Tracer Photo and Time Allocation Survey—Faculty Info

Dear Carleton Faculty,

We need your help! Would you assist us in recruiting students for a fun and educational research project? If so, please hand the attached flyer (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 13kB Sep22 09) to your students.


The Carleton Writing Program and Science Education Resource Center are conducting a three-year research project on the Writing Across the Curriculum and Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge faculty development programs, faculty teaching, and student learning (Spencer Foundation grant). As part of this larger project, we are recruiting students to collaborate with us on a holistic study of their learning and life outside of the classroom. Students will take pictures or write updates, hourly, of a day in their Fall term. Then, they are invited to participate in a 45 minute interview about their time and activities with a researcher.


This study will provide us with essential contextual information about student life at Carleton for evaluating the impact of WAC and QuIRK initiatives on campus. Student participants will obtain a view of how they are spending their time during the day and will actively contribute to an understanding of how learning occurs at Carleton. In addition, interested students will have the opportunity to learn social science research techniques if they choose to participate in the project planning, interviewing, and analysis portion of this project.

Research Questions

1.What, how, and where does learning take place at Carleton outside of the classroom?

2.How does learning fit into students' life in general?

Two possible methodologies

Option One: Take a photo every hour when possible with a list of potential subjects for loose guidance.

Option Two: A Twitter or Facebook-like update (on a Word Document or email) of hourly activities during the day.

Consent and Confidentiality

We are firm believers in repeated and informed consent. Students' identities and identifying information will remain completely confidential. Photos and quotes from written updates will not be used without students' consent. All participation is completely voluntary and students may exit from the study at any time.


Gudrun Willett, Ph.D.

Writing Program and SERC


Download or print this file (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 73kB Sep22 09)