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Proposal For Our "Printing" Project

wwu2's picture

For the project, we plan to track students’ habits in terms of academic purchases. We plan to collect data to find a correlation between the amount students are willing to spend on textbooks and/or PDF files versus how much they will print out e-book versions.

To organize our data, we plan on creating a table to track our weekly consumption at either the campus bookstores or online. And we will create another table of how much we download for free to the Ipad or print out at campus libraries. After compiling our consumption patterns in terms of academic resources over ten weeks, we hope to analyze the relationship between how much students are willing to spend on books.  We might then try to find a correlation to students wanting to save their own money at the college’s expense of paper and printer ink.  

At first, we plan to interview librarians on how much paper is used daily at each of the libraries. We also want to ask about the availability of e-book resources. We will be collecting data about the amount of times the printers need to be restocked or how often are students printing out large amounts. We will also ask about the patterns of printing back when Bryn Mawr  had printing limits or charged students for printing. Then, using this data, we are going to interview students who often print out their materials and question them about their feelings towards the amount of paper and ink at Bryn Mawr expense they are wasting.

We plan to do a scientific and quantitative research on paper and ink production. How many trees need to be cut down? How much heat energy needs to be used? How harmful will those process do to the environment? And then we will connect this back to the data collected on paper amounts used at Bryn Mawr to show students the environmental impacts.

In addition, we plan on interviewing faculty at Bryn Mawr to see on average how much they expect students to spend on resources. We also want to ask about how many resources they try to make readily available on moodle or serendip for students to access. Are faculty willing to make a cap on the maximum amount students should or shouldn’t spend on any given class? Are faculty aware of students finding other, sometimes illegal, means of accessing academic resources? If faculty require a book to be purchased do they try to ensure students get the most out of it or do most, students simply return it when done with that class. With this data, in addition to the other data collected, we might be able to come up with a call to action for Bryn Mawr faculty to ensure all students are able to participate in class without causing harm to the environment or spending too much on textbooks.

Overall, we hope our study gives an overarching insight on the consumption behaviors of students in terms of academic resources. There may or may not be a correlation with willingness to spend on textbooks and willingness to waste campus resources in order to obtain academic readings. It will be very interesting to see the lengths students on Bryn Mawr campus are going in order to finish their schoolwork on time and with minimal cost.