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Spark launch event, January 25, 2021

Spark: a centre for social research innovation launch event

We're pleased to invite you to a launch party for Spark: the centre for social research innovation on January 25, 2021. Join us for research-related breakout sessions, musical performances and drag bingo, and learn more about the research support and services we offer the McMaster community.

Jan 11, 2021

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Fill out the Google Form to register for your preferred sessions.

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Schedule of events

Monday, January 25, 2021

  • 1:00–3:00 pm — Research breakout sessions
  • 3:00–4:00 pm — Spark celebration, featuring door prizes and drag queen bingo with special guest Lucy Flawless

Research breakout sessions

  1:00–1:25 pm  1:30–1:55 pm 2:00–2:25 pm 2:30–2:55 pm
Room 1: Qualitative Corner

Digital ethnography: a pandemic-friendly methodology

Qualtrics: an exceptional survey software

Join our asynchronous focus group

Data collection in AppSheet 
Room 2: Quantitative Corner  Data management 101 What do we do about outliers?

Asking and analyzing demographic questions for intersectionality

Better graphs…in excel?
Room 3: Research Tools Data sharing agreements  Social media for researchers Build a compelling academic website

Building compelling video for knowledge mobilization

Room 4: Spark Services  Engaging the community with Brighter Spark Applied Research

A tour our CoLab Coworking Space - both physical and virtual

What we do at Spark A tour of our online resources 
Room 5: What's Next for Spark?  Introducing Thinking in Systems Let's discuss your research - with Allison Van Decision making amidst uncertainty Let's discuss your research - with Michelle Dion

  Session descriptions

  • Digital ethnography: a pandemic-friendly methodology: Digital ethnography is a useful tool for gaining social insights during the pandemic that can be applied across disciplines.  
    Presenter: Astara van der Jagt
  • Data management 101: Brilliant research can be destroyed by poor record keeping; this session will introduce challenges and resources in effectively managing your data.
    Presenter: Michelle Dion
  • Data sharing agreements: Would you love access to data from a particular company or organization?  Learn how data sharing agreements are developed and managed. 
    Presenter: Lars Nielsen 
  • Engaging the community with Brighter Spark Applied Research: Brighter Spark acts as a partner to community organizations in undertaking ambitious applied research, evaluation, and change management efforts.  We'll introduce some current projects and discuss how we approach helping organizations produce a brighter spark. 
    Presenters: Allison Van, Rochelle Wijesingha, Jeffrey Black and Gavin Zhou
  • Introducing Thinking in Systems: In 2021-2022, Spark will begin rolling out a series of extracurricular courses meant to introduce new areas of research and methods.  Experience a student exercise from one of these new courses, Thinking in Systems.  
    Presenters: Kartik Sharma and Mohamed Fathalla
  • Qualtrics: an exceptional survey software: Learn some basics of using Qualtrics for surveys and how to request access to the software through the faculty.  
    Presenter: Astara van der Jagt
  • What do we do about outliers?: Rogue data that sit off in a corner by themselves can significantly impact results; but some simple processes can help you understand your outliers and what to do with them.  
    Presenter: Michelle Dion
  • Social media for researchers: A whirlwind tour through how the different social media platforms are being used to share research, and why you may (or may not) want to use them for yours.  
    Presenter: Equity Burke
  • A tour our CoLab Coworking Space - both physical and virtual: Spark has a coworking centre in LR Wilson Hall called CoLab, designed to support collaborative research. We'll show you around, and also introduce you to our virtual version being used during the pandemic. 
    Presenter: Cheryl Fenn 
  • Let's discuss your research - with Allison Van: Spark offers up to four hours of research consultation free of charge to any researcher at Mac.  Not sure if we could help with your challenge?  Sign up for a 10-minute mini-session and we'll find out.  
    Presenter: Allison Van
  • Join our asynchronous focus group: Come experience what it's like to participate in an asynchronous online focus group, and while you're at it, share your thoughts on how Spark can support your research journey.  
    Presenter: Abbe Edelson
  • Asking and analyzing demographic questions for intersectionality: As many become increasingly aware of the complex, evolving and intersectional identities that people hold, the challenges of asking and analyzing demographic data multiply.  This session will look at some of the answers.  
    Presenter: Rochelle Wijesingha
  • Build a compelling academic website: The designer of Spark's website will discuss some of the basics of developing an academic website that is appealing to the public.  
    Presenter: Celine Keomany
  • What we do at Spark: Join us for an overview of the different initiatives Spark is engaged in and the many services we offer to researcher teams and community groups.  
    Presenter: Michelle Dion
  • Decision making amidst uncertainty: A new short course, available on our website, integrates findings from decision science with practical advice on how to make decisions when so much is unclear.  The course was designed for community organizations in the context of the pandemic but is broadly applicable.  We'll practice a couple of the tools introduced.
    Presenter: Allison Van
  • Data collection in AppSheet: Those of us who use apps to track our weight, exercise, sleep, meditation or any other metric know how useful they can be for real time, actionable data.  We'll introduce you to a simple tool for building your own data collection app that can be used by anyone, anywhere from their phone.  
    Presenter: Gavin Zhou
  • Better graphs…in excel?: Data visualization can feel daunting.  We'll introduce you to very simple tools and templates Spark uses to help people begin creating better visuals right away.  And we'll actually creative an attractive visual excel.  
    Presenter: Allison Van
  • Building compelling video for knowledge mobilization: We all know the power of video for communication and inspiration.  The editor of Spark's online videos will discuss principles for compelling video.  
    Presenter: Supriya Thukral
  • A tour of our online resources: Spark's new website offers many resources for researchers.  We'll highlight some of the most useful and get your feedback on what else you'd like easily at hand.  
    Presenter: Cheryl Fenn
  • Let's discuss your research - with Michelle Dion: Spark offers up to 4 hours of research consultation free of charge to any researcher at Mac.  Not sure if we could help with your challenge?  Sign up for a 10 minute mini-session and we'll find out.
    Presenter: Michelle Dion

Drag Queen Bingo

From 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm, join us for drag queen bingo hosted by special guest Lucy Flawless. Admission is free.