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Final poster


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Poster created for the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme showcase event February 2016

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Final poster

  1. 1. • Arts informed visual research: using images to learn about the social world. • Hartel's 'draw-and write technique' (2014) • Participants draw an image onto an 'iSquare' alongside a written description to express their views and opinions of group work. • An approach most commonly used in education. • Interview data was also used to explore the themes in more detail. AIM: to find out what students think of group work and how they work with each other in group situations.   PARTICIPANTS: 163 students (Undergraduate and Postgraduate) from four Information School modules.   CONTEXT: Students came from a variety of cultural and education backgrounds and all had experience of group work in higher education. The iSquares were classified into genres through Englehart’s 10 classifications of graphic representations (2002). The majority of the iSquares were link diagrams (27) or pictures (39). The hybrid categories link diagram with text (45) and picture with text (16) were also found. Examples are shown above. Symbol (9) Grouping diagram (2) Written text (7) Map (1) Circles were often used to show connectivity, teamwork and communication. Speech bubbles and figures around desks suggested the importance of discussion and face-to- face meetings. Question marks and lightbulbs were used to represent ideas and thought.   The theme of communication and its importance in group work was repeatedly identified. Surprisingly, there were few iSquares relating to the themes of technology and multicultural groups.   The majority of iSquares were interpreted as having a positive theme; those that were negative mostly focused on the issue of 'freeloading'.   The theme of 'stages' of group work, or group work as a process, was often shown through link diagrams and arrows (examples shown below).     Belbin's roles: the iSquares often represented these roles (team leader, team worker and resource investigator). In particular 'team leader' appeared often and seemed to be regarded as an important role by participants. The written descriptions were also analysed as students often explained their personal experiences through written text. A word cloud featuring the words used most often is shown; many relate to the main themes identified in the iSquares. Communication is a theme that was strongly identified in every analysis. Regular and clear communication, such as having group meetings often, appears to be key for success and an effective way to overcome problems such as freeloading. Other recurrent themes were the importance of a team leader and following ‘stages’ of group work. It could be useful for students to discuss these stages together and to identify a leader within the group. Themes such as technology and multicultural groups (and the issues that can arise with both) were only strongly identified in the interviews. This might be because they are topics that are hard to represent graphically. Further research into these areas and their place in group work may be useful. Belbin, R. M. (1981). Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann. Hartel (2014) An arts-informed study of information using the draw-and-write technique. Journal of the Association for Information Science & technology 65 (7) Engelhardt, Y. (2002) The language of graphics: A framework for the analysis of syntax and meaning in maps, charts and diagrams. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Weber, S., & Mitchell, C.A. (1995). That's Funny You Don't Look Like a Teacher: Interrogating Images and Identity in Popular Culture. Routledge: London. Motif/Symbol Number Stick Figure 82 Arrows 59 Circles 53 Table/Desk 26 Thought/Speech bubbles 26 Paper/Writing 18 Technology 16 Reading/Books 13 Hands 10 Building/Structure 8 Parts/Puzzles 7 Question Mark 5 Lightbulb 4 Whiteboard 4 Trees 4 Examples of hands to represent positivity and support. Common themes and the number of times they appeared in the iSquare data Student Researcher: Chloe Cook ( Supervisor: Pam McKinney ( Information School “It’s a very, very good experience because people are more willing to listen to each other because we know we’ve got that different cultural background” “It’s I think the most important, the most hated thing, is freeriding” “Yeah, if you got very efficientgroup leader you can save lots of time” “… on social media I felt it was a bit of a barrier at times” Experiences with multicultural groups Issues with technology Issue of freeriding Importance of the leader role The common motifs and the number of times they appeared are shown in the table. Many motifs were repeatedly used to represent a certain theme. Examples are given below