Publication Date

Fall 2015

Abstract

Each student in the Qualitative Methods Research Class (SW781), Fall 2015, recruited a study participant (n=26) (undergraduate and graduate students from across the University) and trained them in the appropriate and ethical use of this method. Study participants were asked to define and explore the meaning of “life with technology” over the course of one week using their phones to document their exploration. Using the participant generated photographs to guide conversation, each member of the research team conducted an interview with a participant.

The topic for this project was determined using nominal group technique (NGT). NGT is a structured small-group discussion approach used to reach consensus. A moderator (in this case the professor) asks the group a question and gathers the responses (in this case potential project topics) from each group member.

Once all potential topics are shared with the entire group, each member of the group prioritizes the topics. This process prevents one person from dominating the discussion, encourages all group members to participate, and results in a set of prioritized topics that represents the group’s preferences. The class, by way of NGT, decided to investigate how University of Pennsylvania students perceive life with technology.

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Life with Technology Among University of Pennsylvania Students

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