Research methods review


During the session, we reviewed our draft presentation. It became apparent that the slides are very dry due to the amount of the presented text and that they needed to be edited with focus on people, rather than writings. We agreed that we don’t need to see the survey within the presentation slides and that we can describe it in detail in the article.

Our aim then became turning the presentation into something engaging and discussed how precisely this can be achieved. Some of the ideas that were suggested included using Prezi as a production platform, improving our graphical presentation or using Blog clouds as a quantitative method of textual analysis.

It wasn’t long before we recognised that our presentation lacks the above because we are using only the survey results to produce it. As we had no other data, we acknowledged that we will have to use the survey results to test our hypotheses and then use them to create a conversation about the received videos. This process is also known as triangulation and will help us to structure our interviews. For example, if we have found a connection between specific topics, then it will be worth mentioning them in the dialogues. If we did that for the qualitative interviews, we could see patterns that we can later use in our analyses.

Andy Hilton showed us examples of visual graphics that we should be aiming for and also suggested that we can include information on what methods are we using and explain why we are using them. Our primary concern was that we have no videos yet, so we don’t know what information will come back and therefore, it will be challenging to formulate our hypotheses. However, we were reassured that we have no reason to worry, as we are effectively doing anthropological research, and by studying part-time ourselves,  we can make hypotheses, because we have the same experiences.

The next thing that we discussed is that we have to consider the audience. For example, convincing RIBA that there is an argument in our study. We have to put across what we are finding out, and what we are considering. It is essential to show that we have identified four themes/research subjects and explain why we have chosen them and how they relate to each other, as well as what we are hoping to achieve by studying it.

We briefly spoke about our research question and that if we cannot answer it with the data that we have collected, we will have to change that question. Furthermore, we reviewed our analysis and discovered that we have been making a mistake in our calculations. Based on that, a suggestion about a possible title of the article was made – “Degrees of freedom”.

We agreed that as we had not proven many hypotheses, it will be a good idea to process the data to make it more manageable for the tests and to demonstrate how it clusters around the themes that we have identified.

At the end of the session we discussed timescales and agreed that if we have everything done by the end of February, we can then concentrate on minor adjustments to our documents. To make the process more manageable and efficient, we agreed to split the tasks, so that one or two people can concentrate on specific elements. Then we discussed the requirements for the presentation and decided that the following principal points have to be considered:

  • What is the central question?
  • Keywords and definitions;
  • Focus on the identified themes and interview as many responders as possible;
  • Use our own videos if we do not have many video responses;
  • Conduct the interviw regardless of the number of videos received.

To conclude the session, we sent an email to all the people who agreed to take part in the video diaries.


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