Survey administration. I am currently assisting a number of offices on campus, including the Office of International Programs, the Office of the Registrar, and the Career Services Office with the design and administration of surveys targeting Trinity students who have used these offices' services.
Senior exit interviews. I run Trinity's senior exit interviews using a subset of our students graduating in the springs of 2009 - 2013. While I conducted a number of these interviews myself, I also coordinated eight faculty who also conducted interviews using a detailed interview schedule and learning goal form to guide students' narratives. This year, I am actually having specially-trained students conduct many of the interviews. We then use NVIVO to analyze the transcriptions from these interviews.
Writing Assessment. Trinity is currently in the fifth year of a formal writing assessment project in which we are evaluating whether students' writing improves during their first two years of college using a faculty-approved rubric. I am managing the technical details of this project: writing the prompt given to students, sampling from the set of papers we receive from each cohort, de-identifying papers pulled in the sample, assigning papers to faculty readers, and organizing packets of papers for the "writing assessment days" in mid-January of each year.
Teaching With Data (TwD). TwD is a website hosted by the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan and the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN), supported with funding from the National Science Foundation awarded in 2009. The website is intended to facilitate the incorporation of data analysis into college and high-school courses where it does not usually appear. I am a member of the outreach team charged with testing TwD on college campuses.
New England Consortium on Assessment and Student Learning (NECASL). I am currently the Trinity site manager for NECASL, a consortium of colleges--Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Middlebury, Smith, Trinity, and Wellesley--that have been following a sample (36 students from each school) of the class of 2010 since they arrived on these campuses seven years ago. Hence, the project is longitudinal, and aims to get a better handle on how students first acclimate to college life, choose a major, decide whether or not they will study abroad, etc. I have managed student interviewers who were responsible for interviewing the portion of the sample enrolled at Trinity.
Smart Choices. I did some light consulting for Professor Jack Dougherty at Trinity College, as he and his Cities, Suburbs, and Schools class constructed a website during Fall 2008. This website is intended to serve parents in the city of Hartford navigate the new and rather complex "School Choice" system. My work involved discussing with Jack the best way to visualize the "data components" of this site (data on racial distributions and test scores). I also helped support students conducting evaluation research on the impact of the Smart Choices website and the process behind its design.
Trinity Course Evaluation Data. In the spring of 2008, I advised two students in an independent study on data visualization. After reading some classic pieces in this field, like Ehrenberg's Rudiments of Numeracy and Edward Tufte's chapter on the Challenger explosion, I had the students turn to a real-life project: redesigning how course evaluation data are presented here at Trinity. The students presented an argument for turning our current 8-page form into a much simplified, data-dense 1-page sheet. Most recently, I have presented an argument for why the college should increase the time period during which students are allowed to fill out course evaluations.
Trinity College Library Website Redesign. In the spring of 2007, as part of a library committee at Trinity, I worked with Gravity Switch, a website design firm from Northampton, MA, on redesigning the Trinity College Library website. I was responsible for managing the usability testing of Gravity Switch's "wireframes," alternative mock-ups for the new website. I designed a questionnaire and used it, along with some librarians, to question both faculty and students about what they expected out of a new site. I then quantified the results so that Gravity Switch could incorporate the comments into their design. The result was our new website, which is been favorably reviewedhere and here.
Exploring Data Through Research Literature. Most of my recent teaching has taken place outside the traditional role of a sociology faculty member. I no longer teach so often my own classes, but enter for just a day or two the classrooms of other faculty. In this capacity, I do not teach only for sociology, but also enter the classrooms of anthropologists, economists, political scientists, and historians. The common thread of content in this teaching is data, both quantitative and qualitative. How do scholars create or collect primary data? How do they locate secondary data? How do they process and analyze data? How do they connect empirical data to theoretical and descriptive claims? To explore how better to get students to answer these questions, in 2006, I spent a sabbatical summer at ICPSR and created Exploring Data Through Research Literature.