This week, I saw presentations from students performing qualitative research in Archaeology. The focus of their projects was an Android/iPhone heritage app called York's Churches which has been developed to encourage people to explore the life and history of York city centre churches.
The students' projects involved a mixture of focus groups, ethnographic work and Google Forms with iPads to gather data. The projects were mainly looking at how they might better raise awareness of the application with tourists and what improvements mi
The Google Forms and iPads were used in various ways, including...
- As a data capture tool when surveying members of the public
- They were used to demo the application on the street
- The forms were used to ease the transcribing of data they recorded with pen and paper, which might be questions that they answered themselves ( for example, "Did they seem genuinely interested?" )
- The students also mailed the Google Forms surveys to Bed & Breakfast owners
The students' presentations were fun and showed how they'd mastered the tools. They'd used various charts to visualise their data and TagClouds for textual visualisations. They also started to realise that they wanted more sophisticated analytics and perhaps needed to explore more complex tools than Google Forms.
They also had a few good stories about the rambling lunacy of the general public. They learned a lot.