What I’ve learned
By keeping this time table in mind throughout my research I will not only be able to see where I should be up to but also be able to see when I might have to change something or simply move on to the next step so that I make sure I have enough time to complete my report.
Not all scholarly material is always reliable
The idea that all formally published information back in the day was ‘reliable and relevant’ is a fiction. Today it remains so. It is doing students a disservice to lull them into a false sense of security regarding the information that is filtered for them by publishers and librarians. Scholarly sources have always contained biases and omissions such as a lack of voices from women, indigenous peoples and other minority groups. Peer review procedures have probably always been suspect.
Keep it right sized- understand your limits
A lot of people fell into the trap of thinking they had to have hundreds of survey participants, or setting themselves a huge research question. The whole time throughout my research report I tried to listen to Kate and Stephanie, and take their advice. I understand the limitations of my report; you can’t claim anything with only 37 survey responses and one focus group of six people. The purpose of this assignment has always been to show your working.
You must have curiosity
Something I’ve learnt not only doing this report but in life in general is, if you have to research, write about, learn anything well, you must have curiosity, a s shown in a paper by Charan Ranganath. The paper “suggests that when our curiosity is piqued, changes in the brain ready us to learn not only about the subject at hand, but incidental information, too.”
Be reflective- understand where you’re coming from
Choosing a research question that you’re curious/ interested in, I think you’re more likely to already have a preferred answer to the question, I know that was the case for me. I wanted people to prefer print, I prefer reading from a book, I print off most of my readings for class, I love the feel of a book when I’m reading.
“Hertz (1997), urges researchers to be aware of their own positions and interests and to explicitly situate themselves within the research.”
So taking Hertz into account I tried my best to keep my bias out of the results, and not sway people with my questions in my focus groups or survey.
To try and be as respectful as possible to the students that will be participating in my survey or focus group I have tried to implement the lean Research Framework in all the places where possible. This means at all times I have had these four principles in mind: 1) rigorous, regardless of methodologies employed; b2) respectful towards research subjects, implementing partners, and others engaged in the research process; 3) relevant to research subjects, partners, and decision-makers; and 4) right-sized, in terms of protocols and costs compared to the potential usefulness and impact of the study.
Reflection in action
I had to practice a bit of reflection in action over the course of my research, having to change how I was going to conduct my survey, or change a question in a focus group. “The practitioner allows himself to experience surprise, puzzlement, or confusion in a situation which he finds uncertain or unique. He reflects on the phenomenon before him, and on the prior understandings which have been implicit in his behaviour. He carries out an experiment which serves to generate both a new understanding of the phenomenon and a change in the situation.” – Schӧn
Schön, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. How professionals think in action, London: Temple Smith.
Elizabeth Hoffecker Moreno, Kendra Leith, Kim Wilson. (2015). The Lean Research Framework Principles for Human-Centered Field Research. Available: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B36nNXj12OvSMmJhZHRpOHZBMmM/view. Last accessed 25/4/16