methodology PhD research

Research update #53: Methodology or Messodology?

I have identified around 17 different types of data that I want to collect for this research. I have been waiting for people who know more about this than I do to say – ‘you’re out of your mind’ – but as yet, nobody has.

It looks a little something like this.

More than a few of these things (edvisor numbers, quals, entry points, unit structures) don’t even necessarily answer my research questions but seem important in the journey towards them. The I.T bit in the corner is more of a stray thought because I’ve been spending a LOT of time in my own edvisor practice lately chatting to them and there is wealth of research to be done on their role in edutech projects that nobody seems to have touched on yet.

Determining how, where and from whom to gather this data is my first stage and will involve working closely with a set of key informants across institutions. I would assume a mix of edvisors, edvisor unit managers (or higher level types – DVCAs maybe?) and I’d imagine teachers but that seems slightly hazier right at the moment. One of the edvisors on the review panel did note that there is a major difference between types of edvisors and while I believe I have acknowledged that, I can probably give it a lot more thought in terms of considering the relationships between edvisors (academic developers, learning designers and learning technologists) and our perceptions of each other. So that’s fun.

For now, the logical thing to do seems to focus on the interviews with key informants, which are intended (amongst other things) to provide some insights into how to go about collecting the rest of this data. I’d like to get a reasonably representative cross-section of people in a range of different types of unis (I considered TAFE and private providers but that’s just too much extra), so I figure I need Group of Eight, Australian Technology Network, Innovative Research and Regional ones. But maybe that’s overdoing it. I do think there is something to be seen in comparing teaching oriented vs research oriented ones and perhaps also (though maybe this is the same thing) well resourced vs less well resourced institutions. Then again I haven’t considered any of these things as factors in my proposal so far, so ??? Anyway, I guess that falls under the research apprenticeship side of this whole endeavour.

But, be honest, this still seems like way too much to be trying to do right?