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Transitional activities for widening participation: Exploring a “Life Grid” approach in understanding the early HE experie...
Overview of our Workshop<br />Project overview<br />Introduction to the Life Grid methodology<br />The Transitional Experi...
The e-Transition Project<br />Objective<br />To facilitate the transition of mature students and those with non-traditiona...
The Research Aim<br />To explore factors that impinge on students’ lives as they adjust to studying at University.<br />
Introduction to the ‘Life Grid’ method<br />History / background<br />Prior uses include the work of:<br />Odette Parry, C...
Berney & Blane, 2003<br />Life Grid Structure<br />Parry et al, 1999<br />Bell, 2005<br />Parry et al, 1999<br />
Critical Advantages of the Life Grid<br />Good aide memoire<br />Stimulates accurate recall<br />Visual and interactive th...
Berney & Blane (2003)<br />“The lifegrid approach is extremely flexible and allows for the subject to determine the recall...
The Transitional Experience Life Grid<br />Flashbulb column<br />X axis: different life areas<br />Y axis: weeks in Term 1...
Nature of the Life Grid Interview<br />OVERVIEW<br />LOGISTICS<br />Need physical space to accommodate size of grid<br />I...
Work in Waitrose (12 hrs a week)<br />Visit London every 2 wks to see girlfriend<br />Car<br />Family<br />Brunel acceptan...
Project photos<br />
Life Grid Preparation and Considerations<br />Please arrange into groups<br />Each group with:<br />ONE interviewer				   ...
Life Grid Activity<br />MATERIALS: Life Grid poster, pen, Post-it notes, biro, interviewer questions, note-taker document,...
Discussion<br />
Data collection and analysis<br />“Data analysis was an exploratory, confirmatory and iterative process”<br />Research out...
Examples of Visualisations<br />non-HEP cohort<br />non-HEP and HEP cohorts combined<br />“Also, a written report represen...
Research Outcomes<br />An example of a visualisation<br />Someemergent themes<br />Evaluation of the University provision<...
Visualisation – One Student's Life<br />
Some Emergent Themes<br />Complexity and Flexibility<br />Social Integration<br />Timely, targeted and tailored support<br />
Emergent Themes<br />Complexity and Flexibility<br />” Timetable seems to favour people who live on campus...I’ve done wha...
Emergent Themes<br />Social Integration<br />Best moment: “When a girl told me she didn’t care about my age.”<br />“..I al...
Emergent Themes<br />Timely, targeted & tailored support<br />“It would have been nice if I’d got it sooner… by the time I...
Evaluation of University Provision<br />“I use u-Link for everything...everything that goes on, goes on u-Link.... I am on...
Don’t have one<br />Getting feedback for first assignment (x2)<br />Argument with flatmate<br />Living in halls<br />Feels...
University Expectations<br />Yes, and a bit more.  We were told at college that we would be on our own.  Actually it’s not...
New Year Resolultions<br />Try and plan assignments in advance and keep on top of it and to eat healthier<br />None<br />T...
References<br />Bell, A.J. (2005) “Oh yes, I remember it well!” Reflections on using the life-grid in qualitative intervie...
Any further questions?<br />Contact details:<br />	linda.murray@brunel.ac.uk<br />	julia.stephenson@brunel.ac.uk<br />	anu...
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Using the 'Life Grid' interviewing method as a qualitative research tool

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  • LM SlideExtra information: This slide is to discuss the structure of the Lifegrid. It includes a timeline, life domains and flashbulb moments. Somelifegrids have the timeline at the top, others at the side. Flash bulb/ notable events of previous lifegrids include external events such as Second World War, Kennedy Assassination etc or more personal ones e.g births, deaths, marriages etc. The flashbulb moments are used to recall events over long periods of time.
  • LM SlideThis slide is to discuss the benefits of the Life Grid.
  • LM SlideThe remainder of this quote reads: “Interviewees may feel confused by the questions and wary of the interviewer. In facilitating a more rapid development of familiarity than is the case with a more traditional structured interview, the lifegrid puts the subject at ease. In this more intimate and relaxed atmosphere, the subject is more likely to be both willing and able to recall the information that is of interest to the researcher.”
