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Michigan Technological University

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building

1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI  44931-1295  

phone: 906.487.2531  fax: 906.487.3371


Updated April 2010


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Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer.


Through presentations of ’case studies’ by students who have used various methods in their research, this colloquium intends to assist physical science and engineering students in collecting reliable survey, observation-based, or interview data from stakeholders (citizens, community leaders, specialists, decision-makers) for use in designing or assessing development projects.


Case studies form the framework of the colloquium with information on all phases of data acquisition and reporting.

The colloquium will focus on qualitative and quantitative survey methods and highlight several studies using these methods in research set in the developing world. The colloquium framework will be structured around our current students’ (Luke Bowman, Rudy Escobar-Wolf, Erika Vye and recent MSU graduate Kristen Schmidt) presentations on how they’ve used these tools in their research to date. As we have several Master’s International students currently in the field who want to do this type of work, and are understandably intimidated since they've never had any formal instruction in it, we are hoping these ‘case studies’ will expose them to some methods they may want to employ and enable them to find references for further investigation. The colloquium is not a substitute for coursework of course, but we do see this being a starting  point for generating ideas to develop new curricula.  


We hope 'in-the-field' students and future Master's International students could learn something from not only what our other students have done as they talk about their field experiences/lessons learned, but also responses and recommendations from experienced faculty and researchers.

Fall ‘09 colloquium (9/10 & 9/11)

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Spring ‘10 colloquium (4/6 & 4/8)

Based upon feedback from our previous colloquium held in September, we have structured this semester’s colloquium to be more workshop style. Tuesday will be devoted to qualitative interview design and Thursday to quantitative surveys.


Dr. Carol MacLennan (Associate Professor of Anthropology ) and Dr. Kari Henquinet (Visiting Assistant Professor, Social Sciences), both will lead instruction and activities in designing ethnographic interviews.


Dr. Kedmon Hungwe (Associate Professor in Teacher Education) will guide workshop participants through an overview of quantitative survey methods and lead activities in survey design.


Both days, the attendees will be given an opportunity to put together their own set of open-ended interview questions and a survey questionnaire

Tues April 6, 2010

5:30-6:00pm: Overview of qualitative and ethnographic methods. Dr. Kari Henquinet and Dr. Carol MacLennan will first distinguish between qualitative and quantitative research methods and then provide an introduction to ethnographic research methods, including open-ended and semi-structured interview designs and participant observation.


6:00-6:15pm: Innovation diffusion and sustainable development. PhD student Jarod Maggio will be presenting his upcoming field work on investigating local perceptions of appropriate technology and innovation diffusion in Tanzania.


6:15-7:00pm: Design a Peace Corps project’ activity. Students build their own questionnaires for mock scenario.


7:00-7:30pm: Activity share / feedback. This time is devoted to students sharing their work, and getting feedback, tips and guidance from Dr. Henquinet and Dr. MacLennan.


Thurs April 8, 2010


5:30-6:15pm: Overview of qualitative methods. Dr. Kedmon Hungwe will introduce survey methods used in quantitative research and provide practical considerations for the beginner.


6:15-7:00pm: Survey design activity. Students build their own surveys for mock scenario.


7:00-7:30pm: Activity share / feedback. This time is devoted to students sharing their work, and getting feedback, tips and guidance from Dr. Hungwe.