[Book] Quantitative Ethnography

Quantitative Ethnography
David Williamson Shaffer
Boswell Press
Available April 2017
> Download Introduction
> Watch video presentation

This is a book about understanding why, in the digital age, the old distinctions between qualitative and quantitative research methods, between the sciences and humanities, and between numbers and understanding, limit the kinds of questions we can ask, in some cases, and lead us accept superficial answers in others. Quantitative Ethnography is a research method that goes beyond those distinctions to help us understand how to make sense of our increasingly data-rich world. This book is about how to use ethnographic techniques to guide statistical analyses of Big Data. At the same time, it explores how to use statistical techniques to increase the scope and power of ethnographic and other qualitative methods of research.

David Williamson Shaffer (biowikipedia) is an internationally recognized expert on teaching and assessing 21st Century skills through educational games. He is best known for the development of Virtual Internships for students in high school and college and for corporate training and assessment, as well as his work using quantitative ethnography to measure complex thinking. Dr. Shaffer is a highly sought-after speaker, teaching a course at the University of Wisconsin on making effective presentations. He is currently the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Learning Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Game Scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Before coming to the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Shaffer was a teacher, teacher-trainer, curriculum developer, and game designer, including work with the Asian Development Bank and US Peace Corps in Nepal and as a 2008-2009 European Union Marie Curie Fellow. His Ph.D. is from the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of How Computer Games Help Children Learn and Quantitative Ethnography.

> See also this July 2016 talk (video)