Mini fieldwork Experience

March 7th, 2010

Critical Reflection

My fieldwork experience in few words can be described as fast and exciting,just as fast food is ,and the Student Life Union Cefeteria as being an exciting place to gather and see familiar faces. Maybe I am speaking in my own terms when I say exciting because as I told Bianca,my partner in this mini-project it was the first time setting foot in any cafeteria on campus. In the first role play scenario, I took the role of Dr. Researcher studying the quality of the dining facilities on Queens College Campus.

Introduction to topic

I began the fieldwork  by saying: I am doing a study on the quality of the dining facilities on Queens College Campus,would you mind if I asked you a few questions on the topic?


The setting was the Student life Dinner or cafeteria, on that day it wasn’t crowded, there was plenty of chairs and tables available, the decor was very appealing and inviting, in a 1950’s style. Most booths were occupied, however they looked comfy. There was also a section in the back, where students could hang out in an open space where there were also chairs available, and I saw a pool table.

I observed there being plenty of choices for a student to eat in the order section. There were healthy choices, cold foods, pizza and such, and even soups.


Here are the five open ended questions that were formulated to ask the participant in order to create dialogue :

1. Do you eat  on campus often, and if you do on a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the Student Life Cafeteria?

2. How often do you eat on Campus?

3. Compared to other food  locations, what types of food would you like to see at the Campus Cafeteria

4. What do you think the seating arrangements of the Cafeteria promote?

5. Why would you say that the food on Campus is affordable or expensive?


My partner and myself took the task of walking first to the Student Union Cafeteria, where we took many pictures of things that we thought were meaningful to the topic, then we got back to the classroom we did photoelicitation by trying to explain the point of pictures taken by asking questions. First, here are some of my participants answers to my questions:

Participant said she rates Campus food a 7 on a scale of 1-10.That is why she eats on Campus twice a week. She said she enjoys the food on campus, however has stopped eating as much because of the price, and also the tax imposed on the food which started just last semester. Last, she likes the seating arrangements because they are comfortable and she said it promotes group gathering and social interaction.

I think that in general,the role of  the participant is easier than the researcher because, you are answering questions that you could give your honest opinion on, however the researcher has to formulate open-ended questions that could be hard to thinks of.

I enjoyed the experience because it was a warm-up for what is to be expected when we work on our final projects, at the same time I felt comfortable because I worked with a classmate as opposed to asking questions and introducing yourself to a stranger, which compells me to think that for my final project I definitely want to work on a topic that I feel comfortable making my way through,participants and all.

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4 Responses to “Mini fieldwork Experience”

  1. skusnitz on March 10, 2010 4:16 pm

    At first I also felt that introducing myself to a stranger would feel a little awkward when doing our actual research projects, but then I realized I had never spoken to my partner from this class ever so that was also a type of stranger-situation and I realized there was nothing to be worried about.

  2. Julia on March 10, 2010 4:23 pm

    This was really thorough! I like how you gave each response a section, this actually makes your blog look like the handout that was given out for the final project. Overall this was well done, try to be less repetitive in your questions though. I also liked the fact that you asked your participants for permission before including them in your research.

  3. antonia on March 15, 2010 1:31 pm

    Great entry, Lorena. Very detailed and I like your self-reflections. But you are missing the pictures you mention?

  4. on October 11, 2015 1:49 pm

    Mini fieldwork Experience at Lorena Salas

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