Tag Archives: research

21: Blakeslee/Fleischer Prompts, Ch. 7

Prompt 1 (p. 194): Who you are as a writer

  • I start writing by taking notes and then organizing them thematically. From there, I usually start with a new document and create an outline to see if the information has already achieved an organized form in my mind. I then work from one document to another, matching chunks of thematic material to points on my outline. This process differs quite a bit from project to project, but this is generally close to the path I follow. I do struggle with organization, and it always helps to have someone else look at a draft and tell me what pieces go together and what pieces need to be moved, changed, or deleted.
  • I revise largely based on feedback–either a peer’s, or my own after I’ve let the document site for a while. I usually revise for organization because this is the part of writing that I struggle with the most.
  • I’m generally pretty successful with completing a draft early so that I have time to revise. I also don’t typically have trouble determining audience or working with more surface-type issues like sentence structure.
  • I do my best composing at a computer because it allows for a more multimodal method of revision. I often work best when in a situation where there is some activity in the background, but where people aren’t demanding my attention.

Prompt 2 (p. 198): Identifying potential audiences

One potential audience for my work–probably the main one–is other scholars. Although I am interested in a role as a public intellectual, at this point in my career I am developing my understanding of a variety of academic theories and it is important for me to practice this sort of writing. This audience will already have a basis in theory, but will need more information on what a check-in kiosk is and how they are used. They might question my application of theory, so I will need to be careful in making sure my methodology matches my topic.

However, a secondary audience would be medical practioners interested in thinking about check-in kiosks. They will already know what kiosks are and will be more interested in looking at my findings as far as patient satisfaction based on sex, age, and ableness. They might question my understanding of a medical setting, so it will be important to be careful in my data gathering.

Prompt 3 (p. 200): Identifying purpose

For my scholarly audience, my purpose is to show my ability to engage with theory and apply it in a smart way to a setting that has a major impact on people’s lives. In order to do this, I will need a sound understanding of the theories I draw upon and some good ideas that will spring from my data.

For my practitioner audience, my purpose is to show how medical kiosks might affect patients differently depending on their sex, age, and ableness. My major obstacle in this case is to assert my ethos in such a way that I can point out problems and make suggestions that might actually get taken up.

Prompt 4 (p. 202): Selecting a genre

For my scholarly audience, a journal article or chapter in a dissertation would be an appropriate genre. Some potential journals that might be interested in this research are:

  • Information Management Online
  • Technical Communication Quarterly
  • Journal of Medical Practice Management
  • Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association
  • Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
  • International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

For my practitioner audience, a technical report that is publicly accessible or a journal article in a practitioners journal (many of these overlap with those listed above) would be appropriate. As practioner articles are typically short, a technical report might serve best. Options include:

  • A white paper published on a blog or sent directly to healthcare facilities
  • Information Management Online
  • Journal of Medical Practice Management
  • Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association
  • Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety

20: Blakeslee/Fleischer Prompts, Ch. 6

*For Prompts 1 & 2, see entry 18. For Prompt 3, see entry 19.*

Prompt 4 (p. 173): Rereading

Although I am not finished with my literature review, I re-read the article that I presented to the class last week: “Toward an Accessible Pedagogy: Dis/ability, Multimodality, and Universal Design in the Technical Communication Classroom.” It was a little difficult to find new connections to my own data since I haven’t begun collecting data, but I’ve been trying to imagine how starting to collect data might change my reading of this article. I’m really caught up on how to identify disability in order to study it. My variables of sex and age are relatively easy to guess based on the way a person looks, and asking people to self-identify in these ways is pretty standard–as is asking (in survey form) about disclosing disabilities. However, as Walters points out, observation is another story. It may be hard to analyze the ways that disability affects check-in kiosk usage because I may not know until later if a person using the kiosk as I observed identified as disabled.

