Exploring online research methods - Incorporating TRI-ORM

Activities

This page contains a range of activities designed to allow materials from this website to be incorporated into face-to-face training situations. Each activity includes the resources required for presentations and/or handouts, as well as learning outcomes and guidence notes.

Click on the headings below for further information and to access the resources:


Planning sample research projects and choosing suitable methods.
MS Powerpoint.

Author

Tristram Hooley

Learning outcomes

  • Students will have planned a number of sample research projects
  • Students will have discussed the suitability of a variety of online and onsite methods
  • Students will have considered issues of culture, distance and power and thought about how they impact on methodology
  • Student will have presented their ideas and recieved feedback from peers and tutors.

How does it work?

The tutor sets up the activity by dividing the class into groups. Each group is given a case study to plan. The final slide gives them some starting points for the discussion.

Groups should probably be between 2-8 people. There is no problem if two groups have the same case study as they are likely to come up with different things. However, you can clearly invent more case studies or use the Resources index to generate more. The discussion can last for between 10-30 minutes. Feedback and discussion will take around five minutes per group.

[i] Click on the following link to save the resource, or to open it in a new window which you should close to return to this page.

Download (pp, 884KB)

 

Handout providing an introduction to this site and its contents.
MS Word handout.

Author

Rob Shaw

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be introduced to this website and its potential for self-study

How does it work?

The tutor provides students with the handout as part of an introduction to the main areas of the site and the main features of the self-study pages. The 'Site information' area can also be used to support the introduction.

[i] Click on the following links to save the resource, or to open it in a new window which you should close to return to this page.

Website overview (doc, 3.37MB)

 

Discussion on the advantages and disadvantes of online questionaires and other online methods.
MS Powerpoint / MS Word handout.

Author

TRI-ORM team

Learning outcomes

  • Students will have thought through possible advantages and disadvantes of online questionaires and other online methods.
  • Students will have received feedback on their evaluation of the advantages and disadvantes of online methods.

How does it work?

The tutor sets up the activity by dividing the class into groups. Each group is asked to brainstorm up a series of advantages and disadvantages pertaining to online methods.

Groups should probably be between 2-8 people. Discussion should be kept relatively short e.g. 10 minutes and you may wish to signpost when they should move on from looking at questionaires to discussing online methods in general.

The handout can then be used either as the basis for lectured content or as a stimulous to further discussion. The handout makes the point that online questionaires can be conducted in a variety of ways using a variety of technologies and that each of these has their own advantages and disadvantages.

[i] Click on the following links to save the resource, or to open it in a new window which you should close to return to this page.

Download powerpoint slide (pp, 17KB)
Download Handout (doc, 122KB)

The site provides more content to use in looking at advantages and disadvantes at http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/ORM/questionnaires/quesads.htm and http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/ORM/interviews/intads.htm (The links open in a new window which you should close to return to this page). You may wish to use this material as the basis for further lecture content.

 

Overview of some of the main design issues involved in producing an online questionnaire. Practice in laying out questionnaires and designing the appearance of text.
MS Powerpoint / MS Word handouts.

Author

Rob Shaw

Learning outcomes

  • Students will have gained an understanding of key design issues when producing an online questionnaire.
  • Students will have been provided with links to the areas of this site that deal with these key issues.
  • Students will have had practice in producing appropriately designed questionnaires in terms of layout and text appearance.

How does it work?

The tutor starts the activity by giving a PowerPoint presentation on design issues for online questionnaires.

The presentation can be used to introduce design issues, including screen size, colour, layout and text appearance. The presentation gives examples of what can go wrong when designing online questionnaires and provides further resources from the site to demonstrate good practice in online questionnaire design. 

Following the presentation, students can be divided into pairs or small groups to work on two activities- the first on layout and the second on text appearance. Following plenary feedback if required, the suggested solutions (located on the activity handouts) can be distributed and groups can compare these with their own solutions.

[i] Click on the following links to save the resource, or to open it in a new window which you should close to return to this page.

Download powerpoint slides (pp, 675KB)
Download Handout 1: Layout (doc, 206KB)
Download Handout 2: Text appearance (doc, 48KB)

Further information and activities on online questionnaire design is available from the following sections of the site which can form the basis for further content (The links open in a new window which you should close to return to this page):

Questionnaires module:

Design issues 1:  Appearance
http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/orm/questionnaires/quesdesign1.htm
Design issues 2:  Content
http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/orm/questionnaires/quesdesign2.htm (This page contains online versions of these activities)

Technical guide module:

Web forms
http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/orm/technical/techforms.htm
Key design issues
http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/orm/technical/techdesign.htm

 

 

Overview of the importance of selecting appropriate question types and trialling questionnaires before release.
MS Word

Author

Rob Shaw

Learning outcomes

  • Students will have been introduced to key web form controls and question types available for use in online questionnaires, as well as to the use of validation routines to control how questionnaires are answered.
  • Students will have had practical experience of completing a wide range of question types and will have the opportunity to reflect on the implications of choice of question type on completion times.
  • Students will have gained an understanding of the importance of trialling questionnaires and of carefully considering target audience and research needs when choosing question types.

