It All Started with a Folklore Professor and Textile Artists — Where Siftr Came from

Field Day Lab has recently released a new tool called Siftr designed to take learning outside of the classroom and into the wild. It all started here at UW-Madison. We were lucky to partner with some awesome professors who wanted to try to bridge the gap between classroom knowledge and field work.

As part of an ENGAGE Situated Learning award, MLI (now Field Day Lab) and DoIT Academic Technology worked with faculty to design new field research activities in two courses.

In Design Studies 501, students identified, documented and geotagged various plants used for paper making with Professor Mary Hark. The data was collected and aggregated to a simple website for later analysis. Based on their own research, students produced a number of creative works using the materials, data and experiences of the field experience.

In Folklore 100, students were prompted by Professor Ruth Olson to use the city of Madison as the field for collecting examples of various folkloric phenomena. In total, over 700 photographs and multimedia media clips were collected and aggregated into a website for classroom and student use. These notes were automatically uploaded to a shared web site where they could be filtered and analyzed. Students revisited and reflected on them throughout the semester and in their final projects. Following this field work, 16 students were inspired to use ARIS to create their final project.