In retrospect, I have realized that this is where my one critique of Walters’s article came from. I wanted more information about how she knew the ability status of her students the first day of class; she didn’t provide this information, but presumably collected it in an ethical and legal way. I’d like to know how she did that, as this part of her study is the equivalent of the part I’m having trouble imagining. How can I find out how people identify in this context for the purposes of observation? And, like Walters, I also think it’s important to pay attention to my own social placement. (I used a Wordle, shown below, to look for major themes and found “social” to be one of them.) I identify as temporarily able-bodied; this means I need to take particular care in representing groups that do not identify in this way.

Wordle showing major themes in my analysis of "Toward An Accessible Pedagogy"

Wordle showing major themes in my analysis of "Toward An Accessible Pedagogy"

19: Blakeslee/Fleischer Prompts, Ch. 6

Prompt 3 (p. 171): Getting Organized for Analyzing Your Data

The following is a rough draft of a hypothetical calendar for this study:

  • Finish proposal phase (including critical intro, research questions, methods, and literature review): December 10, 2010
  • Obtain permission to conduct study and prepare survey materials: January 1, 2011
  • Conduct survey and observation portion of study: Jan. 1, 2011-Feb. 1, 2011
  • Conduct interview portion of study (and continue survey portion if necessary): Feb. 1, 2011-March 1, 2011
  • Transcribe interviews: March 15, 2011
  • Organize all data: April 1, 2011
  • Complete analysis of data: May 1, 2011
  • Finalize write-up of study: June 15, 2011

The following is a plan for organizing research materials:

  • Observation notes will have their own notebook. I will later transcribe and organize relevant observations into a Word document.
  • Surveys will be administered as one sheet of paper, which I will gather. Later, I will put these results into a Word document.
  • Interview data will be recorded, then transcribed into a Word document.


  • Surveys (developed on a computer and printed)
  • Notebook for observations
  • Audio recorder for interviews
  • Microsoft Word
  • Highlighters for picking out themes in printed data
  • (Maybe) Concordance software (ConcorderPro)
  • A large file folder for saving original data materials

Prompt 8 (p. 185): Creating Research Memos

As I haven’t actually gathered any data yet, this exercise is hypothetical …

I imagine gathering interview data as I always have–by audio recording and then transcribing all information into a Word document. I then print and highlight this document, sometimes cutting it into pieces to rearrange information. A narrative memo–much like a news story–would be my ideal summary of this set of data. I have always treated observation data in much the same way, which the exception that I am unable to audio record it.

Survey data presents a slightly different scenario. I imagine using visual depictions will be more important to me in analyzing this data. Since my variables are sex, age, and ability, I will likely create tables for each of these variables that show participant responses to each question. This way, I can easily compare results from participants who share variables and pick out themes.

18: Blakeslee/Fleischer Prompts, Ch. 6

Prompt 1 (p. 166): Doing Some Preliminary Analysis

I have not begun gathering data, but I can imagine the strategy of graphic depictions as being very helpful to me in beginning such an analysis. Since a number of the questions I will be asking will serve to distinguish between populations by sex and age, it would be helpful to be able to sort data by groups. For example, I will likely divide participants into groups based on census age groups: under 18, 18-24, 25-44, 45-64, older than 65. Each of those groups will have a group designating females and one designating males. A graphic depiction might help me better analyze the trends in responses among these 10 groups.

Prompt 2 (p. 171): Identifying Your Organizational Strengths and Weaknesses

I have never had any major difficulties with organizing my work in terms of data collection, presentation, or analysis. However, I do have major difficulties in situating data presentation and analysis within the body of an academic paper. The parts of a paper that I work a lot on often seem very organic to me and I end up in a chicken-and-egg situation, unsure of what makes sense as the first item of business. I think the approach we have taken in this class of writing our proposals in pieces will be very helpful to me in terms of organizing my final proposal. I know that I will have a research question to state first, and I will likely follow this with a literature review and then a methods section. Data analysis, if and when it happens, would logically follow this.

17: Revised Research Question

No Prompt (extra entry): Revising my research question

My research question, as it now stands, is: How do sex, age, and ableness cause people to interact with kiosk technology differently, and what ethical implications does this have for the use of kiosk technology?