How does it work?

Students will need access to an internet-ready computer to carry out this activity.

The powerpoint presentation can be used to introduce the key web form controls, question types and validation routines. Examples of online question types and the differences between them should be elicited from the students. The difference between radio buttons and checkboxes should be noted (checkboxes allow multiple selections while radio buttons only allow one choice to be made).

Students should then access the question types activity at http://wads.le.ac.uk//gg/orm/timingform.htm. They should individually work through the questionnaire and they should be encouraged to provide genuine responses. They should then compare their times with the averages and identify the key issues that affected response times, individually or in pairs/small groups.

Students should then be asked to feed back their ideas to the group. Some suggestions are provided in the powerpoint presentation.

[i] Click on the following links to save the resource, or to open it in a new window which you should close to return to this page.

Download powerpoint slides (pp, 270KB)

Information which might be useful for lecture content is available on the following pages (The links open in a new window which you should close to return to this page)

http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/orm/questionnaires/quesdesign2.htm - Question type

Support materials are also available on the following pages:

http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/orm/technical/techforms.htm - Learning activity: Web forms

http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/orm/technical/techvalidation.htm - Form validation introduction and examples


 

Overview of implementation options. Step-by-step guide to producing a questionnaire using a questionnaire design and hosting service.
MS Powerpoint / MS Word handout.

Author

Rob Shaw

Learning outcomes

  • Students will have gained an understanding of the main choices available to them when implementing an online questionnaire.
  • Students will have been provided with links to the areas of this site that deal with these key issues.
  • Students will have gained experience of using a design and hosting service to build a questionnaire.

How does it work?

The presentation can be used to introduce the main implementation issues, and further resources and practice are provided in the areas of this site referenced in the presentation. These can form the basis for structured lectured content.

Students can work through the handout as a step-by-step guide, either in a group or individually in self-study mode.

[i] Click on the following links to save the resource, or to open it in a new window which you should close to return to this page.

Download powerpoint slides (pp, 594KB)
Download Handout (doc, 291KB)

 

Simulation providing experience of what it is like to take part in or run an online focus group.
MS Word handouts.

Author

Tristram Hooley/Jane Wellens

Learning outcomes

  • Students will have experienced what it is like to take part or run an online focus group.
  • Students will have attempted to overcome the technical and methodological challeges posed by the synchronous focus group.
  • Students will reflect and receive feedback on their performance within the focus group.

How does it work?

The tutor sets up the activity by dividing the class into groups. Groups should probably be between 4-8 people. One person is chosen from each group to be the researcher. That person is given the researcher brief.

The others are all given the participant brief. The researcher should be given five minutes to prepare their approach to the focus group. Once this is up both the researcher and participants should log in and take part in the focus group for at least 15 minutes.

After the focus group is over give people a moment to reflect on their experience. Ask the researcher and then the participants to feedback on what they experienced.

  • What could they have done better?
  • What would they do differently?
  • How would this experience be changed if they were all in the same room.

[i] Click on the following links to save the resource, or to open it in a new window which you should close to return to this page.

Researcher brief (doc, 113KB)
Participant brief (doc, 114KB)

Information on which to base lectured content might be gathered from http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/ORM/interviews/inttypes.htm

 

Introduction to key issues in online research ethics and framework for group discussion of these issues.
MS Powerpoint

Author

Clare Madge

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be given a background presentation on the broad nature of online research ethics.
  • Students will discuss issues relating to privacy, informed consent, confidentiality and international inequalities with respect to online research methods.
  • Students will consider whether ethical issues are the same, or different, in the online and onsite context.
  • Students will have presented their ideas and received feedback from peers and tutors.

How does it work?

The tutor starts the activity by giving a PowerPoint presentation on online research ethics.

Then the class is divided into groups of 4 people maximum. Each group is given a scenario to discuss (3 scenarios are provided).

Some of the issues for discussion – including privacy, informed consent, confidentiality and international inequalities- are provided to give them some starting points for their discussion.

The scenarios and issues for discussion are provided as a powerpoint presentation. These slides can be printed in handout view and cut into cards for distibution or selection by the groups.

A final PowerPoint slide is provided in the background presentation with some key pointers for class discussion. Each group should be asked to provide feedback.

Groups should probably be between 2-8 people. There is no problem if two groups have the same scenario as they are likely to come up with different things. However, you can clearly invent more case studies or use the 'Resources index' to generate more. The group discussion can last for about 10 minutes. Class feedback and discussion will take around 5 minutes per group. This exercise will only work meaningfully if some members of the class have experience of online research methods and if the module on online methods has been read prior to the activity (at least by the class tutor).

 

[i] Click on the following links to save the resource, or to open it in a new window which you should close to return to this page.

Background presentation (pp, 1.04MB)
Scenarios and issues (pp, 270KB)

The site provides more content to use in looking at online research ethics at http://www.geog.le.ac.uk/orm/ethics/ethcontents.htm. You may wish to use this material as the basis for further lecture content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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