Exploring online research methods - Incorporating TRI-ORM

Training and dissemination

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Open/close headingTraining and dissemination plan

An initial programme of training and dissemination was established including both face-to-face and online activities.

Specific aspects of the original plan were as follows:

Face-to-face training for academic staff

  • A training workshop will be run for Geography colleagues, which will specifically target staff supervising research students. This will be marketed and promoted nationally through the Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN-GEES) and Geography Discipline Network (GDN).
  • A further workshop will also be held for social science staff from the Midlands region, which will be promoted through the existing M1/M69 Academic Development Network of Universities Training Programme (comprising 11 Universities and Higher Education Institutions).
  • There will also be a training workshop with an interdisciplinary and national focus as part of the National Centre for Research Methods' training programme.

Face-to-face training for postgraduates:

  • Input at the ESRC-accredited Wessex Consortium Conference for national Geography postgraduate training.
  • Training at the University of Leicester ESRC-accredited Research Training Programme for Social Scientists which is followed by all social science postgraduates across the University of Leicester.

Online training and dissemination:

The website is designed for self-study use online. To maximise awareness of the site among target groups, it will be widely promoted through organisations and websites such as:

  • The Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN)
  • The Geography Discipline Network (GDN)
  • The Royal Geographical Society (RGS)
  • The ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM)
  • The Social Science Information Gateway (SOSIG)

Dissemination on the process of carrying out the project and the lessons learned in its development was also planned with the aim of sharing best practices with similar projects.

Further details of the training and dissemination activities carried out at different points during the project can be seen below. This will be added to as the training and dissemination stage of the project progresses.

 

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Open/close headingDecember 2004

Presentation on project evaluation

A presentation was delivered at the ESRC Research Method Programme's two-day workshop on online resources by two members of the team (Tristram Hooley and Rob Shaw). The presentation covered key project evaluation activities and aimed to share the lessons learned from the process of evaluation with other project teams. It is available from the following link.

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The Evaluation Lifecycle (ppt, 927KB)

 

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Open/close headingJuly 2005

A draft of the project website was shown to the delegates of the Beyond Distance Conference held at the University of Leicester. Interested participants were able to sample some of the learning activities and ask questions about the package and the project to members of the team, Clare Madge, Henriettta O'Connor and Rob Shaw.

Rob Shaw demonstrating the project website Clare Madge and Henrietta O'Connor demonstrating the project website
Members of the team demonstrating the project website

 

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Open/close headingMarch 2006

On 14th March 2006, the project team delivered a workshop organised by Jane Wellens which was promoted through the M1/M69 Academic Development Network of Universities, comprising 11 Universities and Higher Education Institutions in the Midlands area. The workshop was held at the University of Leicester and was targeted at academic staff, research assistants and postgraduate students. It explored some of the key issues surrounding the use of online questionnaires, and synchronous and asynchronous interviews in social science research. It also introduced participants to this online training resource to allow them to make use of it subsequently to further develop their skills and knowledge in online research methods.

Workshop participants discussing the use of online research methods A group of participants carrying out an activity using the project website
Images of the workshop

On 28th March 2006, Henrietta O'Connor and Clare Madge also disseminated the findings of the project to the ESRC Research Methods Programme / National Centre for Research Methods Advisory Committee meeting. The purpose was to allow Committee members to get a better feel for projects that have been funded under these programmes.

The presentations they delivered are available from the following link.

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Part 1: Background (ppt, 547KB)

Part 2: Tour of the resource (ppt, 2.28MB)

 

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Open/close headingApril 2006

On Thursday April 27th, the official site launch took place at the Royal Statistical Society in London.

Christine Hine joined the team to welcome the attendees and provide a presentation outlining a timeline of online research. The programme included an overview of the project and an introduction to the package, as well as discussions of the social production and evaluation of the website and how it can be used for teaching and training. It also included a discussion of the problems, prospects and future of online research. The programme for the event was as follows and the presentations made are available by following the links.

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Timelines of Internet Research (ppt, 556KB) - Christine Hine

Introduction to the project, social production of website, resources and evaluation matters (ppt, 2.28MB) - Clare Madge

Module content (1) Online questionnaires and technical guide (ppt, 556KB) - Henrietta O'Connor

Module content (2) Online interviews and online research ethics (ppt, 516KB) - Henrietta O'Connor

Module content (3) Site features and functionalities (ppt, 517KB) - Rob Shaw

Using the site for teaching and training in online methods (ppt, 660KB) - Jane Wellens and Tris Hooley

Problems, prospects and the future for online research (ppt, 528KB) - Clare Madge

The handouts were as follows:

Programme (jpg image, 155KB)

Website overview (jpg image, 352KB)

 

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Open/close headingMay 2006

On 4th May 2006 a workshop entitled 'An introduction to online research methods' took place at Homerton College, Cambridge.

The project team delivered a workshop promoted through the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM). The workshop was targeted at researchers considering the use of online research methods or wishing to gain practical hands-on-experience in the use of online research methods. It introduced participants to a selection of online research methods, with the focus on online questionnaires and virtual interviews. General, theoretical and methodological issues were covered along with hands-on-workshops and consideration of ethical issues. The programme and presentations delivered are available by following the links below.

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Advantages/disadvantages of online research
Online questionnaires (ppt, 546KB)
Hands-on-workshop online questionnaires - presentation (ppt, 594KB) and handout (Word doc, 290KB)
Online Interviews
Hands-on-workshop online interviews - Part 1 (ppt, 490KB), Part 2 (ppt, 529KB)
Ethics and online research (ppt, 492KB)

 

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Open/close headingJuly 2006

ESRC Research Methods Festival 2006

The Research Methods Festival 2006 was held at St Catherine's College, Oxford, 17 - 20 July.

Two members of the project team delivered sessions which drew upon and provided an introduction to the Exploring Online Research Methods package.

Clare Madge delivered a session entitled 'Online resources for conducting research' on Wednesday 19th July, 4.00 - 5.30pm. The session outline was as follows:

The internet provides an arena for carrying out online research which, thus far, has not been widely used by social scientists. However, online research methods can provide great methodological potential and versatility for research in all fields of social science, although their use must be carefully considered. This session will introduce an ESRC funded site entitled 'Exploring online methods in a virtual training environment' which can be used for training in online questionnaires, online interviews and online research ethics.

Jane Wellens and Tristram Hooley delivered a session the following day on Thursday 20th July, entitled 'Teaching Research Methods' the role of online training resources'. The session outline was as follows:

This session will consider how online training resources can be used to support postgraduate research training and, in particular, focus on the experience of using a virtual training resource to teach students how to use online interviews and online questionnaires for research.

The presentations they delivered are available from the following link.

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Clare Madge: Online resources for conducting research (ppt, 2.25MB)

Jane Wellens and Tristram Hooley: Teaching Research Methods (ppt, 1.59MB)

PowerPoint overheads or papers from the other presenters at the Research Methods Festival 2006 are also available on the Programme website for most presentations; links to further resources and short courses are also available.

 

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Open/close headingNovember 2006

On 24 November 2006, a face-to-face training session was delivered introducing the package to researchers at the University of Leicester. This formed a part of the University's professional development programme for PhD students and researchers.

 

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