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Showing posts from May, 2013

how to email your professors

There are already several very good posts on this, but I thought I would add my own for my classes. In the last few years, more and more of my students have been emailing me from smartphones, iPads, etc. and their emails have become increasingly casual (despite the fact that my syllabus clearly states that I expect emails to be more formal). I may be partially to blame for this declining quality since I've never had a formal, written email policy (partly because I could never imagine writing so informally to a professor). But, given how bad some of the emails have gotten, I've finally formalized my email policy. If student emails are not written as prescribed below, I just won't answer. 

First and foremost, before you email your professor, make sure that your question can NOT be answered somewhere else-- for example on the syllabus or by your peers! Requesting a professor to go over something that is easily available somewhere else makes it seem like you're not a serio…

some questions 49up and Gang Leader for a Day

Below are some questions to help guide our discussion about the film 49up and Gang Leader for a Day. (I may have gone a little overboard on these questions)
49upWas it easy to understand? Why do you think there were some moments of confusion for us? What does that tell you about context?How did the film maker gain access to the subjects? What were some of the ethics involved? Do you think the participants are paid? Should we pay them? To what extent do you think the filmmaker (Michael Apted) influenced the film and its participants (particularly the portrayal of these people)? Could I ask nearly the same questions about Gang Leader for a Day?

Gang Leader for a DayWhat things made Gang Leader for a Day easier to understand for us? How did Venkatesh gain access? (ethnicity & sponsorship by JT) How does his access effect outcomes—his research? By aligning and gaining access through JT—does it limit the types of information and people who will talk to him?In terms of recording data—how…

ahhh, reliability and validity

Reliability and validity are concepts that many students (and researchers!) have a hard time keeping straight.

Validity: the extent to which an empirical measure adequately reflects the real meaning of the concept under consideration. (how closely do you come to hitting the bull's-eye (presumably the concept you actually want to measure?)
Reliability: whether a particular technique, when applied repeatedly to the same object, will yield the same results each time.
With that in mind, some pictures:

video instructions for Google Drive

As we discussed the other day in class, instead of turning in a traditional hard copy of your next two papers, you will be sharing them with me via Google Docs. Below are a few videos I created to help you figure out Google Docs:

How to upload existing documents to Google Drive/Docs:

How to create documents in Google Drive/Doc:

Remember that you should name the document following this convention:
SP13-rm-YourLastName.FirstInitial-title of assignmentSo let's say student Terry Smith wants to share the Qualitative Proposal with me, Terry would name the document as:
SP13-rm-Smith.T-Qualitative ProposalFor the reasons why you must name your document this way, please visit the Class Documents page. After you've named your document correctly, remember to share it with
Google Docs also has a chat function that makes it easier for you and me to work on your paper together. Please watch this video to see how this function works: