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The grade in this course will be made up of five components:

(1) Field Notes (30%)

(2) Data uploaded to the database (40%)

(3) Initial Analysis (10%)

(4) Qualitative self-assessment (10%)

(5) Reading self-report (10%)

Field Notes (at least 5 days per week)  -  30%


Ethnographers keep field notes as one primary source of data. These field notes are the running logs of the observations you make and the sense that you make of them—essentially the things you learn from day to day, an empirical record of your experience. These will be critical in your analysis when you go to write your paper (or produce an ethnographic film), and should be maintained regularly. Field notes are to be uploaded to the central database while in the field on a daily basis for the days on which they are written. You need to submit field notes for at least 5 days per week for the duration of the field school for a minimum total of 45 entries), and each days’ notes should be a MINIMUM of 800 words per entry. Consider this a floor rather than a goal. On days that you make key observations, you will need much more space than this to document your evolving analysis. The field notes grade will be weighted 70% based on length, and 30% based on frequency. Quality of observations will be used to adjust the overall field notes grade positively or negatively.[1]

Data Uploaded to Field School Database  -  40%


On a daily basis you will upload the data you collect in your fieldwork to the Field School Database. This includes uploading audio/video/photo files and populating the relevant meta-data fields that help us catalogue all of the data that are collected. Your grade for this section will be determined by a points system devised to incentivize the uploading your data, metadata (details about the data that you collected), and data-analysis to the database.  A successful researcher will easily earn 200 points throughout the Spring/Summer. Points will be awarded using the following system[2]:


  • Audio/video recording (with metadata): 1 point/ten minutes

  • Transcription (manual) of audio/video recording: 1 point/five minutes

  • Photos (pre-production) of significant interest to research (with metadata; the description must include at least one substantive paragraph describing the photo, its context, and the meaning behind it – these photographs and their descriptions must be substantive enough to provide insight to the phenomenon that is the focus of your project): 1 point/5 photographs

  • Photos (post-production) that are curated from a larger shoot, processed in Lightroom or other photographic editing software, and edited for a specific ethnographic purpose. These should be listed as a “curated photograph” in the database: 1 point / photograph

  • Linking field notes to another student’s audio/video recording (and adjusting metadata to make the connection clear)[3]: 1 point


For example, a student could reach 200 points by logging 16 hours of video recordings (96 points), 5 hours of audio recordings (30 points), transcribing 3 hours of audio/video (36 points), linking 24 media items from another student to his/her field note entry, and uploading 20 pre-production photos (4 points) and 10 post-production photos (10 points), all with the appropriate metadata.


It is absolutely critical that you add data and properly catalogue it every day so that the large amount of data that we collect in the field school remains navigable for future analysis. There is also a field to add names for other researchers who are just as responsible for collecting and cataloging a multimedia file, but who did not personally upload the data. We will use this field to track points for files not personally uploaded by the student, but whose names appear in the “Additional Researchers” field in the database for that file.


For the Visual Anthropology Field School, media items will be handled a bit differently. Primary media (video, audio, and photography) will be stored in a hard drive system, but EACH SD CARD will be catalogued as if it were a media item on the database. The data itself will not be uploaded, but rather each of you will create a “dummy” record containing only the metadata and not the actual files themselves. I file path withing the media catalogue system will be included in the metadata.


Initial Analysis of Data Collected  -  10%


In addition to collecting raw data, you need to spend some time working through what you have collected and start making sense of it as your fieldwork evolves. You will provide two types of evidence to me that you are doing this: 1) Provide an initial data analysis of your ethnographic data. This will be turned in as a paper and should be at least 3,000 words summarizing your analysis to date. It may integrate some of your reading or it may more strictly be your attempt to make theoretical sense of your data without referencing outside sources. Either way, it should represent a substantive effort to make the connection between your data and the theoretical perspective that you are taking on it. It is due by August 12th and should be uploaded to the Field School Database by dropping it into the “Thesis” tab under your record for “Researchers”). 2) You will also be asked to make a formal presentation about your fieldwork during the field school. For the Visual Anthropology Field School, this may also entail a short film presentation. In either case, this presentation should begin to consolidate the key insights and theoretical understandings that you are deriving from your ethnography.


Qualitative Assessment of Your Fieldwork  -  10%


This portion of your grade is based on an overall assessment of how hard you worked on your project, how much time you spent gathering data, analyzing it, and otherwise making progress on your project. It will also take into account the extent to which you participated in activities to give back to the community. In order to help me with this assessment, please fill out the PDF self-assessment form and submit it to your Box assignment submission folder no later than August 12th (please use the exact file name “LastName_FirstName_Self-assessment.pdf”).

Reading Self-Report Scores on Required Readings                       10%

You will report reading scores for the readings completed prior to each session for which the readings were assigned. You will use the following scale, reported in class when we discuss the readings.

5 points- I have read the assignment thoroughly, and I feel like I have a good grasp of the main arguments in this piece, OR, even if I don't fully understand it, I have some well-thought questions and/or critiques of the piece.

4 points- I mostly read the piece(s) for today, and I have thought through some questions and implications of the reading.

3 points- I did a decent skim of the piece(s), and I think I at least read over the main points enough to engage to some degree in the discussion.

2 points- I looked at the reading for today superficially, but maybe only understand a point or two, since I didn't really get to reading it through completely.

1 point- Sorry, I didn't get to reading this one, but I really look forward to the discussion and deeply engaging with this text tomorrow! And, at least I am here in class soaking it up!



[1] The formula used to calculate this percentage for this portion of the grade is =((A/50,000)*0.7)+((B/45)*0.3), where A is the total word count for your field notes and B is the number of separate field note entries. Please note that this calculation assumed that the minimum standard outlined above constitutes a B grade for field notes, assuming that the quality of the field notes merit such a grade.

[2] Grading will be done through the database, so you will not receive points for anything that has not been uploaded to the database.

[3] As you will often be interacting with people in small groups, recordings of these interactions will often overlap. To prevent duplicating data that is uploaded, you can link your field notes with the audio or video recording of another student with whom you were conducting research. Remember that it is always a good idea to have multiple recordings of the same event, which you can compare for quality before choosing one to upload.

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