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PIDLit Public Interest Data Literacy Initiatives

PIDLit Lab ~ Student Work

Check out the OUTSTANDING work from our PIDLit Lab students!

In collaboration with partner organizations (Panther’s PantryWholesome Wave GeorgiaMARTA Market, and ATLytiCS), the PIDLit students engaged in the whole cycle of research, from start to finish:

  • created and administered two surveys examining food insecurity experiences of GSU students (424 total participants) and MARTA public transportation users (115 total participants) – including online and in-person recruitment.
  • received focus group interview data conducted by Wholesome Wave Georgia to evaluate their Food for Health program.
  • developed research questions (RQs) guided by partners’ needs to examine both quantitative and qualitative data.
  • performed descriptive and inferential statistical analyses to examine quantitative data, using SPSS software.
  • performed analytical coding to examine qualitative data, using NVivo software.
  • offered information and recommendations guided by partners’ needs, grounded in the survey data and focus group data collected and analyzed using SPSS and NVivo software.
  • created and presented final data products to community partners, which included policy memos, one-pagers, and infographics.


PIDLit Lab ~ Student Feedback

Glowing feedback from PIDLit Lab students! 

Students extol the skills they gained from the class, particularly in terms of discovering potential career paths, readying them for career success, and building their confidence in working with data.

“Getting the opportunity to work with real people and real data is an amazing experience.”

“This course was perhaps the most applicable to post graduation I have taken. I will, hopefully, be able to use these data and research skills in my future career. I learned how to work on a research team, and got a decent overview of what might be expected of me as a research assistant! This is a great experience to be leaving my bachelors degree with!”

I think a lot of new possibilities opened up for me. I have always seen myself as a humanities kind of person who ought to be scared of numbers, but the two go hand-in-hand and I am not afraid of pursuing things that require quantitative reasoning. I am excited to keep learning about data because I really can see a future for myself in data science now. The professors seem to love it and they make me feel hopeful...I have already brought up this class and the research, qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills, and software program skills I have learned in interviews I had last week.”

“The entire class was extremely beneficial. I believe the badges and data analysis are what I will hold onto the most. They, hopefully, will help me get my foot in the door into some interesting work outside of college. That and the fact that we got to experience what true research was like.”

“This class will provide you with valuable skills and help you actualize your options post grad. This was by far the most helpful course I have taken to make me career ready.”

Before I did not have much knowledge or experience with [data literacy], and learning tools such as SPSS, NVIVO, etc., taught me a lot of useful skills...I learned more about my confidence when it comes to data, because I never enjoyed it because I am not the best with math. But the resources such as SPSS changed my view and helped me enjoy it more.”

This experience made data literacy much more approachable to me, where in the past it felt daunting and out of my potential abilities. I now have confidence that I am able to use the software we explored in class, but more importantly, that I'm capable of learning a new piece of software when it is presented to me. I think that as I move forward into my future career and face technology that is new to me, I will call back to this time to remind myself that I know how to learn new things.”

PIDLit Lab ~ Partner Feedback

Glowing feedback from our PIDLit Lab partners!

Partners valued playing a role in building students data skills while also benefiting from the creative, data-informed solutions students proposed to support the partners in tackling food insecurity in our communinities.

"We recognize the listening, reflection, and professional skills that are taught to the students that extend beyond the topics that are covered in traditional research courses. At Wholesome Wave Georgia, the practice of these skills makes us feel as if our time is valued and that students are learning the critical skills needed to meaningfully engage with real-world data. This partnership provided a unique opportunity for us as a small organization that cannot currently code our focus groups. Our student partners took the time to meet with our team and then tackle some of the more time-intensive and valuable analyses of our qualitative data, strengthening our understanding of our programming and validating our upcoming programmatic changes." ~ Abigail Darwin, Wholesome Wave Georgia Food for Health Manager

"ATLytiCS was excited to work with this class because we understand how important data and data literacy is to our nonprofit partners. Understanding data allows them to tell their story, understand their impact, and improve their programs. Most of these organizations don’t have analysts on staff so rely on the combined data literacy of their teams. This class provided students in non-technical fields real end-to-end data project experience, and that will benefit them in any organization they work with in the future. Just as important, it will benefit the people they serve. Part of our mission is data literacy, and this was a great opportunity for us to see how the PIDLit Lab took students through a strong program while keeping their interest. It was great to see them grow in skills and knowledge. Their enthusiasm for their work carried through to their final presentations. My favorite parts were the work sessions and presentations that showcased their unique insights and recommendations from their work. Participating in this class has given us insight as we begin to design introductory data workshops for nonprofit staff." ~ Julie Grantier, CEO, ATLytiCS

This was an amazing collaboration. Panther's Pantry decided to work with the PIDLit Lab because we wanted to provide students the opportunity to improve their research and data literacy...This project gave us the opportunity to have a needs assessment completed and feedback from students regarding ways to improve our Panther's Pantry services...We appreciated the meetings with the PIDLit Lab team to collaborate on the questions that would be asked for the needs assessment. The presentations given by the PIDLit Lab students were excellent. The data was presented in a professional manner. A bonus was the infographics that were provided with data from our GSU community regarding food insecurity. We plan to implement the suggestion made during the presentation regarding placing flyer holders in key areas with information about the Panther's Pantry including the infographic provided. This was very useful. ~ Dr. Jeana Griffith, Director of Georgia State University Integrated Health Services / Panther's Pantry