Doing surveys...in Kalamazoo

 

Doing surveys...in Kalamazoo

As part of our NEH grant to investigate an early digital humanities project, Images of Medieval Art & Architecture, my research colleagues and I conducted usability interviews at the 2016 International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our team arrived on the campus of Western Michigan University around 2:15 pm on a Thursday, and had started interviewing by 3 o'clock. Fortunately, there were adequate supplies of coffee and ice water to keep us afloat through three days and approximately 115 interviews. We mostly avoided the boxed wine. 

Although we have yet to thoroughly analyze the data we collected this weekend, initial analysis indicates that we sampled more women than men (approximately 68% female and 32% male), and that scholars are generally reluctant to admit that they use Google in their image research. We also discovered that only a small percentage of survey participants had ever seen the website before (only 17%), and although we were attending a conference on medieval studies, only about 22% of survey-takers stated confidently that they were "Extremely Familiar" with medieval art and architecture. Certainly, context had a part to play in this outcome, but it was nonetheless surprising.  

Stay tuned for further reflections and updates...

Categories: 
  • Graduate Work