Consultancy January 25, 2008

A vision of students today – the research process

I’ve mentioned this video before – A Vision of Students Today – from a working group of Kansas State University students and faculty and now Professor Michael Wesch has outlined in detail the process that went into creating the piece and it’s a fascinating example of reflection, reflexivity and participant observation in action. He outlines a five step process which includes inquiry, formal research, and my favourite aspect of it all is the open ended questions he used to start the process such as:

What is it like being a student today?
So the basic idea is to create a 3 minute video highlighting the most important characteristics of students today – how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.
We already know some things from previous research (and if you know of any interesting statistics, please list them along with the source). Others we will need to find out by doing a class survey. Please add whatever you want to know or present.

The data were captured in a Google document which he has made available here and of course the final video is a masterful piece of work.
The more I consult and the more I’m embedded in my own research the more I know that finding the right question to kick start a process is where the energy needs to go. Finding a creative way of engaging a client unlocks so much energy and very often that means flinging our own hypotheses about what’s going on out the window.

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  • Finola Howard January 26, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    As always Annette – great stuff. Keith Bohanna and I copresented to a group of 3rd and 4th year students last year and in his own inimitable way Keith grabbed a hold of the text book that included (yep only included) an IT section in it and the information was from pre-internet times something that me and you would have read when we were their age… While the participants of the study above may be flabbergasted at education keeping pace with technology in the US … someone really does need to look at it here in dear old Ireland…

  • Ginger Johnson January 28, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Wow. This is a fantastic example of the real world and how some systems are/n’t working.