A Homebrew Method of Collaborative Qualitative Research

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During the prior spring semester, I took a graduate course in qualitative research methods that focused on “action research.” That’s nothing unusual as far as graduate programs go — but what made this course truly unusual was that the entire sixteen-member class worked on a single, monolithic research project examining factors contributing to successful completion […]

A Brief Guide to Basic Technology Planning for Oral History Projects

Using audio only.

Over the past few months, I’ve been working with some folks on planning an oral history project. In doing that planning, I realized that there are many decisions to make about technology before even embarking on any of the interviews themselves. Whether your oral history project is one that you are doing yourself for your […]

Sorting out Your Dissertation’s Electronic Publishing Options

dissertation-pile

Not so long ago I defended my doctoral dissertation (hooray!) and readied copies of my manuscript for the College. I had reviewed the requirements the few weeks prior to preparing my manuscript so that I could be ready to turn it in soon after I defended. I went to turn in my copies the morning […]

Pictures Worth Worlds of Data — Geospatial Data Visualization Projects

earth-visualization

For a while now I’ve been very interested in data visualization — specifically how visualization can be used to gain understanding of really large data sets. Actually that’s not true. Like most people I’ve always been drawn to data visualization, if for no other reason that we humans are really quite bad at gaining any […]

BrowZine: A Journal Bookshelf for Your Tablet!

This is an example of what BrowZine looks like on an iPad.

[This is a guest post by W&M Arts Librarian Kathleen DeLaurenti.] Have you ever wished you could have one-click access to you favorite journals on your tablet? With BrowZine, a great new mobile service provided through Swem Library, now you can do just that! The BrowZine app is available free for tablets with access to […]

Sizing Up the Rocks – GigaPan Imagery in the Geology Classroom

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[This is a guest post by Professor Chuck Bailey of W&M’s Geology Department.] The rocky crust of the Earth provides a tangible puzzle for geologists to solve. I teach a second-level geology course entitled Earth Structure & Dynamics and one goal of the class is to develop students’ skills at reading the rock record. To […]

The One-Minute Dissertation

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While most of the media attention has focused on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and their impact on teaching, it seems to me that our current approach to research is likely to change even more dramatically — particularly the doctoral dissertation in education. The dissertation in the social sciences is a relatively predictable document that has been developed according to the expectations over the last 50 years or so. The chapters cover the same topics and follow the same logic, even though we no longer hand-calculate our statistical tests or tediously calculate the amount of space needed to accommodate our footnotes at the bottom of a typewriter page. But the dissertation still takes a year to produce, and the first couple of drafts are painful for the writer and for the advisor. What would happen if the dissertation could be written in one minute?

The End of Bliss, or, Why You Should Think About Upgrading from Windows XP

Bliss is the default wallpaper for Windows XP.

If you are trying to find Bliss you may want to start your search at 3050 Fremont Drive, roughly halfway between the towns of Napa and Sonoma, California. Subconsciously I think most of us know exactly what Bliss looks like — a lovely, vivid, green meadow on a perfectly rolling hill, lying under a deep […]

Three Tips for Using Ebrary E-Books

Here's an example of a note I added to a page of Lisa Gitelman's Always Already New, and a highlight on the same page.

I recently started using more of Swem Library’s electronic books available via ebrary. Before this week, when I’d seen that a book was only available electronically, I rolled my eyes and would ILL a copy. I just didn’t want to have to read the book on my computer screen.  Fast forward to this week.  I […]

Dealing with File Clutter: Why You Need Network-Attached Storage

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Chances are you’ve got a bunch of files that are really important to you. They’re so important that at some point someone told you that you really need to have a backup of all those files should anything happen to them, and you probably woke up in the middle of the night in a cold […]