"Research, critically analyze, and create a public account of innovative activity at Virginia Tech that is valuable to multiple audiences."
STS6614 Semester Project Directive, August 27th, 2013
We are a team of 15 students from different disciplines who enrolled in a Fall 2013 graduate course at Virginia Tech entitled "Origins of Innovation". We were tasked with researching and analyzing innovative activity in and around the university as part of a semester-long class project. We spent weeks studying the history of innovation in the United States to enhance our foundational knowledge and to gain a contextual understanding of past and present practices. Then, we designed a plan for collecting, analyzing, and presenting data about how people at/around Virginia Tech practice and understand innovation.
We used a variety of data collection strategies to obtain an account of how people in the Virginia Tech community regard innovation, and how these views compare to those expressed in publications on the topic.
We conducted short "micro-interviews" in public spaces in and around Virginia Tech, which consisted of three main questions about innovative practices. "Key informant interviews" were longer in length and targeted specific people in the Virginia Tech community who were identified as leading innovative practices.
The team also collected public tweets about innovation and compiled a word cloud with the words most commonly used. We used a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis methods to draw conclusions from our data.
The project required an interesting combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
The qualitative methods allowed more informative and user-friendly visualization of social theory
and qualitative results.
Josh and Annie, Project Team Members
The links in the navigation bar above allow direct access to different aspects of the project. You can also use the buttons at the bottom of the screen to move through the project in a more linear fashion, from data collection to analysis and results.