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  5. A Visual Response to the Perennial Question: "What is Information?" Workshop with Dr. Jenna Hartel

A Visual Response to the Perennial Question: "What is Information?" Workshop with Dr. Jenna Hartel

Friday, March 1, 2013
NWQB 3511


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Abstract: Recently 137 students at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto were asked “What is information?” and responded by drawing upon a 4" by 4" piece of paper, coined an "iSquare." The visual expressions of information were analyzed using compositional and thematic analysis techniques. This workshop provides an overview of the project and will:
  1. Survey existing conceptions of information from within information studies;
  2. Review empirical precedents from across the social sciences that utilized drawing as a data-gathering method; 
  3. Describe the visual methodology and research design at hand; and 
  4. Report findings via a classification scheme of diagrams and inductively generated themes. The session is creative and interactive and includes a comedy skit about the analysis process; participants are invited to create an iSquare, too.

Biography:Jenna Hartel received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Information Studies from the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Her academic career is organized around the question: What is the nature of information in the pleasures of life? She investigates this matter through the concatenated study of serious leisure realms, which are crossroads of information and enjoyment. Her empirical research explores the use and structure of leisure information on personal and social levels, and her dissertation is a case study of information phenomena in the hobby of gourmet cooking. Dr. Hartel's goals are to generate basic knowledge about information in the pleasures of life; challenge existing ideas that have largely emerged from academic problem scenarios; establish positive models of organic, flourishing information environments; enliven classrooms with upbeat topics; and enrich the information experience for leisure enthusiasts.

These events are sponsored by the School of Information Studies, Social Studies of Information Research Group (SSIRG)

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