You Tell Us

Day Surveys: September 2010—August 2011

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The Share Project is researching teaching practice: we are investigating how academics represent, share and change their practices. One strand of our investigation (this one) is designed to collect material on the everyday lives and normal routines of academics. If you sign up, we’ll ask you to keep a diary for a day—the 15th day of each month—detailing what you do (especially with regard to teaching) and what you think and feel about it.

The purpose of Day Surveys is to discover what is significant in academics’ lives – not what someone else thinks should be significant (so we’re not going to send you questionnaires or do probing interviews). We want you to tell us what you really do. We’re interested in detail and nuance, in the gaps between what is supposed to happen and what does happen, between staff and student, between institution and individual.

Thinking, planning, preparation, lecturing, assessment, graduate student supervision, undergraduate project-work, marking, examination. Anything that you do on that day—anything you care about on that day—is important and interesting to us. Survey days follow the rhythm of the teaching year and patterns of work across the days of the week. We are keen to understand the ebb and flow of work over the year so please join in throughout, even if you are not teaching in one semester or the other.

Throughout the year, we’ll send summary newsletters to participants, outlining what is on academic minds. We’ll publish any findings as they emerge.

Sign up to participate!

Anonymity & Privacy

  • We will preserve participants’ anonymity at all times.
  • Only specific members of the research team can link identifying information (such as e-mail address) to the diary entries, and this link will be destroyed at the end of the project.
  • To increase your privacy, we encourage you to use initials or made-up names for the people you mention, and to do your best not to inadvertently identify yourself.

Why this isn’t TRAC (for UK academics)

  • The purpose of Day Surveys is to discover what is significant, not to “bean-count” the hours you spend on individual tasks.
  • If something vital and important happens that takes 5 minutes, it probably is important. If something boring takes 4 hours, it probably isn’t (or might be, but in a different way).
  • We seek (and highly value) subjective experience and descriptively rich material which can offer insights into the everyday academic life.

What is TRAC (for everyone else)

Survey Days

  • Wednesday 15th September 2010
  • Friday 15th October 2010
  • Monday 15th November 2010
  • Wednesday 15th December 2010
  • Saturday 15th January 2011
  • Tuesday 15th February 2011
  • Tuesday 15th March 2011
  • Friday 15th April 2011
  • Sunday 15th May 2011
  • Wednesday 15th June 2011
  • Friday 15th July 2011
  • Monday 15th August 2011

Registration & Login

As mentioned by Sally Fincher at #orioleRR

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