  • NP SlideThis slide discusses the personalization of the Life Gird for our project and any supplementary information.
  • LM SlideExtra information:Overview of how what was involved and the physical logistics we experienced. The first part of the interview was devoted to completing the life grid, this was subsequently followed by a “quick fire round” that is, a set of closed questions:What was your best moment during your first term?What was your worst moment during your first term?Where things at University/on your course as you expected them to be?In light of your first term have you made any New Year’s resolutions to deal with your second term?Did you find having done the HEP course useful? (only asked if the student has done the HEP course)
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  • NP SlideUse of the visualisation
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  • Transcript of "Using the 'Life Grid' interviewing method as a qualitative research tool"

    1. 1. Transitional activities for widening participation: Exploring a “Life Grid” approach in understanding the early HE experiences of students in one institution<br />RESEARCH TEAM<br />Dr Linda Murray - Director of Academic Practice Development Unit<br />Dr Julia Stephenson - Research Fellow<br />Anu Sharma and Natalie Parnis - Members of the Learning and Technology Advisory Team<br />
    2. 2. Overview of our Workshop<br />Project overview<br />Introduction to the Life Grid methodology<br />The Transitional Experience Life Grid<br />Fishbowl Life Grid demonstration<br />Life Grid activity<br />Discussion of the methodology in practice<br />Method of analysis<br />Outcomes of the project so far<br />
    3. 3. The e-Transition Project<br />Objective<br />To facilitate the transition of mature students and those with non-traditional qualifications into Higher Education.<br />Preparatory Programmes - ‘E-Welcome’ and ‘Higher Education Preparation’<br />‘GetPROGRESSive’ – e-portfolio PDP activities<br />Research study.<br />Interventions<br />
    4. 4. The Research Aim<br />To explore factors that impinge on students’ lives as they adjust to studying at University.<br />
    5. 5. Introduction to the ‘Life Grid’ method<br />History / background<br />Prior uses include the work of:<br />Odette Parry, Carolyn Thomson, Gerry Fowkes (1999, 2001)<br />David Blane & Lee Berney (1996, 2003)<br />A method for collecting retrospective data<br />Participatory interviewing technique<br />Sarah Wilson, Sarah Cunningham-Burley, Angus Bancroft, Kathryn Backett-Milburn & Hugh Masters (2007)<br />Allows for the construction of a visual temporal framework.<br />
    6. 6. Berney & Blane, 2003<br />Life Grid Structure<br />Parry et al, 1999<br />Bell, 2005<br />Parry et al, 1999<br />
    7. 7. Critical Advantages of the Life Grid<br />Good aide memoire<br />Stimulates accurate recall<br />Visual and interactive thus engaging<br />Facilitates discussion<br />Improves rapport between interviewer/interviewee<br />Facilitates the asking of difficult questions<br />Generates an informal atmosphere<br />Decreased eye contact puts student at ease.<br />
    8. 8. Berney & Blane (2003)<br />“The lifegrid approach is extremely flexible and allows for the subject to determine the recall cues. The researcher can quickly identify those areas which assist the recall process whilst simultaneously developing rapport. This should not be understated.” (page 19)<br />Berney , L. & Blane, D. (2003) The Lifegrid method of collecting Retrospective Information from People at Older Ages. Research Policy and Planning, 21(2), 13-22.<br />
    9. 9. The Transitional Experience Life Grid<br />Flashbulb column<br />X axis: different life areas<br />Y axis: weeks in Term 1<br />“Interviewer and/or interviewee completed the grid”<br />“Interview duration approximately 45 minutes”<br />“One grid per interviewee”<br />“39 students were interviewed”<br />“The grids were A2 in size”<br />“Interviews were audio-recorded”<br />
