Archive for February, 2012

Research Log – the questions

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

I contacted the ladies who went to school here in the 60’s and was contacted back by all four of them. One of them , Mrs. Mann, also said that she is in contact with many if her classmates and so she is going to be forwarding my questions to them. Hopefully I will end up with information from about six alumni. All of the ladies wanted to be asked over email so I sent them this list of questions:

  1. Why did you decide do go to college? Was it difficult financially or socially (did people look down on women going to college?) What did you want to get out of it?
  2. What kind of career options were available for someone who went to college vs. someone who did not.
  3. What was the classroom like? Was the mood serious? What was the teaching style(was it mostly lectures, group work, or something else?)
  4. Do you have any memories of the classroom experience or of college here in general that you would like to share? Stories would be great!
  5. What was the dress code like? Was it strictly enforced? Did girls wear pants to class? Did people dress up for class?
  6. What was dating like? How did you ladies meet guys? Were you allowed to have guys on campus and of not, did students do it anyway? When you did go on dates where did you go and what did you do?
  7. Were there many married people on campus?
  8. What was the atmosphere if campus, did it stress academics or more of the social life? What did you do for fun? Was there a lot of partying on campus? What did you do when you went out?

I also asked them to feel free to answer as many or as few of the questions as you would like, that way it would not get overwhelming. I tild them that stories would be awesome and if they could think of any stories that don’t really relate to any of the questions to add them as well.

I am hoping to hear back from them this week with answers to the interview questions!

Research Log #3

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

I have sent out emails to each of the alumni that were in the email that I received.  In it I told them about what our assignment is and how we plan on recreating the classroom experience from the 1960.  I asked them if they would be interested in answering a few questions relating to what it was like to be a Mary Washington College student during that decade.  I told them that this interview could be done by email or letter, whichever they prefer, or that if they are in the area I can meet with them in person.

I have not received a response from them, but am not worried as I only sent the emails out recently.  I am very hopeful that I will hear back from some or all of them very soon.

My group has set up a meeting on Wednesday, February 15 to discuss with Tim Owens, the Instructional Technology Specialist, how we can make our website into everything that we plan on it being.  I feel as though it will be too intricate and dificult for us to do on our own because we are not very technologically savvy, but he will be able to show us which templates to use and how to make out website into the interactive site that we are hoping for.

My group is each thinking up good questions for them alumni as they are going through their prospective documents.  I told them that they will get a different prospective on what to ask than I will as they are seeing different things than I am and many things that are sparking their interest.  They will be emailing me each a list of questions and I will go through and pick out the ones that I feel are important to ask, as I don’t want to overwhelm the people that I am interviewing with too many questions.

Our group website

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

In our group meeting, we talked about what we want out website to look like.  We decided that we want it to very interactive and we want it to be be a step by step admissions website into Mary Washington College in the 1960’s.  We talked through many ideas about what this would look like, including having each sign-on have to sign the honor pledge before entering the site, and having the viewer be able to pick their major.  Once they pick their major, they will go through a series of links including reading about the professors for that given major, and information about the classes offered.  We will have a section on campus life, classroom life, and a section about hearing from the students, which will be where the alumni interviews that I will be getting will be found.  We plan on giving the option of only four majors so it does not get overwhelming and also having links back to each of the other pages so that at any time the viewer of the site can look at a different area of the site as they please.

Second Research Post

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

I am working on my research for our project and am discovering that a lot of effort is going to need to go into getting the alumni interviews. I have a list of four women who I will be contacting first by email, this week and if I do not get a response, I will be contacting them by telephone. I understand that most of these women live far, so I will be talking to them about what the best way to get questions answered. Because all of these women have email addresses, and because doing phone interviews make for difficult transcription, I plan on trying to get questions answered through email. If, however, any of these women would rather answer through letter I will happily do that. I also would love to interview in person if any of these women are able to do so. I will be asking them how far they live, but if it is in the area, then of course I will try to interview in person.

I am coming up with a list of questions that I want to ask, but mostly I want to know what they want to say. I find that in interviewing, most of the good information comes out when people are just allowed to talk. I would like to ask them about the classroom experience, and will prompt them with questions where necessary, but I think that the best way to understand what the 1960’s Mary Washington College classroom was like is to hear it told through stories.