A Guide to Conducting Online Research

A Guide to Conducting Online Research

Ted J Gaiser

Language: English

Pages: 184

ISBN: 1412922909

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A Guide to Using Technology in Research is designed to support students, academics, and practitioner researchers in using technology as part of their research. The book begins by looking at what questions to ask and how to prepare to conduct online research, then concentrates on particular technologies and how to employ them effectively, before concluding with a discussion of the peculiarities of conducting research in the online environment.

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worse, having to pay a professional programmer to reverse-engineer your application or fix it can be extremely expensive. Mistake #2 … becoming dependent on an expensive and complex application that requires advanced-level skills that are costly to access in the open market. A colleague might be right that an Oracle database is the most robust, or MySQL makes for a great online survey … but Oracle and SQL programmers often command a high salary in the job market, and database programming, SQL

server management, etc., all tend to cost money. Again, you may have a colleague or high-end assistant now, but what happens when they are no longer available to you? Mistake #3 … using the first application that appears to meet an immediate need without thinking through all the relevant issues specific to a given study. A particular application recommended by one of your assistants or a colleague may be a good place to start your research preparation. But it is little use to you if the

columns and cells and knows how to represent the data values within, whether they are numbers, text or dates, Gaiser-3816-CH-08:Gaiser Sample.qxp 94 2/5/2009 8:13 PM Page 94 A GUIDE TO CONDUCTING ONLINE RESEARCH etc. A plain text file is generally considered to be an unstructured data file, even if it contains structured data in the earlier sense, because there is nothing in the file itself that describes how the information is structured. Other types of data might be log files or mail

interviewer or a focus group moderator. For example, in the context of a focus group, people often express a feeling of being in a bubble. They know a researcher is evaluating the group dynamics. But they also note that it’s one thing to see the two-way mirror in the research lab and know someone is watching, and yet another not to see anything but have the feeling that you’re being watched in a study. Another group dynamic challenge for a researcher managing an online focus group is the fact

knowledge could be construed as taking advantage of individuals who are vulnerable. To be clear, the point here is not to suggest that it is never acceptable to lurk, but rather for you, the researcher, to be intentional and thoughtful about when, where and how you choose to do so. There are times when it might be appropriate to lurk before interacting with participants. As Lori Kendall (1999) indicates, if you disclose too soon that you are lurking you may bias responses or constrain group

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