    10. 10. Nature of the Life Grid Interview<br />OVERVIEW<br />LOGISTICS<br />Need physical space to accommodate size of grid<br />Interviewer and respondent often sit in close proximity/adjacent so seating arrangements are important<br />Use of small post-it notes to avoid grid space constraints.<br />Semi structured qualitative conversations were supported with the Life Grid<br />Students were encouraged to bring diaries to aid in recalling dates<br />Grid completion was a joint endeavour between researcher and interviewee<br />Note-taker was present to take additional notes <br />Conversations were recorded<br />Students were encouraged to work chronologically, but not stopped if deviated.<br />
    11. 11. Work in Waitrose (12 hrs a week)<br />Visit London every 2 wks to see girlfriend<br />Car<br />Family<br />Brunel acceptance letter<br />Attended Library tour<br />Met with personal Tutor<br />Visits Library 3 x week<br />Money<br />Cooking<br />Cleaning<br />Washing<br />Enrolled at Gym<br />Moved into Halls<br />Birthday<br />The Transitional Experience Life Grid<br />
    12. 12. Project photos<br />
    13. 13. Life Grid Preparation and Considerations<br />Please arrange into groups<br />Each group with:<br />ONE interviewer Simulate a short interview<br />ONE interviewee<br />ONE note-taker<br />Remaining participants as observers<br />During your activity consider the following:<br />Evaluate the technique<br />Is it suitable for use in your context?<br />Consider other innovative ways in which the methodology may be deployed within the institution.<br />
    14. 14. Life Grid Activity<br />MATERIALS: Life Grid poster, pen, Post-it notes, biro, interviewer questions, note-taker document, tape-recorder, consent form.<br />
    15. 15. Discussion<br />
    16. 16. Data collection and analysis<br />“Data analysis was an exploratory, confirmatory and iterative process”<br />Research outcomes including visualisations<br />Joint thematic content analysis<br />
    17. 17. Examples of Visualisations<br />non-HEP cohort<br />non-HEP and HEP cohorts combined<br />“Also, a written report representing the HEP cohort was created.”<br />
    18. 18. Research Outcomes<br />An example of a visualisation<br />Someemergent themes<br />Evaluation of the University provision<br />
    19. 19. Visualisation – One Student's Life<br />
    20. 20. Some Emergent Themes<br />Complexity and Flexibility<br />Social Integration<br />Timely, targeted and tailored support<br />
    21. 21. Emergent Themes<br />Complexity and Flexibility<br />” Timetable seems to favour people who live on campus...I’ve done what is best for me and making progress”<br />Worst moment: “Probably the jobs...spending ages going through the timetable and not being able to give me the job because I am not available enough basically.”<br />
    22. 22. Emergent Themes<br />Social Integration<br />Best moment: “When a girl told me she didn’t care about my age.”<br />“..I also had to get to know everyone from scratch.. I lost a lot of friendships and ties that I made over the years.”<br />“You try to spend as many hours on campus just to feel involved but you still won’t be able to say ‘I’m from Mill Hall!’”<br />
    23. 23. Emergent Themes<br />Timely, targeted & tailored support<br />“It would have been nice if I’d got it sooner… by the time I’ve handed in my 2nd assignment so that I‘d know what I was doing wrong”. <br />“I email lecturers fairly often if I don’t understand something. Usually, when I have an assignment to do.”<br />
    24. 24. Evaluation of University Provision<br />“I use u-Link for everything...everything that goes on, goes on u-Link.... I am on it constantly as it’s got everything on it... It is hugely valuable”<br />“I was not aware you could do anything with it”<br />“<br />u-Link (Virtual Learning Environment)<br />Higher Education Preparation (HEP) course / Intro ULL<br />“Mature Students that I know that did not attend that course have really felt like a fish out of water and would really have benefitted from it.”<br />
