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In order to receive full information regarding my research question about how college students’ work habits in the library affect how well they think they are doing in their classes, I will go to the Odegaard undergraduate library of UW. It is the site where representatives of different faculties spend much time. Here, it is possible to easily find respondents and ask them to answer a number of questions. Such a site is a good place to receive valuable data about which work habits are typical for the participants of the study and what impact they have on the process of their learning.
Location, Date, and Time of Observation Period
The place of data collection was the Odegaard undergraduate library of UW, in particular, its first and second floor, where physical space can be found. I went there on April 20th, 2018, on Friday, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. It is the time interval when the largest number of students can be met in the library since most of them spend time preparing for classes in the afternoon. First, I studied the first floor and the layout of the workspace, and then I went up the stairs to the second floor and conducted additional analysis of the atmosphere there.
Description of the Site
Having come to the first floor of the library, I noticed that there was free space, despite the fact that a large number of people were in the room. Students worked in groups, uniting at the same table, and also sat separately with their records. Most people were dealing with books and not with computers. Some students communicated with their mates, and some worked in silence. On the first floor, there were also specially closed studios where people could work in a calm atmosphere. It cannot be said that the floor was very noisy, but a large number of people involuntarily made a lot of sounds when talking to one another.
The atmosphere on the second floor was more informal than on the first one. Here, most of the students worked on laptops, and many used cell phones. It was a little noisier there compared to the first floor, but there was also enough space to move around freely and not to distract people. Some students did not sit at tables and walked around the premises. When looking from the stairs on the first floor, it was possible to notice that people were more focused there.
In order to conduct a survey, it would be interesting to discuss some of the details of my research with those who were upstairs and those who preferred a calmer atmosphere on the first floor. There was a place to relax, and there was enough space for work. Most of the students on the second floor worked individually. The work process took place in a noisy environment with many extraneous sounds.
The Odegaard undergraduate library of UW is a good site to find people who are ready to answer questions and help to conduct a study. Not all students were deeply involved in the learning process, and it was unlikely to be difficult for them to answer a few questions concerning their work habits. As a target audience, the visitors of both the first and second floors could be interviewed.