Completing research online
Both qualitative and quantitative research online has unique challenges. Here are some approaches if you need to undertake your project in this way.
In fact, there is an entire website dedicated to moving research online. While initially created for psychology research, a lot of it can be applied to a range of disciplines.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some researchers turned their attention to creating simple experiments in their own homes which can be used in the school classroom. Some of these have since been published, and there are journals for improving teaching methods of most subjects. For example, see Kissi & Dreesmann 2020.
We are coming out of a time where all quantitative research could not be completed in person, and still multiple researchers have chosen to remain this way. Fortunately, it means there is lots of advice and resources out there. Here is a whole book.
Video interviews show little difference between sharing of deeply personal experiences, do not result in shorter interviews or higher rates of cancellation and rescheduling, and are overall highly satisfactory for participants (Jenner & Myers 2018; Archibald et al. 2019). There are many videoconferencing technologies available for use, and each will require planning regarding privacy and confidentiality (Lobe et al. 2020).
Quantitative (especially lab, field, or equipment-based)
Temporarily online? Try:
- Writing a literature review
- Get involved with virtual conferences (Remmel et al. 2021)
- Plan your experiments for when you return
Online for longer?
Archibald MM, Ambagtsheer RC, Casey MG, Lawless M. (2019) Using Zoom Videoconferencing for Qualitative Data Collection: Perceptions and Experiences of Researchers and Participants. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, doi:10.1177/1609406919874596
Jenner B & Myers KC. (2019) Intimacy, rapport, and exceptional disclosure: a comparison of in-person and mediated interview contexts. International Journal of Social Research Methodology. 22:2, 165-177, doi: 10.1080/13645579.2018.1512694
Kissi L & Daniel Dreesmann. (2022) Flowers with powers – conception and evaluation of an ‘educational seed mix’. Journal of Biological Education. 56:2, 147-162, doi: 10.1080/00219266.2020.1757485
Lobe B, Morgan D, Hoffman KA. (2020) Qualitative Data Collection in an Era of Social Distancing. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, doi:10.1177/1609406920937875
Remmel A. (2021) Nature 591, 185-186, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-00513-1