A “Spaghetti diagram” is a simple and visual method to illustrate movements — for example, young people’s movements in urban space.
As a method, Spaghetti Diagram can be used to examine urbanity and marginalization. If you need an introduction to the spaghetti chart, it may be a good idea to read about key concepts in research design, such as scientific theory, paradigms, cognitive interests, and quantitative and qualitative science.
As a teacher, you can also introduce specific quantitative and qualitative methods and you can possibly give the students different bound assignments, where they must try out different research methods in the same area or at the same location.
See examples below.
Example of a spaghetti diagram made by a group of students
As an introduction to the theme, the lecturers can give various presentations on key concepts in study design, e.g., quantitative and qualitative science, as well as scientific theory, e.g. paradigms or cognitive interests.
Make a quantitative observation of a place in the city or of a target group of your choice. You can choose what you observe, but suggestions are for example:
Afterwards it must be possible to show and share the finished product with the other students and discuss what new insight did you get from this method.
Make a qualitative observation of the same place or target group as you did the quantitative study. When taking notes, you can use the questions below.
Your notes can consist of qualitative field notes, pictures and maybe sounds, draw a drawing, or find an artifact that symbolizes the place. Remember to note down time and place.
You must be able to present the finished product for the other students and maybe discuss what new insight you got from this method.
Extra task — if appropriate and if you are brave:
Do some “voxpop” interviews, i.e., quick interviews with on-site informants. For example, you can ask the following questions:
The assignments can be set as study assignments, which the students present for each other. In the presentations the groups present their research work, and the teachers relate the students’ preliminary work to theories, concepts and research studies.
It is also possible to give the students a final assignment on the course. It can be, for example, a written assignment.