#digs16 Fieldnotes Assignment

assignment overview

To complete this assignment, I would like you to plan THREE 30- to 60-minute outings to the space or spaces relating to your investigation location and record extensive fieldnotes consciously employing a variety of fieldnote methods.

These notes should be in a small notebook that is inconspicuous and can easily fit in your pocket—that is, not the usual 8×10 sized notebook. The structure of your notes should be informed by what we have read in Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, and in particular Chapter 2, where Participating, Observing, and Jotting are discussed in great detail. It should also be informed by the practice run we completed on February 23 in Campion Student Center.

assignment specifics

A significant part of the fieldnote process is transcribing those fieldnotes. As such, each student is required to transcribe their fieldnotes using Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes as a guide.

Most of these fieldnotes and transcriptions will be for your own benefit. However, each student is required to create 1 extended blog post in which you complete:

  • Scan or photograph and upload a set of jottings, from one outing or series of related outings. If you took any photographs during that outing, add those as well.
  • Transcribe all jottings, observations, reflections, and so on, into sentences that are more legible, understandable, and as detailed as possible. Put this content under a bold-printed heading labeled Transcriptions. See the examples on pages 52 – 57 for what you should do. Note how many sentences come from just a few lines of jottings.
  • Create a distinct scene under the bold-printed heading labeled Scene. Use the methods outlined in chapters 3 (starting at the bottom of page 57) in Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes.
  • Reflect on what you have learned during that outing or series of outings, what further questions you have, and where you will be going next. Discuss what you thought was successful about the outing and what you might have done differently. Also consider which portions of the readings informed how you have approached the fieldnotes and your transcriptions of them. Put this content under a bold-printed heading labeled Reflections.

due dates

  • 2/25 – 3/18: Field outings must be conducted during this window; do not complete them before
  • 3/25: Fieldnotes blog post must be completed by this time

to go significantly beyond the required coursework

As part of the Grading Criteria, to obtain an A in the course, you must “demonstrate activity that goes significantly beyond the required course work in one or more course objectives.”

Here are a few ways you might be able to demonstrate going beyond the required coursework through the use of video work in addition to the main video assignment:

  • Plan FIVE 30- to 60-minute outings to the space or spaces relating to your investigation location, record extensive fieldnotes consciously employing a variety of fieldnotes methods, and post 2 blog posts in the format described above
  • Make one of your visits a photography visit and use the techniques advocated by Pink in “Photography in Ethnographic Research” (see the Readings page). Compose a blog post in which you use 8 – 10 photos, explaining how you would like each to be read or understood.
  • something else you come up with