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Podcast one for ACRL Seminar "Know your Users"

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Employing Ethnographic Methods in User Needs Research and Library Assessment : 

1 Employing Ethnographic Methods in User Needs Research and Library Assessment An ACRL Online Seminar Andrew Asher, PhD andrew.d.asher@gmail.com 217-819-9439 Know Your Users

Course Goals : 

2 Course Goals Using ethnographic methods to better understand users in your library Learn a variety of ethnographic data collection methods for use in library settings. Generate research questions and approaches to addressing them. Learn techniques for qualitative data analysis. Lean how to convert qualitative data into actionable user insights. Develop a ready-to-use qualitative research plan for a potential project.

Course Overview : 

3 Course Overview How to develop research questions. How to choose methods. How to create data collection tools. How to collect and analyze data. How to generate ideas for services from your analysis.

What is Ethnography? : 

4 What is Ethnography? The art and science of describing a group, culture, or social process.

Ethnography: A (very) brief history : 

Early 20th century American and British Anthropology Bronisław Malinowski (1884-1942) Trobriand Islands Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922) Ethnography: A (very) brief history 5

Ethnography: Basic Tenets : 

6 Ethnography: Basic Tenets Acquire language Long term engagement Use local (“native”) categories Intensive participation and observation “Participant Observer” Doing, Seeing, Talking Examine both the insider’s (emic) perspective and the analyst’s explanation (etic).

Ethnography Provides: : 

7 Ethnography Provides: A holistic portrait of human behavior A nuanced view of complex social practices and processes An understanding of the richness and diversity of individuals’ experiences

Ethnographic Methods : 

8 Ethnographic Methods Fieldnotes Multiple methods and data sources Interviews Participant observation Drawings, Maps, Photographs, Videos Data collection and analysis often occur simultaneously

Types of Data : 

9 Types of Data Qualitative Methods Describes quality of phenomena (e.g. questions of what is this experience like, how does that process unfold) Focuses on textual and visual data (e.g. observations, interviews) Is principally inductive (builds theory through observations) Individuals’ interpretations are important, as is the context of data Quantitative Methods Estimates the quantity of phenomena (e.g. how much, how often, or how many) Focuses on numeric data (esp. statistics) Is principally deductive (tests theory with observations) An objective viewpoint that isn’t particular to any one person

Why Ethnography? : 

10 Why Ethnography? Allows you to make fine distinctions and see ambiguities in your data. Facilitates in-depth and open-ended investigations into observed phenomena, often allowing the researcher(s) a great deal of flexibility in pursuing research questions. Builds a holistic picture of phenomena. Explanatory power of directly demonstrating what research subjects actually do, think, and feel in the midst of real-world situations.

Ethnography: Summary : 

11 Ethnography: Summary A collection of (mostly) qualitative methods Study of a culture, a community, or a social phenomenon. Examines the links between culture, social structure, and the behaviors/practices of individuals. How cultural and social processes develop over time. Close observation of: What people do.

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