REU Week 1, Day 2

Today was a much busier day than yesterday! I’m starting to understand why this is called ramp-up week…

This morning, after hearing a presentation on ethics and Internal Review Boards and learning about how to use ShareLateX, we got to work with paper circuits, which was really neat! After we got the hang of things, we each made a card that lit up, which was fun. Mine is pictured below!

Here is my final LateX project: it includes a professional and informal biography.

We were also assigned some homework relating to making observations; my field notes are below.

Field notes: Chipotle off of Kirkwood Avenue, starting at 7:03 p.m.

  • 7:03: 4 students in restaurant, all of Asian descent
    • 3 girls at one table (girls 1, 2, and 3), 1 guy at another
  • 7:04: girl who just ordered has earbuds in, looking at her phone in her hand, take-out bag
    • girl 1 was looking at her phone when I came in
  • 7:05: girl 2 now is looking @ phone, can’t see what girl 3 is doing
    • Caucasian male comes into seating area, sits down, phone on table
    • Asian guy leaves
  • 7:06: Caucasian guy hasn’t picked up phone, still face-down, it looks like
    • girls are not longer looking @ phones, just eating
    • when I walked in, it looked like girl 1 was sharing something from her phone w/ friends
  • 7:08: actually it looks like maybe the guy has is phone facing up, looking @ it? or not, hard to tell… looks like a simple phone case…
  • 7:09: young Asian guy w/ little girl walks out w/ to-go order, don’t see him use phone
  • 7:11: another Caucasian guy (guy 2) sits down, no sight of phone, goes to bathroom
    • loud music, hard to hear any conversation b/w girls, but might be in another language anyways…
  • 7:13: guy 2 returns, picks up phone and holds it, looks at it while eating; mint green and white striped case?
  • 7:14: guy 1 is now definitely scrolling on phone while eating
    • girl 2 is also scrolling
    • guy 1 and 2 = sitting alone
  • 7:15: girl 2 is no longer scrolling
  • 7:16: girl 1 = looking @ phone in hand, not really talking to friends
    • guy 1 looks like could be older than college student
    • dark guy at ordering counter shows something on phone to guy behind counter, appears to know him
  • 7:17: guy 2 has put phone on table, maybe still looking at it
    • guy 1 has moved cup in front of phone, harder to tell what he’s doing
  • 7:19: guy 2 = tapping on his phone, phone on table, and so is guy 1
  • 7:20: girls get up to go
    • guy 2 gets up to refill drink
    • girls 1, 2, and three all have phones in their hand, all have pretty decorative cases from what I can tell
    • guy 2 packs up stuff, has phone in hand, leaves
    • girls accidentally go out wrong door w/ no way out, have to come back in door and go out right way
  • 7:21: guy 1 only one left sitting, done with his food, looking at phone on table
  • 7:24: guy 1 gets up, leaves through side door; don’t see where his phone goes
  • 7:25: I pack up my stuff and leave restaurant
  • Summary: A group of students or student-aged people eating at Chipotle were very apt to use their phones while eating. Two guys eating alone used them, one holding his in one hand for a while and eating with the other, and the other placing it on the table and scrolling through it more occasionally. One of the guys had a more decorative case, the other looked to be more functional. The girls also used their phones, though less frequently than the guys who were alone. They were good chunks of time where they would be conversing or just eating, but also decent amounts of time where they were just sitting there on their phones. The girls tended to have their phones sitting on the table when they used them and were hunched over them scrolling through, but when I entered, there was one girl holding the phone up at chest level, almost as if she were going to take a picture. It looked like all of the girls had pretty decorative cases. Expressions tended to be pretty blank or neutral while examining phones.

While observing, I ended up using an object mapping style, which involves recording the use of an object across time. I would note changes when someone started using their phone differently, or when someone new would come onto the scene and start using their phone. I believe this observation would be exempt from review because it posed little to no risk to the people I was observing. I have no way to identify them other than physical descriptions and memories, and I was unable to even hear what they were saying.

And finally, summaries of the texts we were assigned:

The first article we read was Defining Through Expansion: Conducting Asynchronous Remote Communities (ARC) Research with Stigmatized Groups and was written by Juan F. Maestre, Haley MacLeod, Ciabhan L. Connelly, et al, in 2016. Researchers noted limitations in other types of interacting with research participants and designed a new method, which they dubbed Asynchronous Remote Communities, or ARCs. In this study, researchers created a private Facebook group for people with rare diseases and contacted several people through email or private messages, which resulted in 13 participants. The focus of this paper was not to detail the findings of the study, but rather share the findings and experiences of using an ARC to collect information. After 22 weeks of using this approach, the researchers found that overall, the ARC was an effective method, as it allowed researchers to conduct research on a geographically diverse group of people in a rather timely manner. At the same time, it had limitations, particularly in data collection, as the researchers had difficulties compiling all the data afterwards. Proposed future studies included one comparing ARCs and face-to-face interactions, as well as one longer version of the study that would allow researchers to assess whether participation continued to drop.

The second article we read built off the first; it was Defining Through Expansion: Conducting Asychronous Remote Communities (ARC) Research with Stigmatized Groups and was authored by Juan F. Maestre, Haley MacLeod, Ciabhan L. Connelly, Julia C. Dunbar, et al. in 2018. Researchers created an ARC through Facebook to study a group of people living with HIV with the intent of determining whether ARCs were appropriate for stigmatized groups where confidentiality was of utmost importance. They began by requesting access to a closed group on Facebook, gaining access, and then posting recruiting materials within the group. Nineteen people were recruited from 7 different countries to participate in the 8-week study. Participants were assigned a weekly activity to complete and were reminded if they didn’t complete it; researchers found an average delay of two days. Overall, the ARC appeared to work very well for this group; it helped the members build a community, which was vital for such a stigmatized group, and it allowed researchers to study a diverse group remotely.