Personal Honours Project - Workshop Results

After setting up the sheets earlier in the week, I began to explore my results.

On the 13th, I put up a sheet in the lift running up between the 5th to 8th floor of the Matthew Building with the question "What questions do you ask others?". This perhaps wasn't the brightest ideas as the sheets got a bit defaced without giving me any insights. People didn't really take the survey seriously when unmonitored. However I did receive some useful insights including:

  • How do you do this?
  • Questions relating to expertise?
  • Could you explain?

This was better than nothing but it was overall a bit disheartening to receive insincere answers. It just made me have to reconsider my approach to trying to gather information.

Also on the 13th, I left three sheets around the studios asking the question "What questions would you use Google to answer?". I left one in the 4th year studio, one in the 8th floor corridor and one in the 7th floor corridor.

The 8th floor corridor sheet was left blank while the sheet on the 7th floor was removed (I later found out that Fraser had removed it and taken it to his office after it was defaced). The sheet in the 4th year studio gained some better results - people said that they would seek answers to questions relating to ailments, spellings or definition of words or general facts about celebrities. More what I was looking for, someone responded that they would like to know how something was made or how something worked. 

From what I gathered from this way of gathering information is that people are obviously uncomfortable about sharing their internet search habits publicly and I wondered if this should be an avenue I explore. For the mean time, I decided that I would opt for private questionnaires instead and conduct them online to ensure discretion. I don't think interviews would be effective as they wouldn't gain me any useful insights if the person was embarrassed. 

Chris also asked me about the sheets as he'd seen the defaced one the 7th floor and found out that I was the culprit. He asked me why I'd gone so broad on my question: my argument was that if I left it more open, I would generate better responses from any participants without having to push them towards the answers I was expecting. He said that I should maybe consider going a bit more narrower in my question asking, possibly begin asking people about specific topics of knowledge.