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TRI-ORM was a project which ran from 2007 to 2009 under the ESRC Researcher Development Initiative (Award ref: RES-035-25-0002).
The main aim of TRI-ORM was to stimulate the careful and critical uptake, and further sophisticated use, of Online Research Methods (ORM) and to work towards mainstreaming these innovative methods by building a national and virtual network of research training in ORM. The TRI-ORM page on the RDI website ( http://www.rdi.ac.uk/projects/round2/17.php) provides a useful summary of the key achievements and outcomes.
The training programme included three strands (hence TRI-ORM):
- A series of 6 introductory one-day face-to-face workshops based
in ESRC Regional Training Centres to cater for researchers still
relatively unfamiliar with online research methods. These workshops
focused particularly on 'training the trainers' with the hope
that the enhanced knowledge would 'trickle down' to research staff
and postgraduates through follow-on teaching and supervision.
See Training: Workshops for information about these workshops and for online information packs and videos of workshop contents.
- A 15 credit M-level module in advanced online methods for active
online researchers. This online training module was designed for
more experienced users to enable them to develop and hone
their skills in particular ORM of value to their own research.
The module was designed to encourage participants to develop
'communities of practice' through shared interest, peer-support
and feedback. It was envisaged that these communities of practice
would continue to develop and evolve beyond the life of the online
training module and that such engagement would further support
and contribute to the long-term professional development of participants
See Training: Online courses for information about the online course and for archived course materials.
- A final strand of TRI-ORM was to enhance methodological
understanding and practice of online research methods through
self-directed learning via this website which was enhanced and developed
in order to increase its reach and effectiveness as a resource
for trainers and self-directed learners. The aim was to ensure that this
resource would provide support for both the face-to-face training
and the online training module, and would also provide initial
and continuing professional development routes for individuals
who prefer to study independently, or who were unable to either
attend the face-to-face events or participate in the online training
module. It was also hoped that the production of training guidelines
would allow trainers to make more effective
use of the learning activities and case studies embedded within the
See the 'Self-study' area as well as the 'Resources for learners' and 'Resources for tutors' sections.
The training delivered through the project was targeted at established researchers, junior researchers, research assistants, research supervisors, and postgraduates (ESRC and non-ESRC). TRI-ORM was thoroughly interdisciplinary and although it targeted the social science community, it also aimed to be attractive to participants from the medical sciences, government research organisations and the university administrative sector.
The range of training activities offered aimed to ensure that TRI-ORM would cater for varying levels of knowledge, varying stages of career development and different learning styles and opportunities to take part in regular formal study.
The training programme was promoted through:
- The ESRC Research Methods Programme
- The ESRC Regional Training Centres
- The National Centre for Research Methods
- The M1/M69 Regional Staff Development Training Consortium and other regional staff development consortia
- UK GRAD and the UK GRAD Midlands Hub
- JISC and other mailbases relevant for ORM, staff and postgraduate development activities.
- The Jiscmail Virtual methods mailing list
- LARIA (the Local Authorities Research & Intelligence Association)
- Government Social Research
- The Social Research Association
- ALT - the Association for Learning Technology
The training programme was evaluated from the outset by an independent Evaluation Consultant, Julia Meek who has a wide range of experience of evaluating learning technologies in Higher Education.
The purpose of this external evaluation was to provide timely feedback to the project team on how delivery of the project's objectives could be improved within the lifetime of the project (formative evaluation). It also aimed to evaluate whether the project's outcomes had been delivered by the end of the project and whether they had produced lasting value for the social science community (summative evaluation). See the 'Evaluation' page for details about the evaluation process.