    25. 25. Don’t have one<br />Getting feedback for first assignment (x2)<br />Argument with flatmate<br />Living in halls<br />Feels safe here, no bullets<br />Going out with friends for birthday<br />Chosen to be a Widening Participation Officer<br />Worrying about memory issues and confidence<br />Bike stolen<br />Enrolment<br />Best and Worst Moments<br />HEP<br />ULL week - priceless<br />First outings with TROGS<br />Freshers’ week<br />Meet new people and expand social network<br />Falling behind with probability<br />Getting no sleep because of friend’s party<br />Dad visiting<br />Ensemble performances<br />Working with friends<br />Sitting in canteen among friends, eating high quality food and feeling high quality<br />Stressing about submitting an assignment on u-Link as they put up the wrong date<br />Standing with friend at the Hamilton red wall checking out the guys<br />Missing part of Man U match during enrolment<br />CD player stolen<br />Girl telling student she didn’t care about his age<br />Non-HEP<br />Timetabling issues and hence declining 2 jobs<br />Meeting horrible guys who turn out to be immature<br />Man U winning 4-3<br />Meeting the girls on OT course<br />Selling car<br />2nd week of lectures, course felt established<br />BBQ week 1<br />First mock test<br />Getting assignment in on time<br />Monday is a really long day<br />Moving to halls<br />Freshers’ ball<br />Personal tutor giving excellent feedback and being told had promising start<br />Going to Tiger Tiger<br />Everything - loads of bureaucracy slowing student down<br />Library quiet area – not quiet<br />Parking ticket<br />
    26. 26. University Expectations<br />Yes, and a bit more. We were told at college that we would be on our own. Actually it’s not like that – really supportive<br />Yes, down to earth Uni, ****** teach you in a stuck up way because they want you to be stuck up…..**** mother you<br />Yes (x2)<br />Yes, enjoying Uni life<br />Thought course might be more practical, but that might come in time<br />No, thought would have more lectures<br />Pleasantly surprised<br />Easier than expected<br />Pretty much<br />Uni / course expectations met?<br />Had no expectations<br />Balance about right, but not happy with 7pm lecture<br />Everyone made out it would be a shock, but it wasn’t<br />Not sure how I was going to find it<br />Yes, a bit fast paced, but coping well<br />Did a lot of research, Brunel gave more information<br />No, thought course would start slowly, but you have to put in a lot of work<br />Were a high quality standard<br />Yes met expectations, wouldn’t expect anything less. But it’s still early on in the term<br />
    27. 27. New Year Resolultions<br />Try and plan assignments in advance and keep on top of it and to eat healthier<br />None<br />To chill out, took Uni too seriously (was overwhelmed)<br />Resolutions to be decided after January exams<br />Find time to read more<br />Keep an eye on deadlines and get a better calendar<br />None<br />New Year’s Resolutions for the second term<br />None – hoping the foundation year will prepare me<br />None<br />To be on top of work<br />None<br />To organise notes and use diary better<br />Resolutions depend on outcome of exams in week 10<br />Do exams/tests as soon as they are set<br />None – its being going well so far<br />Do more reading and prep material<br />None<br />To try and keep on top of work<br />
    28. 28. References<br />Bell, A.J. (2005) “Oh yes, I remember it well!” Reflections on using the life-grid in qualitative interviews with couples. Qualitative Sociology Review, 1(1), 51-67.<br />Berney, L.R., & Blane, D.B. (1996) Collecting retrospective data: Accuracy of recall after 50 years judged against historical records. Social Science and Medicine, 45, 1519-1525.<br />Berney, L.R., & Blane, D.B. (2003) The Lifegrid method of collecting retrospective information from people at older ages. Research Policy and Planning, 21(2), 13-22.<br />Parry, O., Thomson, C. & Fowkes, F.G.R(1999) Life course data collection: Qualitative interviewing using the life grid. Sociological Research Online: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/4/2/parry.html<br />Parry, O., Fowkes, F.G.R., & Thomson, C. (2001) Accounts of quitting among older ex-smokers with somking-related disease. Journal of Health Psychology, 481-493.<br />Wilson, S., Cunningham-Burley, S., Bancroft, A., Backett-Milburn, K., & Masters, H. (2007) Young people, biographical narratives and the life grid: young people’s accounts of parental substance. Qualitative Research, 7(1), 135-151.<br />
    29. 29. Any further questions?<br />Contact details:<br /> linda.murray@brunel.ac.uk<br /> julia.stephenson@brunel.ac.uk<br /> anu.sharma@brunel.ac.uk<br /> natalie.parnis@brunel.ac.uk<br />http://www.brunel.ac.uk/about/acad/apdu/researchprojects/wllln<br />Project website:<br />
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