a qualitative Project to understand effects of crime reporting on individuals and communities on campus

Class Project for Qualitative Research Methods for Information Systems

Question(s)   |    How do members of the campus community view the value of electronic crime reporting? How do members of the community experience those crime reports and how does it shape their understanding of their community? In what ways are the experts in charge of the reporting apparatus aware of and interpret these experiences?

Role   |   Researcher - I identified the research questions, developed the research plan, and recruited participants.

Methods    |    Semi-structured and Unstructured Interviews with ‘experts’, including two UCPD staff members, and ‘non-experts’, including five students at UC Berkeley. In using semi-structured interviews, I hoped to elicit a wide-range of responses from my participants, attempting to allow them to influence the shape of the interviews by focusing on their own interests, experiences, and values. I wanted to understand the meaning and value that individuals attribute to these reporting emails. Most of the research done on campus crime is conducted through quantitative survey methods with broad and expansive samples. I was not intending to prove a hypothesis or make claims comparing one group to another, predict behavior of individuals, or quantify or explain the entire range of experiences of students with regard to these emails. I wanted to understand what is the particular experience of some members of the campus community, which could help inform and improve the design of the system over time, particularly if those experiences have historically been left out of the process for designing the system in use.