students were encouraged to draw or sketch the process while describing it.