Based on your life experience, skills and interests I feel like my design process has to be data-driven.
I personally believe data is beautiful.
I want to quantify data that usually isn’t quantifiable. In an ideal world, I would mix ethnography with the scientific method but currently, I’m having trouble figuring it out. I would design an ethnographic response with a good analysis of data. Plus, some graphs that my derive meaning.
There are more than three stakeholders in my study. I feel whoever reads my work is a stakeholder. In this case, I’ll group all readers as one group. The five unique attributes of the readers that they must be interested in the content, be motivated to learn, must want benefit from the knowledge, must value learning and want to benefit their own life by learning more. The second main stakeholder is me. The categories of my five unique attributes of myself are my demographics, socioeconomics and geographic. These are the attributes that are ranked from most important to least important: ethnicity, income, social class, age, and education level. The other attributes that were not specifically mentioned do matter but have much less of an impact on my project. The last main stakeholder is the people that I am interviewing. Most of the descriptor variables apply but very indirectly. These are the attributes that are ranked from most important to least important: personality traits, attitude, interests, values, and lifestyle.
I will validate my project through small scale experiments that emulate the project. I will use my social connections to gather people that are willing to participate in the project. I will also use the internet to gather useful information about my project and to find similar studies. This will allow me to successfully and efficiently complete my project. Since there is nothing physical coming from the project; the paper will be the use of the project. The goal of the project is to educate people.
An example of something interesting that I learned from a friend is that in Europe many people write the date as day-month-year.
Another example of something interesting that I learned from a friend is that tipping a waiter is only common in America.
The last example of something interesting that I learned from a friend is that the work culture in the USA is much different than around the world. In the united states, everyone is working a lot more with fewer breaks.
How will I gather my data?
Should I make my data gathering criteria more specific?
How can my project directly benefit the community?
How do I spread the word and get people to read my paper?
Will there be any cons/negative affects linked to my study?
How will my experiment/project impact the community?
What types of interviews do I want to do?
Does my project differ from the way my fellow team members are conducting the research?
If so, how exactly is my project different?
If so, why did they decide to conduct the project differently and is it more efficient than the way I’m currently completing the project?
How long should the interviews be?
Can my data be quantified?
Should my data be quantified?
Will my project inspire more similar research?
Will my research only be applicable in the USA?
Does the internet/social media have any tangible impact on the results of my study?
If so how and why?
How can it be quantified?
What can I conclude from my data?
Inputs: time, effort, expertise, and technology.
Activities: Asking college students 20 questions about higher education.
Outputs/Outcomes: The answers to the questions, the people I ask, a set of current data that may be quantifiable, and my opinion-based paper.
Impact: the educated individuals and the informed decisions they make.
Goals: to educate the population more about higher education.
M&E Plan: The number of people that I interview is the metric of success. The people that read my paper.
Short term success is the people that I interview which can be quantified.
Long term success is the people that read my paper which I cannot quantify.
Many social factors go into my project. Since culture is directly affected by culture; culture will affect the majority of my project. The project aims to do research via ethnographical methods. This means that the culture that I am apart of also has an impact on the results from the research. This will be the types of questions I ask people. For example, based on my prior experiences I may ask people about their parents and how they have affected people’s decisions about higher education. This is because generally in Hispanic culture parents have more influence on their children. Since my project is based in America, I feel like there are not huge differences in a culture like in GSIF. This can make pointing out cultural differences and their effects more difficult but, because of this, the effects of culture will be more subtle. What I wanted to focus on that included culture was online culture and how people’s online presence affects their decisions and viewpoints about higher education. Currently, I still need to decide on what questions I want to ask so the effect of culture is a bit hard to predict at the moment.
I have experienced a few of these situations by myself. For example, when I was applying to colleges my parents tried to force me to apply only to schools in New York City. Although I have explicitly stated multiple times that I didn’t want to go to school in the city for various reasons. In the end, we ended up compromising with me applying to schools both in the city and out of the city. Since I am not a first-generation student my parents always expected me to go to college. Another example that I can think of is my friend John (not his real name since he doesn’t want people to know). When John was in high school both of his parents were illegal immigrants that split up. He felt the moral obligation to help his parents and his little sister out of poverty. Originally, he didn’t plan on going to college but since he had exceptional grades our guidance counselor basically forced him into applying to college. Now he is going to a 4-year cuny on a scholarship. The last example that shows cultural differences is when young adults are either charged money to live with their parents after a certain age or are kicked out, therefore, forcing them to make money. This places a much bigger burden on the young adult because they are suddenly thrusted into full adulthood with bills. Doing this as parents essentially stunts the career growth of the young adult.