I’ve decided to concentrate on sex rather than gender because of the complications in dealing with quantitative data involving gender as opposed to sex. I’ve also decided to incorporate age a major criteria of my research because of several personal experiences in which I saw people having trouble with kiosk technology. These people explicitly stated that they didn’t understand the technology because they were “older.” Finally, I believe ableness is an extremely important consideration in the implementation of this sort of technology, but it may be peripheral issue because of the problems with visually identifying ableness.

16: Blakeslee/Fleischer Prompts, Ch. 5

Prompt 3 (Blakeslee p. 138): Writing Interview Questions

I am imagining interviewing a patient at a general physician’s office that has recently installed a check-in kiosk. Following are some beginning ideas about what interview questions to ask.

  • Name, age, hometown, occupation, ethnic identification, any other demographic details the participant offers
  • How long have you been a patient with this physician?
  • How many times would you say you have visited this office?
  • What was your usual routine from the time you entered the lobby to the time you were taken back to see the doctor?
  • Did you find this routine to be efficient and easy?
  • How long would you say you usually waited in the lobby after checking in with the receptionist?
  • This office recently installed a kiosk check-in system. Do you use it?
  • Now, with the kiosk system in place, what is your usual routine from the time you entered the lobby to the time you were taken back to see the doctor?
  • Do you find this routine to be efficient and easy?
  • How long do you usually wait in the lobby after checking in at the kiosk?
  • What is your overall impression of the kiosk system?

Prompt 4 (Blakeslee p. 139): Revising your questions

I think I could revise and improve my questions by asking more detailed questions about patient concerns with the kiosk system. Initially, I was worried that this would skew my results. However, if I add these questions at the end, then I will still have the responses from before I bring up words like “privacy.” So far, at least, I am only going to add to these questions:

  • Do you have any concerns with privacy issues pertaining to the kiosk system?
  • Were you given a choice about using the kiosk system?
  • Did you express reluctance to use the kiosk system? What was the receptionist’s response?
  • How many times have you used the kiosk system?
  • Having now used the kiosk system, will you continue to do so? If not, how do you plan to address this situation?

Having written these questions, it also occurs to me that interviewing the receptionists about how patients respond to the kiosks and how the receptionists feel about them would be very informative.

15: Blakeslee/Fleischer Prompts, Ch. 5

Prompt 1 (Blakeslee p. 136): Analyzing a document

I am comparing the interview styles of Chelsea Handler, an official at Augustana College who interview me for admission, and a reporter friend of mine who I’ll call Jake. I have purposely selected wildly different contexts and interview that have very different purposes so that this comparison may show more significant differences.

CH asks questions that she already knows the answers to; they are for the benefit of her audience. The AC official asked questions whose answers didn’t matter; his purpose was to determine intelligence and articulateness. Jake asks questions based on the content he needs from a source. These people also prepare differently for interview. CH no doubt talks to the interviewee beforehand off camera, and probably has staffers who provide her with information. The AC official reads application materials to learn context. Jake does extensive research before an interview, including online searches and interviewing other people as well as discussing potential interview questions with his editor.

These three have very different personas. CH’s is sharp and witty, for entertainment purposes. Her ethos is one of a talk-show host; viewers know she is carefully constructing an identity. The AC official is scholarly and impressive, channeling the prestigious ethos of the college. Jake often takes on an almost subservient role in order to get better answers; although he is almost always smarter and better informed than his interviewees, he lets them take charge and do most of the talking in order to get good quotes and establish a good relationship for the future. The three interact differently with interviewees, although they are all invested in drawing out the interview for at least some length of time. CH sometimes cuts interviews short because of time limitations, but the AC official and Jake draw out interviews for as long as possible; they only benefit from getting more information.

The qualities that strike me most are those about how the interview constructs him- or herself in relation to the interview. Jake’s approach strikes me as most caring and ethical; it is unsurprising that I like him and his style best.

Prompt 2 (Blakeslee p. 138): Analyzing a document

The differences in preparation by interviewers were most profound between the AC official and Jake. The AC official had limited means for research, while Jake researched everything he could find. This made for more natural, productive interviews. Jake was also, simply put, a better conversationalist. This is a skill he has polished for years, and that sort of long-term preparation makes a major difference.