Brian Joseph Gillespie

Department of Sociology

Short Throw Evaluation

I used the Boxi short throw in Fall 2015 to streamline some of the hands-on techniques I’ve used in past research methods classes. I also used the projector in two of my classes as the primary projector equipment because there wasn’t one available in the room.

For in-class group exercises, the Boxi made things very efficient. For example, in research methods, I incorporate an exercise where students use M&Ms to demonstrate how an increase in sample size leads to a better approximation of the full population. This is usually a tedious exercise where students walk around the room to count individual samples of M&Ms. Instead, the Boxi allowed me to illustrate the activity through projected pictures of samples at various sizes, and then the pooled sample, in order to demonstrate how an increase in sample size better approximates the full population.

In a related assignment, small groups use different sampling strategies discussed in lecture (e.g., simple random, systematic, stratified, cluster) to estimate the total number of advertisements in the Sunday paper. Using the Boxi, students were able to share their results visually (images projected of estimated percentages, sampling percentages, and total percentages). This was much easier than having students stand in front of the class to describe their experience—I was able to take a snap shot of the handout and project it to the entire room.

The students and I were pleased with the efficiency of the activity—which is usually painfully tedious but illustrates the points covered in lecture. The only problem with the Boxi was that it was a little noisy in my small classroom. Overall, my experience was generally positive and I’d recommend it to other faculty, especially those in non-tech rooms.