I feel that since the problems are very ingrained in many cultures there may not be a simple cultural solution. The ways that I think we can improve this situation is with more education. Educating parents about the benefits and opportunities that college can lead to. Examples of this would be more community outreach. This would include programs to expose people to the idea of college. The main mistake that the current programs that already exist is that they focus on college and grades more than the individual. An example of this is finding out how to make college help you achieve your life goals instead of going to college because of societal pressure. Although this is not a complete solution it is a good start and with this start, it may inspire some people to at least consider college as an option.
As a sophomore in the engineering college, I tend to rely heavily on my logical/engineering mindset to solve problems. Most of the world’s problems that were introduced in class did not have a simple solution that can be obtained by using an engineer’s mindset. This opened my eyes to see how much we need other people with different ways of thinking to help solve this world’s problems. Problems like increasing world hunger and the decreasing amount of people able to work are examples of problems that require multiple types of people to solve. My project is community outreach in south Bethlehem focused on college and higher education. I want to see how implementing a way to spur creativity in youth can influence them to have more interest in higher education. I feel like connecting with the youth through social media and other similar technological products can impact the lives and careers. With that being said since I am very big on social media myself, I feel the need to positively impact the youth around myself.
When looking at south Bethlehem as a community I observed it is not as well off economically and socially as other surround communities/suburbs. Since I also live in a community that is very similar to south Bethlehem, I also experienced a similar program in middle school. Although the program I experienced was more focused on early college recruitment it still had an inspirational aspect to it. Since LVSIF is not a program aimed to recruit I feel as if its more openminded. This makes it the perfect program to test some of my ideas and to get data based on them. I want to figure out what is the lowest cost, easiest and most efficient way to inspire young minds to do great things. Many of the people who live in south Bethlehem and similar communities do not have extensive resources readily available for them to use to improve themselves. Alas many of them have access to the internet which has many resources like khan academy and Coursera. The first step would be to educate everyone about these resources and to install some motivation to start using them. For example, my motivation to start using khan academy was to improve my sat score to get into the college that I wanted. From that first step, we would show how much the world is changing and how they can all prepare for the upcoming changes.
A great way that I have learned to achieve is to visualize the finished product/outcome. The desired outcome that I visualized is that everyone who receives a presentation will understand more about college. Since the children are still in middle school, we should introduce them to the expatiations of college. When they are aware of the expiations it will enable them to prepare much better throughout the rest of middle school and high school. We should also focus on certain skills that are linked to success in college and that traditional public schools do not teach. Some of these skills that I can think off the top of my head are note-taking, email etiquette and entrepreneurial mindset. Many of these students may have not even heard of some of these skills or may just be weak in these areas. Identifying these skills as areas where potential future college students should be preparing would make pursuing a higher education easier. Another skill that I feel is good for college is networking with fellow students and professors alike. Focusing on how social media can benefit your networking skills would be a great topic to present.
Another major problem that is affecting the world is the lack of eyeglasses for people who need them. This issue is usually concentrated in the developing world. The example that was given in class is Kenya where there is barely one optometrist per one million people. Although I am not in GSIF I do have a few underdeveloped ideas on ways to improve this problem that can affect every aspect of an individual’s life. The first idea that I have is to create programs for students around the world studying optometry to come to places like Kenya under the supervision of a respected person in the field and provide appointments for people who cannot afford them. This idea only helps out with one aspect of the problem. The second idea that I have is for production. I suggest we expand the problem to all engineers. Whoever can find a sustainable solution wins a cash prize.
In conclusion, there are many ways to approach this project. Using my prior experiences and trends we can figure out what exactly to focus on in the project. Once we find the best topics to focus on, we would have to have a very efficient and easy for them to grasp. We would also figure out the best way to convey that material. Once we have our first meeting with our professor, I am sure the goal of the project will become much clearer. Overall, I am excited about how social media will tie into to project and how much we can integrate our interests.
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