Help Us Document the Decorated Graduation Cap Tradition
Decorating graduation caps, also known as mortarboards, has become an increasingly common tradition among graduating students. Dr. Sheila Bock from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is doing a study on the diverse forms and meanings of this tradition among people graduating from colleges or universities. The purpose of this study, titled “Decorated Mortarboards: Forms and Meanings,” is to find out how and why people choose to decorate their mortarboards.
There are three ways you can participate in this study:
1. Take a 10-15 Minute Survey:
If you have ever decorated your mortarboard for a graduation ceremony at a college or university and you are at least 18 years old, you are invited to participate in this survey.
2. Participate in an Interview:
If you have ever decorated your mortarboard for a graduation ceremony at a college or university and you are at least 18 years old, you are invited to participate in an interview about your experiences. The interview will be audio-recorded and will last no longer than an hour. If you are interested in being contacted for an interview, please use the following link to submit your name and contact information. This information will be kept confidential and will not be used for any other purposes.
3. Share Your Photos of this Tradition:
If you are at least 18 years old, we invite you to share photographs of this tradition in practice (following the protocol set up by the American Folklife Center for digitally documenting traditional culture). If you have photos of decorated mortarboards, we would love to see them! For the purposes of the study, these photos will be analyzed for the types of themes, designs, and messages found on the mortarboards that are documented. These photos will also be housed in the publicly available digital collections of the Ohio State University Folklore Archives, where they may be subject to future research and publication in current or in any successor technologies.
If you consent to have your photos included in this study and ultimately catalogued in the digital collections of the Ohio State University Folklore Archives, please share them on Flickr with a description, using the hashtag #gradcaptraditions, and add a Creative Commons license. Here’s how to add a tag on Flickr, and here is how you add a Creative Commons license.
Please also include in the description of each photo you post at least the following information:
• The year it was taken
• The name of the college or university having the graduation ceremony
• Where is was taken
• What it depicts
• What you find significant about the photo
As a recap, here are the steps to take:
Step 1: Sign up for Flickr if you don’t have an account. Please note that Flickr is part of Yahoo, so if you have a Yahoo account you may already have an empty Flickr account. Also, while you’re signing up, the pages may have Yahoo logos and insignia; this is a normal part of the process. Go here to sign up!
Step 2: Upload digital photos of the decorated mortarboard tradition you want to share to your Flickr account in the normal manner. (The Flickr menus should guide you, but here’s how!)
Step 3: Add a brief description for each photo, including the year it was taken, the name of the college or university having the graduation ceremony, where is was taken, what it depicts, and what you find significant about the photo. This can be added as you upload, but if something goes wrong you can change descriptions later. (Here’s How!)
Step 4: Add the tag #gradcaptraditions. This makes it possible for us to find your photo. (Here’s how!)
We prefer the Creative Commons licenses that don’t prohibit altering the photos, but we may accept photos under any of the Creative Commons licenses.
That’s it, you’re done! Except, of course, “repeat as necessary.” We look forward to seeing your photos!
The photos you post to Flickr using the hashtag #gradcaptraditions will be included in this study and ultimately catalogued in the digital collections of the Ohio State University Folklore Archives. The risks of participating in this study are minimal, though please be aware that any image and information you post to Flickr will be accessible to the public. Participation in this study is voluntary, and you may withdraw at any time without prejudice to your relations with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas or Ohio State University. You are encouraged to ask questions about this study at any time. Should you have any questions about this research, you may contact Sheila Bock, Interdisciplinary Degree Programs, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (702-895-0119, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Note: The text above has been borrowed and adapted with permission from the following websites: